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Europe and the World in Age of Expansion

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Europe and the World in Age of Expansion

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The North Atlantic World in the Seventeenth Century

K.G. Davies

The North Atlantic World in the Seventeenth Century was first published in 1974. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In his preface the author writes: "Europe's style was both courageous and ignoble, Europe's achievement both magnificent and appalling. There is less need now that Europe's hegemony is over, for pride or shame to color historical judgments." In that candid vein Mr. Davies provides a balanced and impartial history of British, French, and Dutch beginnings in North America, the Caribbean, and West Africa to the end of the seventeenth century. He contrasts two styles of empire: the planting of trading posts in order to gather fur, fish, and slaves; and the planting of people in colonies of settlement to grow tobacco and sugar. He shows that the first style, involving little outlay of capital, was favored by European merchants; the second, by rulers and landlords. In his conclusion he examines the impact made by the Europeans on the people they traded with and expropriated, and assesses the diplomatic, economic, and cultural repercussions of the North Atlantic on Europe itself.

"Should provide valuable supplementary reading in courses in British imperial and American colonial history, as well as a source of information for those who teach them." –History.

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Spain and Portugal in the New World, 1492-1700

Lyle N. McAlister

Spain and Portugal in the New World, 1492-1700 was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Spanish and Portuguese expansion substantially altered the social, political, and economic contours of the modern world. In his book, Lyle McAlister provides a narrative and interpretive history of the exploration and settlement of the Americas by Spain and Portugal.

McAlister divides this period (and the book) into three parts. First, he describes the formation of Old World societies with particular attention to those features that influenced the directions and forms of overseas expansion. Second, he traces the dynamic processes of conquest and colonization that between 1492 and about 1570 firmly established Spanish and Portuguese dominion in the New World. The third part deals with colonial growth and consolidation down to about 1700. McAlister's main themes are: the post-conquest territorial expansion that established the limits of what later came to be called Latin America, the emergence of distinctively Spanish and Portuguese American societies and economies, the formation of systems of imperial control and exploitation, and the ways in which conflicts between imperial and American interests were reconciled.

This comprehensive history, with its extensive bibliographic essay and attention to historiographic issues, will be a standard reference for students and scholars of the period.

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Uncertain Dimensions

Western Overseas Empires in the Twentieth Century

Raymond F. Betts

Uncertain Dimensions was first published in 1985. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

World War I battered the Western imperial systems and destroyed one, that of Germany, but it did not sound the death knell of an empire. The "scramble" for overseas territory ha reached a virtual conclusion shortly before the war; afterwards, the main business of empire was to ensure a pax colonia: the often contradictory goals of a stable government and economic development. It is with the years between world wars—the brief age of administrative empire — that Raymond Betts is chiefly concerned in this book. An unsettled time, when individuals coped with empire of uncertain dimensions, the interwar years nonetheless left a material legacy—railroads, motor roads, public buildings — and an ideological one—the voices of protest that led to independence after World War II.

Preeminently a cultural history of the era rather than a political narrative, Uncertain Dimensions centers upon the regions we now call the Third World—Subsaharan Africa and Southeast Asia—and the major colonial powers, Great Britain and France. Betts has structured this book as a group of closely linked interpretive essays, each devoted to a specific aspect of the late colonial experience: World War I and the postwar mandates, colonial administration, the European economic imperative and "technology transfer," urbanization, anti-imperial protest, and decolonization. Throughout, he draws upon the work of novelists, poets, and theoreticians—Aime Cesaire, Claude McKay, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Frantz Fanon, and many others—and recognizes the deep irony at the heart of modern imperialism: that contact between Western and Third worlds was mostly confined to two minorities, the alien European and the socially uprooted African or Asian.

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