The British and French in the Atlantic 1650-1800: Comparisons and Contrasts, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The British and French in the Atlantic 1650-1800

Comparisons and Contrasts, 1st Edition

By Gwenda Morgan, Peter Rushton


150 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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The British and French in the Atlantic 1650-1800 provides a comprehensive history of this complex period and explores the contrasting worlds of the British and the French Empires as they strove to develop new societies in the Americas.

Charting the volatile relationship between the British and French, this book examines the approaches that both empires took as they attempted to realise their ambitions of exploration, conquest and settlement, and highlights the similarities as well as the differences between them. Both empires faced slave revolts, internal rebellion and revolution as well as frequent wars against one another, which came to dominate the Atlantic world, and which culminated in the eventual failure of both empires in North America: the French following the Seven Years War in 1763 and the British twenty years later in the war against American Independence.

Delving into key themes, such as exploration and settlement, the creation of societies, inequality and exploitation, conflict and violence, trade and slavery, and featuring a range of documents to enable a deeper insight into the relationship between the colonising Europeans and Native Americans, The British and French in the Atlantic 1650-1800 is ideal for students of the Atlantic World, early modern Britain and France, and colonial America.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1.National, Colonial, and Atlantic Histories

1.2 Patterns of Contrast

1.3 Sources and Narratives


Chapter 2. Exploration and Settlement

2.1 Exploration

2.2 Maps and Cultural Misunderstandings

2.3 Documented Examples

Chapter 3. New Societies

3.1 Migration

3.1a Varieties of Migrants

3.1b Numbers

3.2 Native Encounters

3.3 New Societies, New Economies

3.3a Slave Societies

3.3c Servants and Convicts

3.4 Conclusion : New World, New Societies

4. Wars across the Atlantic

4.1 The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667)

4.2 King William's War (1688-97) or The Nine Years' War

4.3 Queen Anne's War / The War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713)

4.4. War of Jenkins' Ear/War of the Austrian Succession (King George's War) (1739-48)

4.5 The Seven Years' War / French and Indian War (1754-1763)

5. Resistance, Rebellions and Revolutions

5. 1 Resistance

5.2 Runaways: Servants and Slaves ‘stealing themselves’

5.3 Rebellions

5.4 Slave Conspiracies, real or imagined ?

5.5 White Rebellions/Rebellious Whites

5.6 Revolutions

6. Conclusion


7. Documents

8. Further Reading and References

About the Authors

Peter Rushton is Professor of Historical Sociology at the University of Sunderland. He has published widely on aspects of the personal and social relations of early modern England, from witchcraft, welfare, to problems of marriage and family life.

Gwenda Morgan, formerly Reader in American History and American Studies at the University of Sunderland, is now Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Durham. She has published on law and society in colonial America and the young republic, a monograph on Richmond County, Virginia, and The Debate on the American Revolution (2007)

Together, they have published Eighteenth-Century Criminal Transportation: the Formation of the Criminal Atlantic (2003) and Banishment in the Early Atlantic World: Convicts, Rebels and Slaves (2013)

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / France
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Latin America / General
HISTORY / North America
HISTORY / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Europe / Spain & Portugal