By Mark Valeri
Heavenly Merchandize bargains a severe reexamination of religion's function within the construction of a industry economic system in early the USA. concentrating on the industrial tradition of recent England, it perspectives trade during the eyes of 4 generations of Boston retailers, drawing upon their own letters, diaries, enterprise documents, and sermon notes to bare how retailers outfitted a latest kind of alternate out of profound transitions within the puritan knowing of self-discipline, windfall, and the which means of latest England. Mark Valeri strains the careers of guys like Robert Keayne, a London immigrant punished by way of his church for competitive company practices; John Hull, a silversmith-turned-trader who helped to set up advertisement networks within the West Indies; and Hugh corridor, certainly one of New England's first slave investors. He explores how Boston ministers reconstituted their ethical languages over the process a century, from a scriptural discourse opposed to many industry practices to a providential worldview that justified England's advertisement hegemony and legitimated the industry as a divine build. Valeri strikes past simplistic readings that lessen advertisement job to secular mind-sets, and refutes the preferred concept of an inherent affinity among puritanism and capitalism. He exhibits how altering rules approximately what it intended to be pious and puritan trained the enterprise practices of Boston's retailers, who crammed their deepest notebooks with meditations on scripture and the ordinary order, based and led church buildings, and inscribed non secular reflections of their letters and diaries. exceptional in scope and wealthy with insights, Heavenly Merchandize illuminates the background in the back of the ongoing American quandary over morality and undefined.
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Additional resources for Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America
The following discussion of his encounters in the Old World probes the deep sources of an uneasy, even strained relationship between the mandates of commerce and the prescriptions of godliness in puritan America. 14 CHAPTER ONE KEAYNE, THE MERCHANT TAYLORS' COMPANY, AND CIVIC HUMANISM A survey of Keayne’s life on both sides of the Atlantic sets the context for probing his early career in England. He was born in 1595 in Windsor, Berkshire County, England, the son of the butcher John Keayne. We know little of his early life.
Whereas merchant-minded humanists drew on Stoic moralists, Roman historians, and contemporary iterations of civic virtue, preachers propounded a scriptural discourse peculiar to the saints. They instructed the laity to read the Bible daily; it would be difﬁcult to identify a more “popular” form of literature in this sense. East Anglian puritans favored the Geneva Bible, a translation with copious marginal notes made by dissenters under Calvin’s sway. The Geneva Bible provided a running commentary on social issues.
Civic-humanist merchants grounded their claims on a pragmatic, ﬂexible approach to contemporary problems. From the 1580s through the 1620s, commentators noted momentous developments in the kingdom’s economy: a growing population, a turn to the production of market goods such as wool and iron, an increase in the distance between sites of production and exchange, an intensiﬁed reliance on bonds, bills, and other forms of paper credit, and a sharp rise in commercial litigation. Each of these sparked moral questions.