Catalogue


Humanism and America : an intellectual history of English colonisation, 1500-1625 /
Andrew Fitzmaurice.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.
description
x, 216 p.
ISBN
0521822254
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.
isbn
0521822254
catalogue key
4836695
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-11-01:
This short book is packed with ideas and deserves a considerably longer review than possible here. The title implies two questions that require answers: Why did colonists become colonists? and, Are the reasons put forth for colonization by its promoters the actual reasons for the founding of the colonies? The general thesis is that between 1500 and 1625, Renaissance humanism in the broadest sense of the term shaped England's colonial ventures in the Americas. The basic premise of this argument is that at the most, these ideas influenced the behavior of those participating in colonial undertakings, and at the least, they provided the justifications demanded by the rest of society for these ventures. The case holds up reasonably well when looking at the articulate promoters of the American colonies. Fitzmaurice (Univ. of Sydney) presents no evidence as to what motivated the rank-and-file colonists to do what they did. For that reason, the book probably should more accurately be subtitled "an intellectual history of the reasons put forth for English colonization." ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and research faculty. R. E. Schreiber Indiana University South Bend
Reviews
Review Quotes
'... a new and thoroughly historicist view of early English colonization ... Fitzmaurice demonstrates that humanism was the primary lens through which the English understood the promises and terms of establishing colonies in the Americas ... Humanism and America is an intellectual history of the first order. Its influence on the historiography should be profound and it is especially important within the field of intellectual history because it demonstrates so convincingly the significance of humanism as an intellectual movement that influenced society and politics in England.'Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
"A pioneering study of Renaissance Humanism's effect upon the English colonies of the New World." Renaissance Quarterly
"...a very good account of the ideology behind a large unsucessful series of colonial ventures not yet part of the inexorable sweep to the British Empire." Journal of Modern History Lesley B. Cormack, University of Alberta
"This is an enlightening book, and it is both compliment and criticism to say that I would it had been longer." Robert M. Bliss, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Journal of American History History
"This short book is packed with ideas.... Highly recommended." Choice
"This volume is a must for the understanding of the impact of humanist values on the development of English colonization in the New World." Renaissance Quarterly
'... represents a vital contribution, not only to the study of early modern English political thought, but also to the intellectual history of the British Atlantic world.' History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2003
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Summaries
Main Description
Andrew Fitzmaurice reveals that English expansion was profoundly neo-classical in its inspiration, and that humanist traditions were extremely influential in the early development of the American colonies. Until now, accounts of early American colonization, and of European colonization in general, have placed great emphasis upon the links between colonization and the aggressive agendas of modern times claimed by historians and literary scholars.
Main Description
Humanism and America provides a major study of the impact of the Renaissance and Renaissance humanism upon the English colonization of America. The analysis is conducted through an interdisciplinary examination of a broad spectrum of writings on colonization, ranging from the works of Thomas More to those of the Virginia Company. Andrew Fitzmaurice shows that English expansion was profoundly neo-classical in inspiration, and he excavates the distinctively humanist tradition that informed some central issues of colonization: the motivations of wealth and profit, honour and glory; the nature of and possibilities for liberty; and the problems of just title, including the dispossession of native Americans. Dr Fitzmaurice presents a colonial tradition which, counter to received wisdom, is often hostile to profit, nervous of dispossession and desirous of liberty. Only in the final chapters does he chart the rise of an aggressive, acquisitive and possessive colonial ideology.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Andrew Fitzmaurice's study of the impact of Renaissance humanism upon the English colonisation of America is conducted through an interdisciplinary examination of a wide variety of writings on colonisation, ranging from Thomas More to those of the Virginia Company.
Description for Bookstore
Humanism and America is a major study of the impact of Renaissance humanism upon the English colonization of America. Andrew Fitzmaurice conducts his analysis through an interdisciplinary examination of a broad spectrum of writings, ranging from the works of Thomas More to those of the Virginia Company.
Description for Bookstore
Humanism and America is the first major study of the impact of Renaissance humanism upon the English colonisation of America. Hitherto accounts of early American colonisation, and of European colonisation in general, have placed great emphasis upon the links between colonisation and modernity: these claims have been made both by historians and by literary scholars. By contrast Andrew Fitzmaurice shows that English expansion was profoundly neo-classical in its inspiration, and that humanist traditions were enormously influential in the early development of the American colonies: more aggressive agendas only followed later.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
The moral philosophy of Tudor colonisation
The moral philosophy of Jacobean colonisation
Rhetoric - 'not the words, but the acts'
Law and history
The Machiavellian argument for colonial possession
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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