Before the Melting Pot
Society and Culture in Colonial New York City, 1664-1730
From its earliest days under English rule, New York City had an unusually diverse ethnic makeup, with substantial numbers of Dutch, English, Scottish, Irish, French, German, and Jewish immigrants, as well as a large African-American population. Joyce Goodfriend paints a vivid portrait of this society, exploring the meaning of ethnicity in early America and showing how colonial settlers of varying backgrounds worked out a basis for coexistence. She argues that, contrary to the prevalent notion of rapid Anglicization, ethnicity proved an enduring force in this small urban society well into the eighteenth century.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
An excellent study of New York City's diverse population.--Choice We have here a major contribution to our understanding of colonial America and an interesting case study of the variety in the history of American assimilation.---Paul A. Gilje, American Historical Review Joyce Goodfriend's book advances the discussion of the meaning of pluralism in colonial America through a deft integration of ethnic history, African-American history, and women's history in a non-ideological manner.---David S. Cohen, Journal of Social History Winner of the 1991 Henricks Manuscript Award, Friends of the New Netherland Project