Chapter

The Antebellum Merchant in Southern Society

Frank J. Byrne

in Becoming Bourgeois

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780813124049
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134857 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813124049.003.0003
The Antebellum Merchant in Southern Society

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This chapter examines the reputation and societal standing of the antebellum merchant family in the antebellum American South. It explains that the business activities that ordered the internal lives of merchant families also helped fashion their public identity. Many white Southerners viewed merchants with suspicion because they believe that merchants love money too much and their sharp business practices violated community standards. However, there are those successful merchants who understood the sundry ways their public behavior could affect profits and made sure they and their families acted accordingly.

Keywords: merchants; American South; business activities; public identity; business practices

Chapter.  14196 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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