America in European Consciousness, 1493-1750 / Edition 1

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The five hundredth anniversary of Columbus's first transatlantic voyage has provoked an outpouring of scholarship on how European exploration and colonization affected America. This book of eleven essays from leading scholars in the fields of intellectual and cultural history reverses that trend by focusing on the ways in which contact with the Americas transformed European thought.

The result of an international conference sponsored by the John Carter Brown Library, this collection addresses the impact of Spanish, French, and English experiences in the New World. The essays consider whether and how knowledge of America changed the mental world of European thinkers as reflected in their understanding of history, literature, linguistics, religion, and the sciences.

In assessing the process by which Europeans sought to understand America, this volume responds to issues raised by Sir John Elliott nearly a generation ago, and the collection concludes with an essay in which Elliott reflects on the scholarship of the last twenty-five years on this subject. The contributors are David Armitage, Peter Burke, Luca Codignola, J. H. Elliott, Christian Feest, Roland Greene, John M. Headley, Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Henry Lowood, Sabine MacCormack, David Quint, and Richard C. Simmons.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An important and very well-edited book, one that can be read with profit by both student and specialist.

16th Century Journal

America in European Consciousness offers the very best of European and American scholarship on a subject of lasting importance.

Anthony Pagden

This book will change our own consciousness of the American and European past.

Natalie Zemon Davis

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Karen Ordahl Kupperman is professor of history at the University of Connecticut. Her books include Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony and Captain John Smith: A Select Edition of His Writings.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Changing Definition of America 1
Pt. I America and the Historical Imagination
America and the Rewriting of World History 33
The New World and British Historical Thought: From Richard Hakluyt to William Robertson 52
Pt. II America Reflected in Europe
Limits of Understanding: Perceptions of Greco-Roman and Amerindian Paganism in Early Modern Europe 79
Petrarchism among the Discourses of Imperialism 130
A Reconsideration of Montaigne's Des cannibales 166
Pt. III America and European Aspirations
The Holy See and the Conversion of the Indians in French and British North America, 1486-1760 195
Campanella, America, and World Evangelization 243
The Beehive as a Model for Colonial Design 272
Pt. IV America and the Scholarly Impulse
The New World and the European Catalog of Nature 295
The Collecting of American Indian Artifacts in Europe, 1493-1750 324
Americana in British Books, 1621-1760 361
Pt. V Conclusion
Final Reflections: The Old World and the New Revisited 391
Conference Program 409
Contributors 411
Index 413
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