"A profound secret in the breast of a very few"
Smith, Solomon Kelly
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My dissertation demonstrates the importance of industrial and manufacturing ventures to the development of the Chesapeake region in terms of economic growth, social structure formation, and the emergence of geographic infrastructure. It is a collection of five case studies exploring the development of industrial activities in the Chesapeake region from 1720 until 1820. Although organized chronologically, each work confronts the same set of questions: How were individual Chesapeake industrial endeavors organized? What did it take to succeed in an industrial activity? What led some individuals to succeed in industrial activities while others failed? How much could industrial ventures contribute to the wealth of individuals in the Chesapeake region? How did they spend their industrial income? Finally, how did industrial activities contribute to the development of urban areas in the Chesapeake region?