Historian Thomas M. Truxes presents a sweeping history of early American trade and the foundation of the American economy in his new book, The Overseas Trade of British America: A Narrative History (Yale University Press, 2021). Born from seeds planted in Tudor England in the 16th century, Atlantic trade allowed the initial survival, economic expansion, and later prosperity of British America, and brought vastly different geographical regions, each with a distinctive identity and economic structure, into a single fabric. Truxes, a 1963 graduate of the Carroll School of Management, shows how colonial American prosperity was only possible because of the labor of enslaved Africans, how the colonial economy became dependent on free and open markets, and how the young United States owed its survival in the struggle of the American Revolution to Atlantic trade. Truxes is a clinical professor of Irish studies and history at New York University. He is the author of Irish-American Trade, 1660–1783 and Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York, among other books.
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