Britain's Oceanic Empire

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

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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, 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.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 10 maps
  • 1139512498
  • 9781139512497

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.
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Review quote

'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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About Elizabeth Mancke

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 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 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).
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