The Newport During The Prerevolutionary Period

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Newport during the prerevolutionary period was the pearl of the colonies. The city grew into a rich center of commerce largely because of pirating, smuggling and handling of contraband, activities that the British sought to curtail with Acts that affected all the colonies. The town was composed of almost 1,000 homes, many of mansion quality, and drew the finest of European visitors along with growing inter-colonial and international trade. The city was cosmopolitan with a mix of religious faiths, including Jewish and Quaker, all accepted under decrees protecting individual freedom born from a sense of equality and justice, principles that would later become embodied in the Constitution of the United States. Newport was a very active center of seagoing trade in the "slave triangle" with the West Indies and western Africa that fueled commerce in molasses, rum, manufactured goods, and many other commodities among a wide range of goods characteristic of the time. Its citizens were strongly of the work ethic and were craftsmen of all types who supplied the goods and services needed to support its commerce.…show more content…
Several generations of citizens had built a culture not surpassed in the colonies, the same that established a strong sense of self-reliance and independence that shaped their political orientation as increasingly anti-British. Although Boston and Philadelphia are generally regarded as the wellsprings of liberty in the American spirit of independence that led to the Revolution, historians have generally overlooked the importance of Newport, its life, and the influence of events in its locale and actions following those
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