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Merchant Life and Social Capital

Merchant Life and Social Capital

Chapter:
(p.142) Chapter 5 Merchant Life and Social Capital
Source:
Builders of a New South
Author(s):
Aaron D. Anderson
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617036675.003.0006

This chapter focuses on the Natchez postwar merchants, transitional figures who in some respects were steeped in the older ways of merchant capitalism, yet constantly forced, or indeed motivated, to change and update their practices to keep in step with the new. They embraced the unrestrained new local marketplace which was responsible for their success, yet that same marketplace was still tied to elements of the old, as King Cotton still dominated the Natchez economy. The chapter also discusses the rise of “social capital” among merchants and the entrepreneurial community. This capital expressed itself through various organizations, habits of association, and rising political roles.

Keywords:   Natchez District, merchants, social capital, merchant class

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