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The Politics of TradeThe Overseas Merchant in State and Society, 1660-1720$
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Perry Gauci

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241934.001.0001

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The Merchant, Politics, and the Press

The Merchant, Politics, and the Press

(p.156) Chapter Four The Merchant, Politics, and the Press
The Politics of Trade


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the understudied forms of mercantile expression, in particular the voluminous literature that survives from commercial tracts. Recent bibliographic studies have revealed that the late Stuart period saw significant change in the economic press in England. Analysis of the ways in which merchants and others characterized the role of overseas trade within the state demonstrates the real and imagined obstacles that traders perceived to be in their path towards political and social acceptance. The press can illuminate the evolving relationship of the merchant and the state. In fact, the Augustan discourse of commercial patriotism was severely tested after 1660 by an intermittent campaign for a greater mercantile presence in governing circles, which debate forms the last section of this chapter. As a necessary preliminary to these important exchanges, it is important to first delineate the circulation of literature about trade, and to identify the forces which promoted it.

Keywords:   merchants, overseas traders, mercantile press, commercial tracts, press

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