Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jacob Selwood

Second Advisor

Julia Gaffield


Between 1620 and 1700, merchants in England debated the economic framework of the kingdom. The system they created is commonly referred to as ‘mercantilism’ and many historians have concluded that there was a consensus among economists that supported the balance of trade and restricted foreign markets. While that economic consensus existed, merchants also had to adopt new ways of thinking about religion, foreigners, and naturalization because of the system they created. Merchants like Josiah Child in the latter part of the seventeenth century were more acceptant of strangers and they were more tolerant of religion that their predecessors of the 1620s. An unintended diversity arose from the Navigation Acts and other legislation that sought to restrict trade.