© 2017

Brooklyn’s Renaissance

Commerce, Culture, and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World

  • Provides an outstanding cultural analysis of Brooklyn's development in the context of the Renaissance in Europe

  • Appeals to scholars of European and American cultural history as well as those interested in Brooklyn more broadly

  • Written by a leading historian of European history using a transatlantic approach to the rise of American urban centres


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 1-7
  3. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 9-47
  4. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 49-100
  5. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 101-155
  6. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 157-208
  7. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 209-252
  8. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 253-302
  9. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 303-342
  10. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 343-376
  11. Melissa Meriam Bullard
    Pages 377-422
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 423-458

About this book


This book shows how modern Brooklyn’s proud urban identity as an arts-friendly community originated in the mid nineteenth century.  Before and after the Civil War, Brooklyn’s elite, many engaged in Atlantic trade, established more than a dozen cultural societies, including the Philharmonic Society, Academy of Music, and Art Association.  The associative ethos behind Brooklyn’s fine arts flowering built upon commercial networks that joined commerce, culture, and community.  This innovative, carefully researched and documented history employs the concept of parallel Renaissances.  It shows influences from Renaissance Italy and Liverpool, then connected to New York through regular packet service like the Black Ball Line that ferried people, ideas, and cargo across the Atlantic.  Civil War disrupted Brooklyn’s Renaissance.  The city directed energies towards war relief efforts and the women’s Sanitary Fair.  The Gilded Age saw Brooklyn’s Renaissance energies diluted by financial and political corruption, planning the Brooklyn Bridge and consolidation with New York City in 1898. 


Brooklyn in the 19th Century Atlantic World trade Cultural history of New York Commerce and trade in the 19th Century BAM Urban history in America

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

About the authors

Melissa Meriam Bullard is Professor of Renaissance and Early Modern European History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.  She has published extensively on the history of the Medici and Florence and recently on the reach of the Italian Renaissance into the nineteenth-century.  She brings an Atlantic world perspective of parallel Renaissances to Brooklyn’s history.

Bibliographic information