The aim of this first volume in the series "The Expansion of Latin Europe" is to sketch the outlines of medieval expansion, illustrating some of the major topics that historians have examined in the course of demonstrating the links between medieval and modern experiences. The articles reprinted here show that European expansion began not in 1492 following Columbus's voyages but earlier as European Christian society re-arose from the ruins of the Carolingian Empire. The two phases of expansion were linked but the second period did not simply replicate the medieval experience. Medieval expansion occurred as farmers, merchants, and missionaries reduced forests to farmland and pasture, created new towns, and converted the peoples encountered along the frontiers to Christianity. Later colonizers subsequently adapted the medieval experience to suit their new frontiers in the New World.
Contents: Introduction; Part 1 Expansion: The expansion of Europe I, William R. Shepherd; The American frontier - frontier of what?, Carlton J.H. Hayes; European colonial experience: a plea for comparative studies, Merril Jensen and Robert L. Reynolds; The significance of the frontier in the Middle Ages, Robert I. Burns; Medieval real estate developments and freedom, Bryce Lyon; Colonization activities in the Latin kingdom, Joshua Prawer; Missionary problems in the 13th century: a study in missionary preparation, Mathias Braun; Outsiders by birth and blood: racist ideologies around the periphery of medieval European culture, Richard C. Hoffmann. Part 2 Contraction and Redirection in the Late Middle Ages: The closing of the medieval frontier, 1250-1350, Archibald R. Lewis; The transfer of colonial techniques from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, Charles Verlinden; The medieval; background of European and American oceanic history, Archibald R. Lewis; The Middle Ages in the conquest of America, Luis Weckmann; The Iberian background of Latin American history: recent progress and continuing problems, Charles Julian Bishko; The legacy of the Middle Ages in the American Wild West, Lynn White Jr. Part 3 Columbus: The pre-Columbian discovery of America, Jaime CortesÃ£o; Christopher Columbus and his enterprise to the Indies: scholarship of the last quarter century, Delno West; European expansion before Columbus: causes and consequences, Seymour Phillips; The inter-Atlantic paradigm: the failure of Spanish medieval colonization of the Canary and Caribbean islands, Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo; Index.
The 'rise of the west' is the most familiar and most elusive topic in global history. Everyone agrees it happened. No one can say how, when, where or why, without provoking dissent. Yet the world we inhabit is, by universal acknowledgement, the outcome.
In recent years, controversy has focussed on the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - the 'early modern period', when Western expansion became a conspicuous phenomenon in a world of colliding empires and unprecedented long-range cultural exchange. But, like most such apparently new departures in history, Western European activity in the 'expanding world' of early modernity is best understood against a background of long, sometimes faltering preparation in the Middle Ages.
Therefore, following the success of the series An Expanding World, a series of key papers on the period, published by Routledge and edited by A.J.R. Russell-Wood, Ashgate has commissioned an attempt to collect cutting-edge research on the medieval background and events of European expansion. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and James Muldoon have gathered classic and key contributions from learned journals and other arcane publications to give readers a conspectus of knowledge, analysis and reflection on the history of the frontiers, mental horizons, internal expansion and means of growth of Latin Christendom from the eleventh to the early sixteenth centuries.