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Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York Hardcover – November 18, 2008
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
For history nuts, this is what we live for. For those who like tales of intrigue, this is a gripping story made all the better because it's not fiction. For those who like fiction, this will convert you to the pleasures of reading well-written, true stories. This will knock your socks off and leave you wanting more.
And I do hope Truxes will write more!
Professor Truxes does not take sides on this question. He does show in vivid and exciting detail that many people--from wealthy merchants and administrators to humble clerks, sailors, and ship captains--were prepared to take extraordinary risks to secure profits for themselves by illegally trading with the French.
DEFYING EMPIRE puts a fresh perspective on the Seven Years War. The bonds of empire were tested by the fragile trading relationships between Britain and her colonies, as much as by the convulsive and unpredictable stresses caused by the military campaigns against the French. Truxes shows that British and colonial laws concerning trade became open to interpretation and evasion within the administrative and commercial community in New York.
This fascinating book unfolds an amazing pattern of commercial dealings with the French. While French forces threatened the borders of New York and French naval squadrons entered and left the West Indies at will, New York merchants carried on a complex and profitable trade with the French controlled islands!
Any and every means was used to transport to the French Islands New York goods and take away valuable sugar, coffee, and indigo. Truxes explains how authorizations for prisoner of war exchanges (Flag-of-Trucers) were cover for shipping cargoes in and out of French West Indian ports. False clearances to British-controlled ports were another means of evading capture, as was shipping through the Spanish port of Monte Christi-- which only seems to have existed to facilitate trade in and out of the French colony of St. Dominque (Haiti)!Read more ›
This is a compelling, previously untold (but true) account of New York elites who engaged in illicit trading with the French enemy just before the American Revolution (during the Seven Years War).
The story features characters that jump off the page as they willingly trade their patriotism for war profits using intricate smuggling schemes. Many of the main culprits went on to achieve ambitious political careers in the U.S.--and some of them become our Founding Fathers.
This book touches on several themes that we can relate to in contemporary life, such as "get rich quick schemes" involving participation at all levels of government and business, the seduction of war profits, and power-hungry political couples.
This book is perfect for anyone with an interest in the dark side of American history and/or the city of New York.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
did not get the book, and As I said , I would have liked the presumed info the text promisedPublished on June 4, 2014 by J0SEPH T MEEGAN II
Everyone in colonial New York City traded with the enemy (the French) during the Seven Years' War (what we colonial descendants refer to as the French and Indian War). Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by Marc Comtois
Excellent! In a brisk, suspenseful narrative, Truxes (of Trinity College, with whom I took a Modern Irish History course) illuminates a little-known aspect of the seminal conflict... Read morePublished on October 13, 2009 by Mike Breen
Defying Empire is fascinating history that reads almost like a novel. The maps and glossaries are a huge help to lay readers, and the story is amazing. Read morePublished on May 1, 2009 by J. T. Hazuka
I bought Thomas M. Truxes' "Defying Empire" based on Rick Spilman's review on the [...] as research for my fictional trilogy-in-progress Barbados Bound (Patricia McPherson... Read morePublished on April 11, 2009 by lscollison
For the past three years I have been researching my maternal genealogy (NH, MA, NY, NJ, and NE). For background I have been immersed in a great number of books, manuscripts,... Read morePublished on January 23, 2009 by Nick D. Swanstrom
What a terrific narrative about the canny complicity of mariners and merchants in colonial New York. Truxes is a consummate historian as well as storyteller. Read morePublished on January 22, 2009 by Lee Gruzen
Defying Empire provides gripping evidence that the city of New York has not changed much in the last 250 years. Read morePublished on December 1, 2008 by Jack Spelman