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Studies in British and Imperial History
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The Forgotten Majority
German Merchants in London, Naturalization, and Global Trade 1660-1815
Margrit Schulte Beerbühl
Translated from the German by Cynthia Klohr
326 pages, 15 illus., 28 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-447-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2014)
eISBN 978-1-78238-448-9 eBook
“This is undoubtedly an important piece of work. It brings together a wide range of archival data and secondary material (in both English and German) to provide an innovative and incisive analysis of the role of nationalized German-born merchants in London between the mid-seventeenth century and the end of the Napoleonic Wars….[It] represents an important contribution to existing scholarship relating to the rise of British trading interests and the development of London as the focal point for international trade, commerce, and banking.” · Robert Lee, University of Liverpool
“Without question, Margrit Schulte Beerbühl’s work is a pathbreaking contribution to the study of international (or transnational) merchant networks.” · Andreas Fahrmeir, Goethe University
“This is an extremely important book…It helps us to reinterpret British economic growth and trade…gives a deep rooting to those interested in the migration of those with middle class backgrounds to Britain today…points to the longevity and the fundamental importance of migration in British history…[and] is also a highly original contribution to the history of naturalization in Britain.” · Panikos Panayi, De Montfort University
The “forgotten majority” of German merchants in London between the end of the Hanseatic League and the end of the Napoleonic Wars became the largest mercantile Christian immigrant group in the eighteenth century. Using previously neglected and little used evidence, this book assesses the causes of their migration, the establishment of their businesses in the capital, and the global reach of the enterprises. As the acquisition of British nationality was the admission ticket to Britain’s commercial empire, it investigates the commercial function of British naturalization policy in the early modern period, while also considering the risks of failure and chance for a new beginning in a foreign environment. As more German merchants integrated into British commercial society, they contributed to London becoming the leading place of exchange between the European continent, Russia, and the New World.
Margrit Schulte Beerbühl is Professor of Modern History of the University of Düsseldorf. Her publications include Spinning the Commercial Web (Frankfurt 2004, ed. with Jörg Voegele), Migration and Transfer from Germany to Britain (München 2007, ed. with Stefan Manz et al.), and Transnational Networks: German Migrants in the British Empire, 1670-1914 (Leiden 2012, ed. with Stefan Manz et al.).
Subject: History (General) History: 18th/19th Century
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