Transitions in the Colonial Hudson Valley: Capitalist, Bulk Goods, and Braudelian

Jonathan Leitner

Abstract


A long debate about the American “transition to capitalism” was apparently settled via a rough consensus on the gradual prevalence of rural capitalism in the north; and that even small, subsistence-oriented farm households engaged in some market exchange, while market-oriented farm households engaged in some subsistence activities. Yet certain Marxist scholars argue that even prevalent market exchange did not necessarily signify a capitalist economy.  Similarly, certain world-systems scholars see the debates as somewhat pointless, inasmuch as capitalism is a systemic characteristic that exists regardless of any individual identification. These latter notions derive in part from Braudel’s tripartite structure of early modern economic life, which sees self-sufficiency and basic daily survival existing alongside market economies and everyday forms of exchange, with the capitalist world-economy in turn overarching, yet not necessarily affecting, the other two levels.  This paper posits that colonial America’s “transition” to capitalism was effectively the gradual, often contested, and geographically uneven addition of Braudel’s second layer of economic life – the market economy – onto the first layer of self-sufficiency and basic material life; with this process arguably driven by the third layer of the larger capitalist economy, as other recent studies of the colonial Hudson Valley have focused on, albeit while ignoring the region’s diverse and uneven economic geography  It explores the notion of geographically-uneven Braudelian economic structures and transitions within the late 17th and 18th century colonial Hudson Valley, a region of four rather distinct subregions demonstrating that even within relatively small geographical spaces, at least at certain times, one can find different means of Braudelian economic life, and by extension, varying articulations with the world-economy and possible paths to eventual core emergence.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Anderson, Perry. 1974. Lineages of the Absolutist State. London: NLB.

Anjou, Gustave. 1906. Ulster County, N.Y. Probate Records, Vol. 2. New York: Gustave Anjou.

Archdeacon, Thomas J. 1979. Review of Landlord and Tenant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society, 1664-1775 by Sung Bok Kim. William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 36: 622-624.

Arrighi, Giovanni. 2001. “Braudel, Capitalism, and the New Economic Sociology.” Review 24: 107-123.

Bachman, Van Cleaf. 1969. Peltries or Plantations: The Economic Policies of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland, 1623-1639. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.

Bonomi, Patricia U. 1971. A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York. New York: Columbia University Press.

Braudel, Fernand. 1977. Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism. Patricia M. Ranum, trans. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

------. 1981. Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century I: The Structures of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible. Siân Reynolds, trans. New York: Harper & Row.

------. 1982. Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century II: The Wheels of Commerce. Siân Reynolds, trans. New York: Harper & Row.

Brawarsky, Sandee. 2003. “Plantation on the Hudson.” New York Times (Jan. 19).

Bruegel, Martin. 1996a. “Unrest: Manorial Society and the Market in the Hudson Valley, 1780-1850.” Journal of American History 82: 1393-1424.

------. 1996b. “Uncertaintly, Pluriactivity, and Neighborhood Exchange in the Rural Hudson Valley in the late Eighteenth Century.” New York History 77: 245-272.

------. 2002. Farm, Shop, Landing: The Rise of a Market Society in the Hudson Valley, 1780-1860. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Bunker, Stephen G. 1989. “Staples, Links, and Poles in the Construction of Regional Development Theories.” Sociological Forum 4: 589-610.

------. 1992. “Natural Resource Extraction and Power Differentials in a Global Economy.” Pp. 61-84 in Understanding Economic Process, edited by Sutti Ortiz and Susan Lees. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

------. 2005. “The Poverty of Resource Extraction.” Research in Rural Sociology and Development 11: 211-226.

Burrows, Edwin G. and Wallace, Mike. 1999. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bush, Caleb M. 2005. “Reconsidering Incorporation: Uneven Histories of Capitalist Expansion

and Encroachment, Native America.” Studies in Political Economy 76: 83-109.

Bushman, Richard Lyman. 1998. “Markets and Composite Farms in Early America.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 55: 351-374.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher. 1980. “The Development of Core Capitalism in the Antebellum United States: Tariff Politics and Class Struggle in an Upwardly Mobile Semiperiphery.” Pp. 189-203 in Studies of the Modern World-System, edited by Albert J. Bergesen. New York: Academic Press.

------. 1989. Global Formation: Structures of the World-Economy. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Thomas D. Hall. 1997. Rise and Demise: Comparing World-Systems. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Ciccantell, Paul S. and Stephen G. Bunker. 1998. “Introduction: Space, Transport, and World-Systems Theory.” Pp. 1-15 in Space and Transport in the World-System, edited by Paul S. Ciccantell and Stephen G. Bunker. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Cohen, David Steven. 1992. The Dutch-American Farm. New York: New York University Press.

