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Showing posts from September, 2008

Porters, Hostlers, and Teamsters: Change and resistance in England's First North American Frontier

This essay considers violent opposition to technological change in surface cargo carriage. It is geographically limited to consideration of change in England's southeaster North American colonies. Land cargo carriage technology changed two or three times during the colonial era in the southeast. Not unlike change in our own time, each change bred violent resistance to change. Sometimes it was government violence directed at malefactors of small wealth (e.g. the imposition of market economy values on frontiers people that produced at least a part of the War of the Regulation), and other times it was the violence of displaced workers directed at the technology that displaced them.
Actually, the first change to be considered isn't really a technological change at all but was, rather, a sociological and political change in who traded with whom. In earliest colonial times, say from 1585 through the First Powhatan War (1622) English colonists competed with one another with no …