Early North American history is a field in flux. In the last thirty years, the field of Atlantic History has transformed scholarly studies of colonial America, bringing to light the many connections linking the Americas to Africa and Europe. Recently, though, historians have begun to question the utility of the Atlantic framework. Some suggest that it overlooks global phenomena, while others argue for a hemispheric or continental perspective on North America’s early history.
Early North America in Global Perspective collects the most interesting and innovative scholarly approaches to these questions. Anchored by a robust introduction that guides the reader through the various conceptual arguments, the fourteen essays gathered here introduce students to some of the finest historians of early America working in expansive and stimulating ways. These essays capture the complexity of North America’s past and are in tune with the global influences that shape its present.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: Contexts 1. American History Begins: Indian Peoples before the Advent of Europeans R. David Edmunds, Frederick E. Hoxie, and Neal Salisbury 2. How Africans Became Integral to New World History David Brion Davis 3. The Ecological Atlantic J.R. McNeill Part II: Connections 4. Beyond the Atlantic: English Globetrotters and Transoceanic Connections Alison Games 5. The Iberian Atlantic and Virginia J.H. Elliott 6. A Diplomacy of Gender: Rituals of First Contact in the “Land of the Tejas” Juliana Barr 7. Iconoclasm Without Icons? The Destruction of Sacred Objects in Colonial North America Susan Juster Part III: Transformations 8. The Alluring Pacific Ocean Paul W. Mapp 9. Maritime Masters and Seafaring Slaves in Bermuda, 1680-1783 Michael J. Jarvis 10. Indian Intermarriage and Métissage in Colonial Louisana Kathleen DuVal 11. The Politics of Grass: European Expansion, Ecological Change, and Indigenous Power in the Southwest Borderlands Pekka Hämäläinen Part IV: Tumult 12. The First Atlantic Crisis: The American Revolution David Armitage 13. Revolutionary Exiles: The American Loyalist and French Emigré Diasporas Maya Jasanoff 14. The Contagion of Rebellion Ashli White Permission Acknowledgements Index
Philip D. Morgan is Harry C. Black Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World, and has written and edited numerous other books.
Molly A. Warsh is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh.
This masterful collection strikes the perfect balance between synthesis and innovation. Early North America emerges here as a composite of global maritime currents, intersecting imperial projects, ecological transformations, inventive cultural practice, and startling violence, in rich essays that offer wide-ranging introductions and identify new challenges for the field.
—Lauren Benton, author of A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900
An all-star roster of scholars; a stellar collection of essays; an editorial hand that deftly sketches contexts, suggests connections, and poses probing questions: these ingredients make Early North America in Global Perspective an important--indeed, vital--contribution to the ongoing conversations about Early America, the Atlantic World, and the peoples, places, and oceans beyond.
—James H. Merrell, co-editor of American Encounters: Natives and Newcomers from European Contact to Indian Removal, 1500-1850
Globalization has a history and North America has a part in that history. That part was especially pronounced in the early modern period as this stimulating collection of essays on early North American history and world history attests. Accompanied by a robust and helpful introduction, this collection is a first-rate guide to a topic of enormous historical and contemporary importance.
—Trevor Burnard, co-editor of The Routledge History of Slavery
This volume provides potential students of the Atlantic World with a sampling of the delights they may encounter there. Essays by revered authors such as David Brion Davis and J.H. Elliott are juxtaposed with innovative chapters by such younger scholars as Michael Jarvis and Ashli White, and they range from investigations into migration and hybridization to ecology and revolution.
—Nicholas Canny, editor of The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century
Across the geographic reach and temporal breadth of this volume, we see how the perspectives of the new global history have reshaped our understanding of "colonial America." In its pages, Africans, Indians, and Europeans who cross borders to trade, work, marry, sail, explore, or destroy take their places as historical actors whose experiences illuminate the transformation of the early modern world.
—S. Max Edelson, author of Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina