The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century

Overview

Leading historians show how and why England, and later Britain, became involved with transoceanic navigation, trade, and settlement during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Origins of Empire illustrates the interconnections between developments in Europe and overseas, the ethical issues raised by encounters with peoples previously unknown to Europeans, and the ways in which colonists struggled to justify their conduct and activities.
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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire

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Overview

Leading historians show how and why England, and later Britain, became involved with transoceanic navigation, trade, and settlement during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Origins of Empire illustrates the interconnections between developments in Europe and overseas, the ethical issues raised by encounters with peoples previously unknown to Europeans, and the ways in which colonists struggled to justify their conduct and activities.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An extremely useful volume, and it will be the principal reference work for many years to come."--Journal of American History

Library Journal
The first two volumes of this five-volume history of the British Empire establish a very high standard of scholarship. Over three dozen scholars examine both major and minor aspects of the modern imperial experience. The chronological focus develops from the 16th century, when Ireland was the starting point of the empire, to the end of the 18th, when the 13 American Colonies were lost. The essays form an interlocking analysis of the origins of empire from an intellectual, military, economic, and technological perspective. There is some overlap; for example, several essays discuss the role of naval power, but each author approaches the topic with a different focus, such as technology in N.A.M. Rogers's essay and politics in John Appleby's. The various chapters, therefore, reinforce the overall picture instead of being redundant. Separate chapters in the first volume analyze the origins and implementation of the British imperial expansion, or contraction, in each region and then continue in the second volume, as do discussions of new subjects, such as the colonization of Australia. The interrelationship between the mother country and the Colonies also receives continued emphasis. Jonathan Israel's chapter, in Volume 1, on the continental perspective of British empire building helps place events in an even broader context. There is a short bibliography after each chapter. Three following volumes will see the empire through to its 20th-century decline. Recommended for all libraries.--Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nicholas Canny is Professor of History and Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors; List of Maps; List of Figures; List of Tables; Abbreviations
1. The Origins of Empire: An Introduction, Nicholas Canny
2. The Struggle for Legitimacy and the Image of Empire in the Atlantic to c.1700, Anthony Pagden
3. War, Politics, and Colonization 1558-1625, John Appleby
4. Guns and Sails in the First Phase of English Colonization 1500-1650, N. A. M. Rodger
5. 'Civilizing of those Rude Partes': Colonization within Britain and Ireland 1580s-1640s, Jane Ohlmeyer
6. England's New Word and the Old 1480s-1630s, Nicholas Canny
7. Tobacco Colonies: The Shaping of English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake, James Horn
8. New England in the Seventeenth Century, Virginia DeJohn Anderson
9. The Hub of Empire: The Caribbean and Britain in the Seventeenth Century, Hilary McD. Beckles
10. The English in Western Africa to 1700, P. E. H. Hair
11. The English in Asia to 1700, P. J. Marshall
12. Literature and Empire, David Armitage
13. The English Government, War, Trade, and Settlement 1625-1688, Michael Braddick
14. New Opportunities for British Settlement: Ireland 1650-1700, T. C. Barnard
15. Native Americans and Europeans in English America 1500-1700, Peter C. Mancall
16. The Middle Colonies: New Opportunities for Settlement 1660-1700, Ned Landsman
17. 'Shaftesbury's Darling': British Settlement in the Carolinas at the Close of the Seventeenth Century, Robert Weir
18. Overseas Expansion and Trade in the Seventeenth Century, Nuala Zahedieh
19. The Emerging Emprire: The Continental Perspective 1650-1715, Jonathan I. Israel
20. The Glorious Revolution and America, Richard S. Dunn
21. Navy, State, Trade, and Empire, G. E. Aylmer
Chronology; Index

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