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Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides concluding remarks for this book. The coal technology revolution in Britain dealt Swedish iron body blow, but the response of Swedish exporters was to redouble their Atlantic orientation not to abandon it. Trade, as Daniel Defoe insisted, was an amalgam of ‘Dealing and Manufacturing’; it comprises commodity chains that stretched from wharf to warehouse to workshop and on again. The book has applied Defoe’s dictum to the international iron trade. Historiographically, the iron trade has long been disregarded, yet Baltic iron, the most widely traded of irons, was an integral part of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Only by tracing the passage of metallic matter from mine to furnace bank, from casting house to forge, and into the commercial maelstrom of the Atlantic for the pervasive presence of Baltic iron be revealed. Baltic iron penetrated to the furthest reaches of the ocean.

Keywords: Atlantic world; Baltic iron; coal technology revolution; Daniel Defoe; international iron trade; Swedish exporters

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