Humanism and America: An Intellectual History of English Colonisation, 1500-1625

Overview

Andrew Fitzmaurice reveals that English expansion was profoundly neo-classical in its inspiration, and that humanist traditions were extremely influential in the early development of the American colonies. Until now, accounts of early American colonization, and of European colonization in general, have placed great emphasis upon the links between colonization and the aggressive agendas of modern times claimed by historians and literary scholars.

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Overview

Andrew Fitzmaurice reveals that English expansion was profoundly neo-classical in its inspiration, and that humanist traditions were extremely influential in the early development of the American colonies. Until now, accounts of early American colonization, and of European colonization in general, have placed great emphasis upon the links between colonization and the aggressive agendas of modern times claimed by historians and literary scholars.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This short book is packed with ideas.... Highly recommended." Choice

"A pioneering study of Renaissance Humanism's effect upon the English colonies of the New World." Renaissance Quarterly

"This is an enlightening book, and it is both compliment and criticism to say that I would it had been longer." Robert M. Bliss, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Journal of American History History

"This volume is a must for the understanding of the impact of humanist values on the development of English colonization in the New World." Renaissance Quarterly

"...a very good account of the ideology behind a large unsucessful series of colonial ventures not yet part of the inexorable sweep to the British Empire." Journal of Modern History Lesley B. Cormack, University of Alberta

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521036184
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2007
  • Series: Ideas in Context Series, #67
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Fitzmaurice was formerly a Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and is currently a Lecturer in History at Sydney University. This is his first book.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The moral philosophy of Tudor colonisation 20
Tudor moral philosophy: the vita activa and corruption 21
Alexander Barclay's scepticism 25
John Rastell's apology 28
Richard Eden's projections 32
Thomas Smith and Ireland 35
Humphrey Gilbert's projects 39
The moral philosophy of Gilbert's projects 47
Walter Ralegh's projects 50
The moral philosophy of Ralegh's projects 53
3 The moral philosophy of Jacobean colonisation 58
The Virginia Company 58
The participants 62
The vita activa and corruption 67
Moral philosophy after tobacco 87
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia 92
New England 97
4 Rhetoric - ánot the Words, but the Acts' 102
The foundation of commonwealths 102
Linguistic possession 111
Plain style and 'Asiatic' corruption 119
5 Law and history 137
Religious justifications 138
Natural law: res nullius, trade and friendship 140
Conquest and just war 146
Legal humanism 148
Nostalgia for native virtues 157
The denial of dispossession 164
6 The Machiavellian argument for colonial possession 167
William Shakespeare, The Tempest 171
John Smith 177
7 Conclusion 187
Bibliography 195
Index 208
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