Trade, Politics, and Revolution: South Carolina and Britain's Atlantic Commerce, 1730-1790

Trade, Politics, and Revolution: South Carolina and Britain's Atlantic Commerce, 1730-1790

by Huw David

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London’s “Carolina traders,” a little-known group of transatlantic merchants, played a pivotal but historically neglected role in the rise of tensions in the South Carolina lowcountry. In Trade, Politics, and Revolution, Huw David delves into the lives of these men and explores their influence on commerce and politics in the years before and after the American Revolution. Beginning in the 1730s, a few select merchants in Charleston fueled South Carolina’s economic rise, used their political connections to prosper in British-Carolinian trade, and then relocated to London, becoming absentee owners of property, plantations, and slaves. Using correspondence, business and slave trade records, newspapers, and a wealth of other sources, David reconstructs the lives of these Carolina traders and demonstrates their shifting but instrumental influence over the course of the eighteenth century. Until the 1760s these transatlantic traders served as a stabilizing force, using their wealth and political connections to lobby for colonial interests. As the British Empire flexed its power and incited rebellion with laws such as the so-called Intolerable Acts, South Carolinians became suspicious of the traders, believing them to be instruments of imperial oppression. Trade, Politics, and Revolution offers a fresh understanding of trade in South Carolina’s early history and the shifting climate that led to the American Revolution, as well as reaching beyond the war to explore the reconstruction of trade routes between the newly founded United States and Great Britain. By focusing on one segment of transatlantic trade, David provides a new interpretive approach to imperialism and exposes the complex, deeply personal rift that divided the Carolina traders from their homeland and broke the colonies from the mother country

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611178951
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/15/2018
Series: The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Huw David holds a Ph.D. in history from Lincoln College, Oxford. His doctoral thesis was awarded the 2015 Hines Prize by the College of Charleston for the best first manuscript relating to the Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World. David is director of development for the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Notes on the Text xiii

Chronology xv

Dramatis Personae xix

Introduction: "A large territory on the Atlantic Ocean, in a temperate latitude"-South Carolina and Great Britain 1

Chapter 1 "The Metropolis of South Carolina": London Lobbying and Charles Town Commerce 10

Chapter 2 "Friends to Assist at Home": London's Carolina Trade in the 1740s and 1750s 42

Chapter 3 "Cankers to the Riches of a Country"?: Transatlantic Absenteeism in Colonial South Carolina 71

Chapter 4 "From Humble & Moderate Fortunes to Great Affluence": The Transatlantic Carolina Trade and Imperial Crises 94

Chapter 5 The Voyage of the Lord North: American Independence, Anglo-Carolinian Trade, and Unfinished Business 131

Conclusion: "Let me have done with American lands" 176

Abbreviations 185

Notes 187

Bibliography 229

Index 249

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