The Oxford Dictionary first introduced the verb “to shop” in the eighteenth century with the advent of the consumer revolution that was sweeping the globe. Newport experienced its golden age during the eighteenth century as the vast majority of its town relied on trade and the sea for livelihood. For the first time, more and more people were able to experience the consumer choices of the international markets in over a hundred shops on over seventy wharves and Newport rose to the third largest seaport in colonial America. With an economy driven by merchants and consumers, the citizens of Newport demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the crown through economic boycotts. It was through these boycotts colonists united for a common cause using the shared language of consumer goods.
Listed below are some significant examples of people, goods, and institutions that either supported the consumer revolution or were a product of the movement. Please explore this phenomenon through the lists below to better understand the consumer revolution in Newport.