Yankee Merchants and the Making of the Urban West: The Rise and Fall of Antebellum St. Louis

Yankee Merchants and the Making of the Urban West: The Rise and Fall of Antebellum St. Louis

by Jeffrey S. Adler
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521412846

ISBN-13: 9780521412841

Pub. Date: 09/27/1991

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This book analyzes the rise and fall of antebellum St. Louis, the first great urban center of the trans-Mississippi West. At midcentury, St. Louis commanded the West: it was the principal western cog in the national economy and one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. Using both quantitative and more traditional methods and drawing extensively on credit…  See more details below

Overview

This book analyzes the rise and fall of antebellum St. Louis, the first great urban center of the trans-Mississippi West. At midcentury, St. Louis commanded the West: it was the principal western cog in the national economy and one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. Using both quantitative and more traditional methods and drawing extensively on credit records, Jeffrey Adler analyzes the forces that determined the role of western cities in the national economy. He devotes particular attention to the ways in which Yankee merchants forged ties that linked St. Louis to New York and Boston markets. Northeastern businessmen merchants fueled the ascent of St. Louis and made the city a Yankee colony in the West. During the mid-1850s powerful political and cultural forces altered the sources of urban growth in the West. As a result, the economy of St. Louis collapsed. Yankee merchants stopped migrating to the city and ceased investing in local businesses. This book demonstrates that the sectional crisis abruptly transformed St. Louis's role in the national economy, redirecting the flow of capital and migrants away from St. Louis and toward a smaller western city - Chicago. By the late 1850s Chicago has supplanted its Missouri rival and become the commercial capital of the region. Thus, conflict sparked by the debate over the future of slavery remade the urban West.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521412841
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
09/27/1991
Series:
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Modern History Series
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.94(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction1
2"These Yankee notions will not suit Missouri"13
3Savagedom, destiny, and the isothermal zodiac43
4Yankee newcomers and prosperity61
5"The offspring of the East"91
6A border city in an age of sectionalism110
7Rebirth145
Conclusion175
Notes178
Bibliography250
Index269

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