From Dependency to Independence: Economic Revolution in Colonial New England

From Dependency to Independence: Economic Revolution in Colonial New England

From Dependency to Independence: Economic Revolution in Colonial New England

From Dependency to Independence: Economic Revolution in Colonial New England

Synopsis

As a struggling outpost of a powerful commercial empire, colonial New England grappled with problems familiar to modern developing societies. Yet less than a century and a half later, New England staged the war for political independence and the industrial revolution. Marshaling an enormous array of research data, historian Margaret Ellen Newell shows how and why this transformation occurred. 25 photos.

Excerpt

The problem of
economic development in
colonial new england

For much of this century the United States has represented the global archetype of successful economic development. America's prosperity appears all the more striking in comparison with the struggles of so-called developing nations to diversify their economies, industrialize, and secure greater economic autonomy. the challenges that countries such as India, Nigeria, and Brazil face in reducing their neocolonial dependence on shifting First World markets and meeting domestic demand for consumer goods without incurring crippling trade deficits or hyperinflation seem foreign to America's experience. in much of the Third World, politicians and entrepreneurs face the difficult task of establishing new industries in the context of a competitive global economy in which more developed nations have a head start. They know that foreign investment capital often comes at a high price—the sacrifice of some local sovereignty. and even those nations that most eagerly embrace the market must cope with the mobility, diversity, and other challenges to traditional social order and ethics that often accompany capitalism. in advising such client nations, the World Bank and other international aid organizations treat America's trajectory as the normative path to membership in the First World.

Yet for nearly two centuries mainland British America was an underdeveloped, dependent outpost of one of the most powerful commercial empires in Europe. England had a head start on commercial and industrial development, and it made the most of this advantage in its relationship with the colonies—a relationship predicated on colonial economic and political dependence. in the seventeenth century, most English men and women viewed the colonies (when they thought of them at all) as objects of ex-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.