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Becoming BourgeoisMerchant Culture in the South, 1820-1865$
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Frank J. Byrne

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124049

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124049.001.0001

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The Antebellum Merchant in Southern Society

The Antebellum Merchant in Southern Society

(p.41) 2 The Antebellum Merchant in Southern Society
Becoming Bourgeois

Frank J. Byrne

University Press of Kentucky

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

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