Countryman, Edward. 1981. A People in Revolution: The American Revolution and Political Society in New York, 1760-1790. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Domar, Evsey D. 1970. “The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis.” Journal of Economic History 30: 18-32.

Driscoll, Adam and Edward L. Kick 2013. “Naval Stores Extraction in Eastern North Carolina: The Historical Basis of Spatial Inequality within a Core Nation.” Journal of World-Systems Research 19: 1-23.

Dunaway, Wilma A. 1994. “The Southern Fur Trade and the Incorporation of Southern Appalachia into the World-Economy, 1690-1763.” Review 17: 215-242.

------. 1996a. The First American Frontier: Transition to Capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1860. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

-----.1996b. “Incorporation as an Interactive Process: Cherokee Resistance to Expansion of the Capitalist World-System, 1560-1763.” Sociological Inquiry 66: 455-470.

Earle, Carville. 1992a. Geographical Inquiry and American Historical Problems. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

------. 1992b. “Pioneers of Providence: The Anglo-American Experience, 1492-1792.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 82: 478-499.

Fabend, Firth Haring. 1991. A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Foote, Charles E. 2007 [1907]. “The Town of Saugerties.” Pp. 360-365 in The History of Ulster County, New York, Vol. 1, edited by Alphonso T. Clearwater. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books.

Gilje, Paul A. 1996. “The Rise of Capitalism in the Early Republic.” Journal of the Early Republic 16: 159-181.

Goldsworthy, John. 2011. “The Rise of Capitalism in the Antebellum Northeast: A Historiographical Review.” Historia 20: 20-29.

Green, Frank Bertangue. 1886. The History of Rockland County. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co.

Greenberg, Douglas. 1978. “The Rise of Neoconsensus History.” Reviews in American History 6: 480-489.

Hall, Thomas D. 1989. Social Change in the Southwest, 1350-1880. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.

------. 2012. “Incorporation into and Merger of World-Systems.” Pp. 47-55 in Routledge Handbook of World-Systems Analysis, edited by Salvatore Babones and Christopher Chase-Dunn. New York: Routledge.

Harris, Leslie M. 2004. “Slavery, Emancipation, and Class Formation in Colonial and Early National New York City.” Journal of Urban History 30: 339-359.

Harvey, David. 2006. Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development. New York: Verso.

Hedrick, Daniel. 1933. A History of Agriculture in the State of New York. Albany: New York State Agriculture Society.

Henretta, James A. 1978. “Families and Farms: Mentalité in Pre-Industrial America.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 35: 3-32.

Hornsby, Stephen J. 2005. British Atlantic, American Frontier: Spaces of Power in Early Modern British America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Howell, Charles and Allen Keller. 1977. The Mill at Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills and a Brief History of Milling. Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Restorations.

Humphrey, Thomas J. 1998. “‘Extravagant Claims’ and ‘Hard Labour’: Perceptions of Property in the Hudson Valley, 1751-1801.” Pennsylvania History 65: 141-166.

Kammen, Michael. 1975. Colonial New York: A History. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Kierner, Cynthia A. 1992. Traders and Gentlefolk: The Livingstons of New York, 1675-1790. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Kim, Sung Bok. 1966. “The Manor of Cortlandt and its Tenants, 1697-1783.” Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan State University.

------. 1970. “A New Look at the Great Landlords of Eighteenth-Century New York.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 27: 581-614.

------. 1978. Landlord and Tenant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society, 1664-1775. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

------. 1982. “Impact of Class Relations and Warfare in the American Revolution: The New York Experience.” Journal of American History 69: 326-346.

Kulikoff, Allan. 1993. “Households and Markets: Toward a New Synthesis of American Agrarian History.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 50: 342-355.

------. 2003. Review of Farm, Shop, Landing: The Rise of a Market Society in the Hudson Valley, 1780-1860 by Martin Bruegel. Common-Place 3; http://www.common-place.org.

Lamoreaux, Naomi R. 2003. “Rethinking the Transition to Capitalism in the Early American Northeast.” Journal of American History 90: 437-461.

Leitner, Jonathan. 2013. “Network Transitions on a Contested Periphery: From Prestige Goods to Bulk Goods (or not) in Northeastern North America, 1600-1760.” Journal of World-Systems Research 19: 263-289.

