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Britain's Oceanic Empire
Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds, c.1550–1850

$37.99 (C)

H. V. Bowen, Elizabeth Mancke, John G. Reid, Stephen J. Hornsby, Ken MacMillan, Robert Travers, Philip J. Stern, Jerry Bannister, Wayne E. Lee, Eric Hinderaker, Michael H. Fisher, Douglas M. Peers, Lakshmi Subramanian, Rajat Datta, Paul Grant-Costa, Trevor Burnard
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  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107515529

$ 37.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This pioneering comparative study of British imperialism in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds draws on the perspectives of British newcomers overseas and their native hosts, of metropolitan officials and corporate enterprises, migrants and settlers. Leading scholars examine the divergences and commonalities in the legal and economic regimes that allowed Britain to project imperium across the globe. They explore the nature of sovereignty and law, governance and regulation, diplomacy, military relations and commerce, shedding new light on the processes of expansion that influenced the making of empire. While acknowledging the distinctions and divergences in imperial endeavours in Asia and the Americas – not least in terms of the size of indigenous populations, technical and cultural differences, and approaches to indigenous polities – this book argues that these differences must be seen in the context of what Britons overseas shared, including constitutional principles, claims of sovereignty, disciplinary regimes and military attitudes.

    • Provides a conceptual framework in which to examine the early modern Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds together
    • Introduces diverse approaches to the projection of British imperial power, considering legal, governmental, economic, social, diplomatic and military factors simultaneously
    • Sets empire in the context of indigenous societies, to shed light on both differences and commonalities of British-indigenous interactions in different global contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… a very timely set of parallel essays gathered into thematic clusters."
    Allan Dwyer, International Journal of Maritime History

    "Britain’s Oceanic Empire is an informative and engaging book … A variety of contributors to Britain’s Oceanic Empire address early modern British colonialism in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans insightfully."
    Matthew A. Cook, Journal of British Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107515529
    • length: 486 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 153 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 10 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Britain's oceanic empire H. V. Bowen, Elizabeth Mancke and John G. Reid
    Part I. The Oceans:
    2. Geographies of the British Atlantic world Stephen J. Hornsby
    3. Britain in the Indian Ocean region and beyond: contours, connections, and the creation of a global maritime empire H. V. Bowen
    Part II. Sovereignty, Law, and Governance:
    4. Imperial constitutions: sovereignty and law in the British Atlantic Ken MacMillan
    5. Constitutions, contact zones, and imperial ricochets: sovereignty and law in British Asia Robert Travers
    6. Company, state, and empire: governance and regulatory frameworks in Asia Philip J. Stern
    7. The oriental Atlantic: governance and regulatory frameworks in the British Atlantic world Jerry Bannister
    Part III. Diplomatic and Military Relations:
    8. Subjects, clients, allies or mercenaries? The British use of Irish and Amerindian military power, 1500–1800 Wayne E. Lee
    9. Diplomacy between Britons and Native Americans, c.1600–1830 Eric Hinderaker
    10. Diplomacy in India, 1526–1858 Michael H. Fisher
    11. Army discipline, military cultures, and state formation in colonial India, 1780–1860 Douglas M. Peers
    Part IV. Commercial and Social Relations:
    12. Seths and sahibs: negotiated relationships between indigenous capital and the East India Company Lakshmi Subramanian
    13. The commercial economy of eastern India under early British rule Rajat Datta
    14. Anglo-Amerindian commercial relations Paul Grant-Costa and Elizabeth Mancke
    15. Placing British settlement in the Americas in comparative perspective Trevor Burnard
    16. Britain's oceanic empire: an afterword H. V. Bowen, Elizabeth Mancke and John G. Reid.

  • Editors

    H. V. Bowen, Swansea University
    H. V. Bowen is Professor of Modern History at Swansea University. His books include The Business of Empire: The East India Company and Imperial Britain, 1760–1833 (2006) and Wales and the British Overseas Empire: Interactions and Influences, 1680–1830 (as editor, 2011).

    Elizabeth Mancke, University of Akron, Ohio
    Elizabeth Mancke is the Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies at the University of New Brunswick. Her books include The Fault Lines of Empire: Political Differentiation in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, c.1760–1830 (2004) and The Creation of the British Atlantic World (as co-editor, 2005).

    John G. Reid, Saint Mary's University, Nova Scotia
    John G. Reid is a member of the Department of History at Saint Mary's University and Senior Research Fellow at the Gorsebrook Research Institute. His books include New England and the Maritime Provinces: Connections and Comparisons (as co-editor, 2005) and Essays on Northeastern America, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (2008).


    H. V. Bowen, Elizabeth Mancke, John G. Reid, Stephen J. Hornsby, Ken MacMillan, Robert Travers, Philip J. Stern, Jerry Bannister, Wayne E. Lee, Eric Hinderaker, Michael H. Fisher, Douglas M. Peers, Lakshmi Subramanian, Rajat Datta, Paul Grant-Costa, Trevor Burnard

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