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Trading SpacesThe Colonial Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism$
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Emma Hart

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226659817

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226659954.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Making a Republican Marketplace

Making a Republican Marketplace

(p.167) Chapter Six Making a Republican Marketplace
Trading Spaces

Emma Hart

University of Chicago Press

Chapter six focuses on the 1780s, a time of great economic instability in the young American nation. Making market places became an activity swept up in the process of making the new American republic. Creation of orderly local trade was considered to be both the right and the responsibility of white republican freeholders. Even more than in the colonial era, the idea that some (black, poor) people were unable to conduct themselves in the marketplace for the “good of the whole” was integral to regulation. Through both power and persuasion by government officers, such people might become orderly participants. Being orderly, however, meant obeying rules designed to protect the property and the supremacy of white men in the marketplace. Yet, in the unstable environment of the 1780s, where the authorities themselves often lacked legitimacy and reach over a large territory, enforcing this ambition was hard. The first decade of independent, peacetime government was thus a period in which a new vision of domestic trade emerged as freeholders threw themselves into the creation of a republican marketplace designed to answer the “good of the whole.”

Keywords:   good of the whole, Republican, police power, corporations

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