By Sarah Pearsall
The Atlantic represented a global of chance within the eighteenth century, however it represented department additionally, setting apart households throughout its coasts. no matter if because of fiscal shifts, altering political landscapes, imperial pursuits, or perhaps easily own tragedy, many households came upon themselves fractured and disoriented via the expansion and later fissure of a bigger Atlantic global. Such dislocation posed enormous demanding situations to all people who considered orderly kinfolk family as either a normal and a private excellent. The extra lucky people who hence stumbled on themselves "all at sea" have been capable of use kin letters, with attendant emphases on familiarity, sensibility, and credits, with a purpose to stay hooked up in occasions and locations of substantial disconnection. Portraying the kin as a unified, affectionate, and satisfied entity in such letters supplied a way of surmounting issues approximately societies fractured by way of actual distance, worldwide wars, and extending social stratification. it might probably additionally offer social and financial leverage to person women and men in yes situations. Sarah Pearsall explores the lives and letters of those households, revealing the occasionally stunning tales of these divided by means of sea. Ranging around the Anglophone Atlantic, together with mainland American colonies and states, Britain, and the British Caribbean, Pearsall argues that it used to be this increasing Atlantic world-much greater than the yankee Revolution-that reshaped modern beliefs approximately households, up to households themselves reshaped the transatlantic international.
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Additional resources for Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century
In fact, as this book will demonstrate, explanations that have relied on patriarchy, paternalism, or a transition from one to the other have less explanatory force than those that attend to shifting ideals of masculinity in this period. This book thus surveys the power of those changing conventions, as well as the ways that individual men navigated within them. The book also demonstrates the power that women wielded, or in some cases tried to wield, in inﬂuencing the course of masculine behavior.
This example, among others, shows the profound interpenetration of domesticity and the Atlantic economy. Along with this economic growth came a development of communications infrastructures. Although literacy is difﬁcult to measure, there was an increase in literacy in the early modern period and, in particular, in the eighteenth century, Doerﬂinger, A Vigorous Spirit of Enterprise: Merchants and Economic Development in Revolutionary Philadelphia (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1986); Elaine Forman Crane, A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era (New York: Fordham University Press, 1985); Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780–1850, ed.
T. H. Breen, The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), esp. introduction and Part 1. D, Brandeis University (2000); for Quakers, see Thomas A. 34 Fractured Families demonstrates, friendship was as vital a resource in business as it was in any other area in this period. As one eighteenth-century merchant in the Madeira trade pointed out, ‘early attachments are always the most lasting . . ²⁵ The economic growth afforded by these Atlantic developments inﬂuenced families themselves, and their dynamics, in the colonies as well as in Britain.
Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century by Sarah Pearsall