Monday, December 14, 2015

The Surprising Globalization of Pre-Revolution American Trade

My title says it all.  Boston 1775 quotes a 1765 letter from the head of the British customs service for America to his bosses, describing the implications of the protests against the Stamp Act--no stamps meant no legal exports and: 
But the Evils necessarily occasioned by a Stop to the internal business and Police of the Colonies, are not equal to the Consequences of shutting up their Ports at this season of the year—permit me briefly to enumerate a few of them.

Thousands of Seamen and Others whose sole Dependance is on Navigation not only rendered Useless to their Country but deprived of the Means of Subsistance, Provisions for which there are at this time large Orders, particularly for Corn for France, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean &c. must perish on hand, while famin may spread itself through our West India Islands by being suddenly cut of from their usual Supplies; Ireland would be greatly distressed by the Want of flax seed from hence, on which her linen Manufacture depends; Other Articles of Produce by which Remittances may be made to Britain detained in the Country—the Revenue lessened, and trade and Navigation the Source of Wealth and the Support of a Maritime and Commercial Nation, entirely stopped, which must be attended with Ruin to Multitudes and distress to All
 Go to Boston 1775 for a series of posts describing the events as the Stamp Act was adopted, protested, and eventually disposed of.

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