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“A Brief Consideration of New-York, with Respect to Its Natural Advantages: Its Superiority in Several Instances, over some of the Neighboring Colonies,” The Independent Reflector; January 18, 1753, issue 8, page 31.


In this newspaper issue, the editor describes New York and compares it with other colonies. In addition to information about trade, the report offers many anecdotal and critical comments, as suggested by this excerpt about Massachusetts. Consumer behavior, purchases of imported goods, and imitation of British fashions inspired many commentators to address the repercussions of participating in trans-Atlantic commerce.

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 “ANOTHER Consequence of their clustering into Towns, is Luxury; --- a great and mighty Evil, carrying all before it, and crumbling States and Empires, into slow, but inevitable Ruin. --- Like sweetened Poison, it is soft but strong, enervates the Constitution, and triumphs at last, in the Weakness and Rotteness of the Patient. It is almost impossible for a Number of People, and absolutely so, if they are idle, to live together, but they will very soon attempt to outvie each other, in Dress, Tables, and the like. This is the Case in theMassachusetts-Bay: Let a Man enter one of their Country Churches, and he will be struck with the Gaiety of Ladies, in Silks and Lawn; while, perhaps, the Houses they came out of, shall scarce afford a clean Chair to sit on. --- Boston

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