Nature And Culture In The Early Modern Atlantic

Author : Peter C. Mancall
ISBN : 9780812249668
Genre : History
File Size : 25.52 MB
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Nature and Culture in the Early Modern Atlantic reveals how Europeans and Native Americans devised ways to understand the environment. Drawing on paintings, oral history, early printed books, and other cultural artifacts, Peter C. Mancall argues that human understanding of nature played a central role in the emergence of the modern world.
Category: History

Collecting Across Cultures

Author : Daniela Bleichmar
ISBN : 9780812204964
Genre : History
File Size : 50.16 MB
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In the early modern age more people traveled farther than at any earlier time in human history. Many returned home with stories of distant lands and at least some of the objects they collected during their journeys. And those who did not travel eagerly acquired wondrous materials that arrived from faraway places. Objects traveled various routes—personal, imperial, missionary, or trade—and moved not only across space but also across cultures. Histories of the early modern global culture of collecting have focused for the most part on European Wunderkammern, or "cabinets of curiosities." But the passion for acquiring unfamiliar items rippled across many lands. The court in Java marveled at, collected, and displayed myriad goods brought through its halls. African princes traded captured members of other African groups so they could get the newest kinds of cloth produced in Europe. Native Americans sought colored glass beads made in Europe, often trading them to other indigenous groups. Items changed hands and crossed cultural boundaries frequently, often gaining new and valuable meanings in the process. An object that might have seemed mundane in some cultures could become a target of veneration in another. The fourteen essays in Collecting Across Cultures represent work by an international group of historians, art historians, and historians of science. Each author explores a specific aspect of the cross-cultural history of collecting and display from the dawn of the sixteenth century to the early decades of the nineteenth century. As the essays attest, an examination of early modern collecting in cross-cultural contexts sheds light on the creative and complicated ways in which objects in collections served to create knowledge—some factual, some fictional—about distant peoples in an increasingly transnational world.
Category: History

American Curiosity

Author : Susan Scott Parrish
ISBN : 9780807838891
Genre : History
File Size : 30.71 MB
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Colonial America presented a new world of natural curiosities for settlers as well as the London-based scientific community. In American Curiosity, Susan Scott Parrish examines how various peoples in the British colonies understood and represented the natural world around them from the late sixteenth century through the eighteenth. Parrish shows how scientific knowledge about America, rather than flowing strictly from metropole to colony, emerged from a horizontal exchange of information across the Atlantic. Delving into an understudied archive of letters, Parrish uncovers early descriptions of American natural phenomena as well as clues to how people in the colonies construed their own identities through the natural world. Although hierarchies of gender, class, institutional learning, place of birth or residence, and race persisted within the natural history community, the contributions of any participant were considered valuable as long as they supplied novel data or specimens from the American side of the Atlantic. Thus Anglo-American nonelites, women, Indians, and enslaved Africans all played crucial roles in gathering and relaying new information to Europe. Recognizing a significant tradition of nature writing and representation in North America well before the Transcendentalists, American Curiosity also enlarges our notions of the scientific Enlightenment by looking beyond European centers to find a socially inclusive American base to a true transatlantic expansion of knowledge.
Category: History

Literature And Moral Economy In The Early Modern Atlantic

Author : Hillary Eklund
ISBN : 9781317104438
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 88.57 MB
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Grounded in the literary history of early modern England, this study explores the intersection of cultural attitudes and material practices that shape the acquisition, circulation, and consumption of resources at the turn of the seventeenth century. Considering a formally diverse and ideologically rich array of texts from the period - including drama, poetry, and prose, as well as travel narrative and early modern political and literary theory - this book shows how ideas about what is considered 'enough' adapt to changing material conditions and how cultural forces shape those adaptations. Literature and Moral Economy in the Early Modern Atlantic traces how early modern English authors improvised new models of sufficiency that pushed back the threshold of excess to the frontier of the known world itself. The book argues that standards of economic sufficiency as expressed through literature moved from subsistence toward the increasing pursuit of plenty through plunder, trade, and plantation. Author Hillary Eklund describes what it means to have enough in the moral economies of eating, travel, trade, land use and public policy.
Category: Literary Criticism

