An accessible survey of the history of European overseas empires in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries based on new scholarship
In this thematic survey, Gabriel Paquette focuses on the evolution of the Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, and Dutch overseas empires in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He draws on recent advances in the field to examine their development, from efficacious forms of governance to coercive violence. Beginning with a narrative overview of imperial expansion that incorporates recent critiques of older scholarly approaches, Paquette then analyzes the significance of these empires, including their political, economic, and social consequences and legacies. He makes the multifaceted history of Europe’s globe‑spanning empires in this crucial period accessible to new readers.
Gabriel Paquette is dean of the Robert D. Clark Honors College and professor of history at the University of Oregon. He is author of Imperial Portugal in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions: The Luso‑Brazilian World,c. 1770–1850 and Enlightenment, Governance, and Reform in Spain and Its Empire, 1759–1808.
"For anyone keen to learn about the rise and development of Europe's overseas empires, this is the place to begin. Paquette has mastered a vast body of information to produce a splendid survey."—J. H. Elliott, author of Empires of the Atlantic World
“This book builds on an incredible grasp of comparative historiography and brings previously disparate literatures into conversation with one another. It is a sparkling piece of scholarship.”—Matthew Brown, University of Bristol
"Paquette masterfully explores the interconnected histories of five European seaborne empires. His book is an in-depth and comprehensive piece of transnational history, and a fundamental contribution to the comparative history of empires."—Pedro Cardim, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
"Beautifully written and thoughtfully argued by a leading historian, this text rethinks the history of the seaborne empires in fruitful and innovative ways. Paquette skillfully brings non-European actors to the fore and demonstrates the limitations of European ambition even as he illuminates its growing power."—Philippa Levine, University of Texas at Austin
"In a blend of lucid narrative and nuanced analysis, Paquette provides a superb synthesis of early modern imperialism. Sweeping across a vast geographical and cultural range, he demonstrates the vital contribution of Europe’s seaborne empires to global capitalism, and its consequences for peoples and environments across the world. A brilliant new starting point, highly recommended."—Anthony McFarlane, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Warwick
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