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Bubbles And Beggars And The Bodies Of Laborers: The Georgia Trusteeship'S Colonialism Reconsidered

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Chapter Summary

The Georgia Trustees deployed formal and informal power in a struggle to strengthen British imperialism by reforming colonists. Keeping in mind Kenneth Coleman’s caution that historians of early Georgia describe “what occurred in Georgia without ignoring what hoped would occur,” re-framing the Trustees’ expectations as colonial cultural politics sets eighteenth-century colonialist debates and techniques in the Atlantic World into stark relief. The Trustees as a whole-not necessarily all the members of the board- were fundamentally conservative on gender, class, race, and capital markets but their approach was educational and disciplinary. The Trustees’ concerns about imperial growth were wide-ranging and were stunningly exemplified by the South Sea Stock Bubble of 1720, a speculation scheme in a colonial trading monopoly that brought financial ruin to many in London. The Georgia Trusteeship shared the cultural politics of education and labor that helped establish charity schools and workhouses.

Keywords: Atlantic world; British imperialism; colonial cultural politics; Georgia Trusteeship; London; South Sea Stock Bubble



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