Lemon, James T. 1987. “Agriculture and Society in Early America.” Agricultural History Review 35: 76-94.

Lustig, Mary Lou. 1995. Privilege and Prerogative: New York’s Provincial Elite, 1710-1776. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Mark, Irving. 1940. Agrarian Conflicts in Colonial New York, 1711-1775. New York: Columbia University Press.

Matson, Cathy. 1994. “‘Damned Scoundrels’ and ‘Libertisme of Trade’: Freedom and Regulation in Colonial New York’s Fur and Grain Trades.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 51: 389-418.

Matson, Cathy. 1998. Merchants & Empire: Trading in Colonial New York. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

McCusker, John J. and Russell R. Menard. 1985. The Economy of British America, 1607-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

McManus, Edgar. 1966. A History of Negro Slavery in New York. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

Merrill, Michael. 1995. “Putting ‘Capitalism’ in Its Place: A Review of Recent Literature.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 52: 315-326.

Mutch, Robert E. 1980. “Colonial America and the Debate about Transition to Capitalism.” Theory and Society 9: 847-863.

Neu, Irene D. 1952. “The Iron Plantations of Colonial New York.” New York History 33: 3-24.

Nordstrom, Carl. 1973. Frontier Elements in a Hudson River Village. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press.

Norton, Thomas E. 1974. The Fur Trade in Colonial New York, 1686-1776. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

O’Callaghan, E.B., ed. 1849-51. The Documentary History of the State of New-York. Vols. 1-4. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons & Co.

O’Callaghan, E.B., ed. 1853-61. Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York. Vols. 1-11. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons and Company.

Post, Charles. 2009. “Agrarian Class Struggle and Economic Development in Colonial British North America: The Place of the American Revolution in the Origins of US Capitalism.” Journal of Agrarian Change 9: 453-483.

Reubens, Beatrice G. 1965. “Pre-Emptive Rights in the Disposition of a Confiscated Estate, Philipsburgh Manor, New York.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 22: 435-456.

Richardson, David. 1991. “Slavery, Trade, and Economic Growth in Eighteenth-Century New England.” Pp. 237-264 in Slavery and the Rise of the Atlantic System, edited by Barbara L. Solow. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rink, Oliver A. 1986. Holland on the Hudson: An Economic and Social History of Dutch New York. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Schwarz, Philip J. 1979. The Jarring Interests: New York’s Boundary Makers, 1664-1776. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Smith, Daniel Blake. 1979. Review of Landlord and Tenant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society, 1664-1775, by Sung Bok Kim. Journal of Interdisciplinary History 9: 757-759.

Smith, David A. 1987. “Dependent Urbanization in Colonial America: The Case of Charleston, South Carolina.” Social Forces 66: 1-28.

Smith, William, Jr. 1972. The History of the Province of New-York. Michael Kammen, ed. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Solow, Barbara L. 1991. “Slavery and Colonization.” Pp. 21-42 in Slavery and the Rise of the Atlantic System, edited by Barbara L. Solow. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Talbot, John M. 2011. “The Coffee Commodity Chain in the World-Economy: Arrighi’s Systemic Cycles and Braudel’s Layers of Analysis.” Journal of World-Systems Research 17: 58-88.

Taylor, Alan. 1989. “‘A Kind of Warr’: The Contest for Land on the Northeastern Frontier, 1750-1820.” William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 46: 3-26.

Terlouw, Kees. 2011. “Five Centuries of Regional Development in Northwest Germany and the Netherlands.” Journal of World-Systems Research 17: 199-217

van Bavel, Bas J.P. and Jan Luiten van Zanden. 2004. “The Jump-Start of the Holland Economy during the Late-Medieval Crisis, c.1350-c.1500.” Economic History Review 57: 503-532.

Vickers, Daniel. 1996. “The Northern Colonies: Economy and Society, 1600-1775.” Pp. 209-248 in The Cambridge Economic History of the United States. Vol. I: The Colonial Era, edited by Stanley L. Engerman and Robert E. Gallman. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wallerstein, Immanuel Maurice. 1974. The Modern World System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Academic Press.

------. 1989. The Modern World-System III: The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World-Economy, 1730-1840s. San Diego: Academic Press.

Wermuth, Thomas S. 2001. Rip Van Winkle’s Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Valley, 1720-1850. Albany: State University of New York Press.

White, Richard. 1991. “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own”: A New History of the American West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Wolf, Eric R. 1997 [1982]. Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley: University of California Press.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2016.615

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2016 Jonathan Leitner

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.