The Fisherman's Cause: Atlantic Commerce and Maritime by Christopher P. Magra

By Christopher P. Magra

Within the first book-length exam of the connections among the economic fishing in colonial the USA and the yankee Revolution, Christopher Magra locations the origins and growth of this formative occasion in a much broader Atlantic context. The Fisherman's reason makes use of wide learn from files within the usa, Canada, and the U.K. as a way to take this Atlantic procedure. Dried, salted cod represented the main profitable export in New England. The fishing attached colonial manufacturers to transatlantic markets within the Iberian Peninsula and the West Indies. Parliament's coercive legislation of this department of colonial maritime trade contributed to colonists' willingness to have interaction in a number of innovative actions. Colonists then used the ocean to forcibly withstand British authority. Fish retailers switched over transatlantic exchange routes into army provide strains, they usually remodeled fishing vessels into warships. Fishermen armed and manned the 1st American military, served within the first coast protect devices, and fought on privateers. those maritime actions helped safe American independence.

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Sample text

A seventeenth-century French traveler who visited Newfoundland once wrote: “One can truly say that the best trade in Europe is to go [to Newfoundland] and fish cod. . e. e. ”8 Catholics and slaves, two sizable Atlantic demographics, regularly devoured large quantities of cod. This chapter examines the biological qualities of cod to explain why this fish was such a popular food item in the eighteenth century. Consumer demand for this commodity stimulated the rise of a substantial business in colonial New England.

14 During the eighteenth century, there were two primary methods of preserving cod in commercial usage. That is, there were two primary methods for producing and distributing cured cod in bulk quantities, as opposed to curing small amounts for subsistence. These commercial methods derived in large measure from different European taste preferences and merchants’ desire to meet market demand. The French and Northern Europeans in cooler climates preferred wet, or “green,” or “core,” cod, which was taken directly from the sea, gutted, lightly salted, and barreled.

See the discussion in chapter four. 32 The Fisherman’s Cause New England merchants lacked the shipping, capital, and overseas connections in the 1640s that were immediately necessary to fill this economic vacuum. However, London merchants were eager to break the West Country’s stranglehold on the Atlantic cod trade, and they had all of the commercial necessities. These merchants began shipping manufactured goods to Boston on the first leg of what would become a regular triangular trade. In Boston, manufactured goods were exchanged with wholesalers for pre-arranged loads of dried cod, which were then shipped to ports in Iberia or the Portuguese Atlantic islands.

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