The men behind the market: Merchants, the Atlantic slave trade, and the shaping of South Carolina plantation society, 1700--1756

Perry L Kyles, Florida International University

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the role played by merchants in the shaping of South Carolina plantation society in its early stages of development. In 1700 South Carolina was on the fringes of the British Empire. By mid-century the colony had become an integral part of the British Atlantic system. This dissertation addresses merchants' activity in the shaping of plantation society through their involvement in the Atlantic slave trade. Records of the British and South Carolina governments, and petitions from merchants on both sides of the Atlantic have been extremely valuable in understanding the complex and rapidly changing political affiliations of merchants on both sides of the Atlantic. These sources are valuable to this study since they illustrate the merchants' strategy of utilizing government policies to acquire the absolute best terms of trade. Records such as wills and inventories yielded valuable information on merchants' economic portfolios and provided valuable insight into their personal lives. The data shows that the integration of Colonial South Carolina into the global economy can be attributed to its merchant class, who actively sought out business opportunities in the global economy while working within the framework of British mercantilism. ^

Subject Area

History, United States

Recommended Citation

Kyles, Perry L, "The men behind the market: Merchants, the Atlantic slave trade, and the shaping of South Carolina plantation society, 1700--1756" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3298590.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3298590

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