The Duke's Province: A Study of New York Politics and Society, 1664-1691

By Robert C. Ritchie | Go to book overview

6 The Consequences of Social Change

The London merchants represented external pressure upon New York's political and economic system. After 1674 two major internal developments also influenced the proprietary: the changing social structure, particularly the distribution of wealth, reveals the growing economic power of New York City, while the Dutch community felt increasing pressures from the continuing process of Anglicization. The effects of both of these trends were not as dramatic as the intrusion of the London merchants. However, as problems mounted in New York during the 1680s their impact would help shatter the colony.


The Development of New York Society

A coherent view of New York society becomes possible for the years after 1674 because of a rising number of tax and census records generated by local government in response to demands of the central government. It is, however, a snapshot that captures only a few aspects of life. Mobility patterns are difficult to ascertain, as are the colors and textures of daily life. One thing immediately obvious, even under these conditions, is the variety of community life in New York. Perhaps the most illustrative extremes are Southampton and Albany. Founded by New England Puritans, Southampton conformed to many of the stereotypes of New England communities: a few streets of weathered clapboard houses sheltering a stern congregation playing out the dynamics of puritanism in America. In other regards it did not conform, for Southampton's whalers and Indians pursued the great whales for their oil and attracted merchants from New York City and Boston eager to exchange manufactured goods for the boiled-down residue of their catches.

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The Duke's Province: A Study of New York Politics and Society, 1664-1691
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 3
  • Part I - The English Arrive 7
  • 1 - The Invasion of New Netherland 9
  • 2 - The Structure of Government 25
  • 3 - The Emergence of Political Issues, 1664-1673 47
  • Part II - The Divisions Appear 83
  • 4 - Once Again Dutch, Once Again English 85
  • 5 - Trade and Politics: the Recall of Edmund Andros 108
  • 6 - The Consequences of Social Change 127
  • Part III - Change and Crisis 153
  • 7 - The Experiment with Representative Government 155
  • 8 - The Reassertion of Central Authority: the Dongan Administration 180
  • 9 - Leisler's Rebellion 198
  • Part IV - Conclusion 233
  • 10 - A Time of Troubles 235
  • Abbreviations 243
  • Notes 245
  • Bibliography 285
  • Index 301
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