By Elaine F. Crane
This paintings tells a narrative in regards to the sea, an American colonial city, and the British. It relates how Newport's dependence at the Atlantic Ocean ruled approximately each point of its life. Newport discovered early from its watery atmosphere that its survival and prosperity have been inextricably associated with trade. depending on a thriving exchange, Newporters have been keen to discover and mixture of routes which prompt a profitable go back in voyage and funding. Newport's single-minded dedication to trade produced a society within which humans have been additionally depending on one another. service provider and dockworker, sailmaker and rope-walk proprietor constructed symbiotic relationships due to their universal efforts to make sure the good fortune of every voyage. Dependency additionally prolonged to social networks the place the prosperous took accountability for different individuals of the neighborhood. as a result of their dependence on unobstructed exchange, Newporters had refrained from British customs for generations, utilizing equipment which solid a few doubt on their dedication to the legislations. therefore, while it turned transparent in 1764 that Britain might visit nice lengths to implement new tasks, the degree was once set for war of words. in spite of everything, occasions outstripped the power of Newport to chart its personal path because the violence escalated. The Revolution upfront ended Newport's golden age and destroyed town either bodily and spiritually. A established humans had received independence yet at a price just a couple of may well foresee.
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Extra resources for A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era
The explanation for Newport's decline lies in the town's singular dependence on the sea surrounding it, a dependence based not merely on trade, but on Britain's benign neglect as well. Because the Atlantic dominated Newport's economy so completely, the city felt the impact of the new British mercantile restrictions in the 1760s and 1770s more keenly than any other American community. Once the British decided to reorganize the empire, once the Sugar Act was passed and the customs apparatus strengthened in order to enforce both it and succeeding legislation, Newport's trials began in earnest.
There was nothing haphazard about either the ports of call or the merchandise traded. If stops included Maine and Newfoundland, it was because planters in the West Indies paid good cash for northern dried fish to feed their slaves. And if the sloops and brigantines docked at Philadelphia or Baltimore before proceeding to the Caribbean, it was because those same West Indians needed flour. Shingles from New Jersey, livestock and corn from Connecticut, pitch, tar, hoops, staves, and headings from the Carolinas also found ready markets in the islands.
10 vols. Providence, 1862. RIHS Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, Rhode Island Editorial Note In order to preserve the integrity of the eighteenth-century manuscripts which have been quoted, original spelling has been retained throughout. For the same reason, conformity of citations has given way to exact replication of address. For example, letters to or from Godfrey and John Malbone will be cited as being sent or received by either Godfrey and John Malbone or G and J Malbone, depending on the way the names appear in the original document.
A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era by Elaine F. Crane