Article

British Atlantic World

Trevor Burnard

in Atlantic History

ISBN: 9780199730414
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0012
British Atlantic World

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  • History of the Americas
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The English were latecomers into the Atlantic, with permanent settlement not beginning in earnest until the 17th century. From 1607 and the founding of Jamestown until the latter part of the 19th century, the English and, after the union of England and Scotland in 1707, the British were the most numerous of all European migrants across the Atlantic. The British world was a world in motion, both at home and in the Americas. The sources collected here reflect the dynamism, restlessness, and willingness to take risks that characterized early modern British imperial expansion both into the Americas and into Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The British Atlantic was most important in the two centuries before the American Revolution but continued to be important after the creation of the United States, as Canada and the West Indies grew while under British control. The British Atlantic world began after the Spanish Atlantic world and changed earlier than the Spanish world into a different sort of polity (one composed of nation-states as well as an empire) but was at least as important in shaping the Atlantic world. British Atlantic world history does not stand by itself: It needs to be placed within an imperial and “British world” perspective and needs to be connected to manifold changes that happened between the mid-16th and mid-19th centuries in Britain itself.

Article.  7299 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; European History ; African History ; History ; Regional and National History

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