Citizens of the World examines the business and social strategies of the men who developed the British empire in the eighteenth century. This book focuses on twenty-three London merchants who traded with America in an age of imperial expansion. These 'associates' started their careers as marginal people, sought and took advantage of opportunities around the world, and approached their business and social lives with the integrating and improving ideals of the practical Enlightenment. Professor Hancock reveals how they managed the business of the empire and turned themselves into gentlemen: he tracks their shipping over fifty years, investigates their farms and plantations, cumulates their investment portfolios, follows them into their scientific societies, and watches them build country houses and fill them with art. He places all this activity in the context of the developing institutions of Britain's colonies in America and polite society at home.