Farm, Shop, Landing: The Rise of a Market Society in the Hudson Valley, 1780–1860

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Duke University Press, Apr 24, 2002 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
At the turn of the nineteenth century, when the word “capital” first found its way into the vocabulary of mid-Hudson Valley residents, the term irrevocably marked the profound change that had transformed the region from an inward-looking, rural community into a participant in an emerging market economy. In Farm, Shop, Landing Martin Bruegel turns his attention to the daily lives of merchants, artisans, and farmers who lived and worked along the Hudson River in the decades following the American Revolution to explain how the seeds of capitalism were spread on rural U.S. soil.
Combining theoretical rigor with extensive archival research, Bruegel’s account diverges from other historiographies of nineteenth-century economic development. It challenges the assumption that the coexistence of long-distance trade, private property, and entrepreneurial activity lead to one inescapable outcome: a market economy either wholeheartedly embraced or entirely rejected by its members. When Bruegel tells the story of farmer William Coventry struggling in the face of bad harvests, widow Mary Livingston battling her tenants, blacksmith Samuel Fowks perfecting the cast-iron plough, and Hannah Bushnell sending her butter to market, Bruegel shows that the social conventions of a particular community, and the real struggles and hopes of individuals, actively mold the evolving economic order. Ultimately, then, Farm, Shop, Landing suggests that the process of modernization must be understood as the result of the simultaneous and often contentious interplay of social and economic spheres.
 

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Contents

Everyday Life and the Making of Rural Development in the Hudson Valley
1
1 Exchange and the Creation of the Neighborhood in the Late Eighteenth Century
13
2 To Market to Mill to theWoods
41
3 Natural Resources and Economic Development
64
Agricultural Developments 18101850s
90
5 Country Shops and Factory Creeks 18071850s
126
Wealth Income and Patterns of Consumption 18001850s
159
7 The Culture of Public Life
187
Labor the Manor and the Market
216
Notes
227
Bibliography
275
Index
299
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About the author (2002)

Martin Bruegel is Chargé de recherche at the Laboratoire de recherche sur la Consommation in the Département d’Economie et Sociologie at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique at Ivry sur Seine, France.

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