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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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(p.271) Conclusion
The Politics of Trade


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. This book has given great credit to the merchant classes for their contribution towards making the system work. As one of the richest and most innovative sectors of society, whose commercial and urban leadership required constant interaction with individuals from all walks of life, they can be represented as important intermediaries of social and political change. This study has suggested that political adaptability was the key to the preservation of tolerable domestic relations, rather than any supposed social mobility. It has also highlighted the uncertainties of business life as a corrective to seeing the upper middle classes as forever upwardly mobile.

Keywords:   merchants, overseas traders, social change, political adaptability

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