The Atlantic World: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Atlantic World

1st Edition

Edited by D'Maris Coffman, Adrian Leonard, William O'Reilly


726 pages

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Hardback: 9780415467049
pub: 2014-12-22
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As the meeting point between Europe, colonial America, and Africa, the history of the Atlantic world is a constantly shifting arena, but one which has been a focus of huge and vibrant debate for many years. In over thirty chapters, all written by experts in the field, The Atlantic World takes up these debates and gathers together key, original scholarship to provide an authoritative survey of this increasingly popular area of world history.

The book takes a thematic approach to topics including exploration, migration and cultural encounters. In the first chapters, scholars examine the interactions between groups which converged in the Atlantic world, such as slaves, European migrants and Native Americans. The volume then considers questions such as finance, money and commerce in the Atlantic world, as well as warfare, government and religion. The collection closes with chapters examining how ideas circulated across and around the Atlantic and beyond. It presents the Atlantic as a shared space in which commodities and ideas were exchanged and traded, and examines the impact that these exchanges had on both people and places.

Including an introductory essay from the editors which defines the field, and lavishly illustrated with paintings, drawings and maps this accessible volume is invaluable reading for all students and scholars of this broad sweep of world history.


"One of the most comprehensive set of essays on the Atlantic World the field has seen to date, this volume assembles an impressive lineup of international and interdisciplinary scholars to shed genuinely new light on old topics and to encourage an enlarged sense of the Atlantic World’s reach. With innovative chapters on animals and the ecology, the Pacific, southern Africa, political economy, finance, and religion (in addition to many more rich topics) this volume showcases the next generation of Atlantic World research and gets us closer to the "Atlantic and the World" inclusivity some scholars have called for."

Linford D. Fisher, Brown University, USA

"The virtue of this volume is the ambitiousness of its approach and the diversity of its chapters, both geographically and thematically. A worthy edition to any Atlanticist’s already groaning bookshelf!"

David Ceri Jones, Aberystwyth University, UK

"Editors Coffman, Leonard, and O’Reilly provide an extensive, captivating, and valuable overview of the Atlantic World. The large areas of coverage and thematic organization allow the book to be employed in a variety of undergraduate courses as a required text capable of generating discussion and research questions. Summing Up: Recommended."

J. Rankin, East Tennessee State University in CHOICE

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Notes on Contributors


1. The Atlantic World: Definition, Theory, and Boundaries: D’Maris Coffman, Adrian Leonard and William O'Reilly, University of Cambridge

Part 1: Atlantic Explorations

2. Animals in Atlantic North America: Karim Tiro, Xavier University and James Carson, Queen’s University Canada

3. Science and ideology in the Spanish Atlantic: Sandra Rebok, The Huntington Library / Spanish National Research Council, Madrid

4. Fish and Fisheries in the Atlantic World: David Starkey, University of Hull

Part 2: The Movement of Peoples

5. Facing East from the South: Indigenous Americans in the Mostly Iberian Atlantic World: Laura E. Matthew, Marquette University

6. Southern Africa and the Atlantic World: Gerald Groenewald, University of Johannesburg

7. Emigration from the Habsburg Monarchy and Salzburg to the New World, 1700-1848: William O’Reilly, University of Cambridge

8. Seafaring communities, 1800-1850: Brian Rouleau, Texas A&M University

Part 3: Cultural Encounters

9. Colour Prejudice in the French Atlantic World: Mélanie Lamotte, University of Cambridge

10. Atlantic Slaveries: Britons, Barbary and the Atlantic World: Cate Styer

11. Morocco and Atlantic History: James A. O. C. Brown, University of Cambridge

12. The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds: Paul D’Arcy, Australian National University

13. An enslaved Enlightenment: rethinking the intellectual history of the French Atlantic: Laurent Dubois, Michigan State University

Part 4: Warfare and Governance

14. Violence in the Atlantic World: John Smolenski, University of California at Davis

15. War and Warfare in the Atlantic World: Geoffrey Plank, University of East Anglia

16. Political Thinking, Military Power and arms bearing in the British Atlantic World, c. 1640-c. 1868’: Charles Drummond, University of Cambridge

17. Atlantic Peripheries: Diplomacy, War and Spanish-French Interactions in Hispaniola, 1660s-1690s: Juan Ponce-Vazquez, St Lawrence University

Part 5: Religion

18. Catholicism: Eoin Devlin, University of Cambridge

19. Protestantism in the Atlantic World: Travis Glasson, Temple University

20. The Freest Country: Jews of the British Atlantic, ca. 1600-1800: Natalie A. Zacek, University of Manchester

21. Islam and the Atlantic: Denise A. Spellberg, University of Texas, Austin

22. American Identity and English Catholicism in the Atlantic World: Maura Jane Farrelly, Brandeis University

23. Navigating the Jewish Atlantic: Holly Snyder, Brown University

Part 6: Credit, Finance and Money

24. British Joint-Stock Companies and Atlantic Trading: Matthew David Mitchell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

25. Speculating on the Atlantic World: Helen Paul, Southampton University

26. Paper Money: Dror Goldberg, Bar Ilan University

27. The Credit Crisis of 1772/3 in the Atlantic World: Paul Kosmetatos, University of Cambridge

Part 7: Commerce, Consumption and Mercantile Networks

28. Reassessing the Atlantic contribution to British marine insurance: A. B. Leonard, University of Cambridge

29. The Economic World of the early Dutch and English Atlantic: Edmond Smith, University of Cambridge

30. The Cultural History of Commerce in the Atlantic World: Jonathan Eacott, University of California at Riverside

31. "To Catch the Public Taste": Interpreting American Consumers in the Era of Atlantic Free Trade, 1783-1854: Joanna Cohen, Queen Mary University of London

Part 8: The Circulation of Ideas

32. "Excited almost to madness:" Slave Rebellions and Resistance in the Atlantic World: Jeffrey A. Fortin, Emmanuel College

33. Economic Thought and State Practice in the Atlantic World: D’Maris Coffman, University of Cambridge

34. The Classical Atlantic World: N. P. Cole, Oxford University

35. The Atlantic Enlightenment: William Max Nelson, University of Toronto

About the Editors

D'Maris Coffman is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow and Director of the Centre for Financial History at Newnham College, University of Cambridge, Adrian Leonard is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Financial History at Newnham College, University of Cambridge and William O'Reilly is lecturer in early modern History at the University of Cambridge.

About the Series

Routledge Worlds

The Routledge Worlds are magisterial surveys of key historical epochs, edited and written by world-renowned experts. Giving unprecedented breadth and depth of coverage, they are the works against which all future books on their subjects will be judged and are essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval
HISTORY / Renaissance
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century