Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Advancing Empire

Advancing Empire
English Interests and Overseas Expansion, 1613–1688


  • Author: L. H. Roper, State University of New York, New Paltz
  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107545052

£ 27.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In Advancing Empire, L. H. Roper explores the origins and early development of English overseas expansion. Roper focuses on the networks of aristocrats, merchants, and colonial-imperialists who worked to control the transport and production of exotic commodities, such as tobacco and sugar, as well as the labor required to produce them. He is primarily interested in the relationship between the English state and the people it governed, the role of that state in imperial development, the socio-political character of English colonies and English relations with Asians, Africans, American Indians, and other Europeans overseas. The activities stimulated the expansion and integration of global territorial and commercial interests that became the British Empire in the eighteenth century. In exploring these activities from a wider perspective, Roper offers a novel conclusion that revises popular analyses of the English Empire and of Anglo-America.

    • Considers the history of seventeenth-century 'Colonial British America' in context
    • Shows how the character of metropolitan politics and political culture colored overseas activities, especially colonial development
    • Demonstrates the development of early English imperial thinking and how political and economic activities were intertwined
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this bold, bracing, and invigoratingly comprehensive reinterpretation of the foundations of the seventeenth-century English Empire in Asia and the Americas, L. H. Roper illustrates the important role of private interests and fundamentally reshapes the understanding of the formation of imperial power in the founding period by looking at the English Empire in the round.' Trevor Burnard, University of Melbourne

    'In this innovative reconsideration of England's rise to empire, Roper studies the seventeenth century and emphasizes private enterprise and individual initiative rather than a pre-eminently powerful state apparatus. Balancing current intellectual trends, he reads history forward instead of anachronistically reinterpreting it backwards.' Daniel Littlefield, University of South Carolina

    'This impressive book examines the seventeenth-century origins of England's global empire, locating its roots not in state initiatives but in a myriad of chartered corporations and individuals who traded and colonized from America to Asia. Roper provides one of the best portraits of the modest beginnings of what would later become the world's premier empire.' Owen Stanwood, Boston College

    'In this engaging new book, Roper introduces us to a coterie of private 'colonial-imperialists' who advanced and promoted English overseas expansion across the globe in the seventeenth century. This book is a welcome addition to the body of recent scholarship that has, perhaps, placed too much emphasis on English empire-building as an intended outcome of early modern state formation.' Ken MacMillan, University of Calgary

    'Roper examines the creation and development of England's overseas empire, questioning the new historiographical trend that characterizes the pre-1688 English state as the central driving force in overseas expansion. Instead, he argues that up until and even after 1688, private interests were essential to building and expanding the empire. Roper explains that overseas expansion began with individuals who, after establishing overseas connections, sought to strengthen their relationship with the state to ensure preference and the protection of their gains and profits. Individuals and their endeavors thus drew the state into the colonial world, rather than the other way around. The author provides three fascinating chapters on expansion in America, Africa, and Asia, followed by an extended analysis of the overseas empire from the civil war to 1688. The book's focus on individuals' roles in building and expanding the empire adds balance to an ongoing debate and should be read by advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and specialists. Highly recommended.' J. Rankin, Choice

    'Who created the English empire? The state or private initiative? In a well-written study, L. H. Roper shows that the English state might have backed individual noblemen in their overseas endeavours, but never took the lead.' Pieter Emmer, The English Historical Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107545052
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 165 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Foundations
    2. The expansion of English overseas interests: America
    3. The expansion of English overseas interests: Guinea
    4. The expansion of English overseas interests: Asia
    5. Civil War and English overseas interests
    6. New modelers
    7. Interregnum, restoration, and English overseas expansion
    8. Climax
    9. A new empire?

  • Author

    L. H. Roper, State University of New York, New Paltz
    L. H. Roper is Professor of History at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the author of Conceiving Carolina (2004) and The English Empire in America, 1602–1658 (2009). He has edited several books of essays and published numerous articles on early American history. He is also co-general editor of the Journal of Early American History.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.