Bridging The Early Modern Atlantic World

Author : Dr Caroline A Williams
ISBN : 9781409480372
Genre : History
File Size : 40.78 MB
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Bridging the Early Modern Atlantic World brings together ten original essays by an international group of scholars exploring the complex outcomes of the intermingling of people, circulation of goods, exchange of information, and exposure to new ideas that are the hallmark of the early modern Atlantic. Spanning the period from the earliest French crossings to Newfoundland at the beginning of the sixteenth century to the end of the wars of independence in Spanish South America, c. 1830, and encompassing a range of disciplinary approaches, the contributors direct particular attention to regions, communities, and groups whose activities in, and responses to, an ever-more closely bound Atlantic world remain relatively under-represented in the literature. Some of the chapters focus on the experience of Europeans, including French consumers of Newfoundland cod, English merchants forming families in Spanish Seville, and Jewish refugees from Dutch Brazil making the Caribbean island of Nevis their home. Others focus on the ways in which the populations with whom Europeans came into contact, enslaved, or among whom they settled - the Tupi peoples of Brazil, the Kriston women of the west African port of Cacheu, among others - adapted to and were changed by their interactions with previously unknown peoples, goods, institutions, and ideas. Together with the substantial Introduction by the editor which reviews the significance of the field as a whole, these essays capture the complexity and variety of experience of the countless men and women who came into contact during the period, whilst highlighting and illustrating the porous and fluid nature, in practice, of the early modern Atlantic world.
Category: History

Nature Human Nature And Human Difference

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 9781400866311
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 34.67 MB
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People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature's universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of François Bernier to G. W. Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy's part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. With a broad narrative stretching over two centuries, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference takes a critical historical look at how the racial categories that we divide ourselves into came into being.
Category: Philosophy

Slaves And Englishmen

Author : Michael Guasco
ISBN : 9780812209884
Genre : History
File Size : 78.9 MB
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Technically speaking, slavery was not legal in the English-speaking world before the mid-seventeenth century. But long before race-based slavery was entrenched in law and practice, English men and women were well aware of the various forms of human bondage practiced in other nations and, in less systematic ways, their own country. They understood the legal and philosophic rationale of slavery in different cultural contexts and, for good reason, worried about the possibility of their own enslavement by foreign Catholic or Muslim powers. While opinions about the benefits and ethics of the institution varied widely, the language, imagery, and knowledge of slavery were a great deal more widespread in early modern England than we tend to assume. In wide-ranging detail, Slaves and Englishmen demonstrates how slavery shaped the ways the English interacted with people and places throughout the Atlantic world. By examining the myriad forms and meanings of human bondage in an international context, Michael Guasco illustrates the significance of slavery in the early modern world before the rise of the plantation system or the emergence of modern racism. As this revealing history shows, the implications of slavery were closely connected to the question of what it meant to be English in the Atlantic world.
Category: History

Merely For Money

Author : Sheryllynne Haggerty
ISBN : 9781781388914
Genre : History
File Size : 68.54 MB
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In 1780 Richard Sheridan noted that merchants worked 'merely for money'. However, rather than being a criticism, this was recognition of the important commercial role that merchants played in the British empire at this time. Of course, merchants desired and often made profits, but they were strictly bound by commonly-understood socio-cultural norms which formed a private-order institution of a robust business culture. In order to elucidate this business culture, this book examines the themes of risk, trust, reputation, obligation, networks and crises to demonstrate how contemporary merchants perceived and dealt with one another and managed their businesses. Merchants were able to take risks and build trust, but concerns about reputation and fulfilling obligations constrained economic opportunism. By relating these themes to an array of primary sources from ports around the British-Atlantic world, this book provides a more nuanced understanding of business culture during this period. A theme which runs throughout the book is the mercantile community as a whole and its relationship with the state. This was an important element in the British business culture of this period, although this relationship came under stress towards the end of period, forming a crisis in itself. This book argues that the business culture of the British-Atlantic mercantile community not only facilitated the conduct of day-to-day business, but also helped it to cope with short-term crises and long-term changes. This facilitated the success of the British-Atlantic economy even within the context of changing geo-politics and an under-institutionalised environment. Not working 'merely for money' was a successful business model.
Category: History

Competing Visions Of Empire

Author : Abigail L. Swingen
ISBN : 9780300189445
Genre : History
File Size : 47.98 MB
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Abigail L. Swingen’s insightful study provides a new framework for understanding the origins of the British Empire while exploring how England’s original imperial designs influenced contemporary English politics and debates about labor, economy, and overseas trade. Focusing on the ideological connections between the growth of unfree labor in the English colonies, particularly the use of enslaved Africans, and the development of British imperialism during the early modern period, the author examines the overlapping, often competing agendas of planters, merchants, privateers, colonial officials, and imperial authorities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Category: History

A Companion To Colonial America

Author : Daniel Vickers
ISBN : 9780470998489
Genre : History
File Size : 52.2 MB
Format : PDF
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A Companion to Colonial America consists of twenty-three original essays by expert historians on the key issues and topics in American colonial history. Each essay surveys the scholarship and prevailing interpretations in these key areas, discussing the differing arguments and assessing their merits. Coverage includes politics, religion, migration, gender, ecology, and many others.
Category: History