Catalogue


The elusive West and the contest for empire, 1713-1763 /
Paul W. Mapp.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press ; Williamsburg, Va. : Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, c2011.
description
viii, 455 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
0807833959 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780807833957 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press ; Williamsburg, Va. : Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, c2011.
isbn
0807833959 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780807833957 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
7388350
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Mapp investigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars' traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-11-01:
This book embraces investigation of 18th-century diplomacy relating to European designs upon North America. Mapp (College of William and Mary) develops the notion that the study of western and northern regions is significant in the task of unraveling early American history. Europeans knew very little about the environment of this new world west of the 85-degree meridian in the 50-year period 1713-63. European officials recognized that vast area as terra incognita and competed through an unknown wilderness to reach the Pacific coast and dominate trade to the Asiatic mainland. The author defines the knowledge that British, French, Spanish, and American peoples had about this unknown land, and provides a significant excursus concerning early search for a northwest passage. Pacific concerns relate to Atlantic postures, geopolitical and otherwise, to bring the Seven Years' War into a well-told story. Thirty-nine maps, four plates, and a comprehensive index add to what is a well-written book, patently the subject of serious research. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. G. J. Martin emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Thoughtfully researched, structured, and argued. . . .Mapp has written an excellent book." - Journal of Interdisciplinary History
" The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire is written in a graceful, conversational style that asks good questions and makes thoughtful answers." - The Journal of American History
" The Elusive West puts Paul Mapp at the forefront of an exciting generation of continental early Americanists. His dazzling research combines diplomacy and geography with political, military, and intellectual history. This trailblazing book gives weight to the vast American West, both real and imagined, during the vital half-century before 1763."--Peter H. Wood, Duke University, emeritus
"The Elusive Westputs Paul Mapp at the forefront of an exciting generation of continental early Americanists. His dazzling research combines diplomacy and geography with political, military, and intellectual history. This trailblazing book gives weight to the vast American West, both real and imagined, during the vital half-century before 1763."--Peter H. Wood, Duke University, emeritus
"Recommended for classroom use and the general history buff seeking a new perspective." - Colonial Latin American Historical Review
"The book's analysis of nearly forty maps, its wide-ranging archival research, its original translations from French and Spanish sources (often rendered in the original language in the notes), and the extensive historiography in the footnotes all add up to a scholarly tour de force." - Journal of Southern History
" The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire is written in a graceful, conversational style that asks good questions and makes thoughtful answers." - Journal of American History
"Mapp displays a knowledge of European diplomacy and Borderlands history that will dazzle. . . . [He] places the elusive West back on the misinformed maps of the time and restores contingency to the course of empire." - New Mexico Historical Review
"Mapp's prose is lucid and engaging, and he displays a dazzling knowledge of early modern European cartography. . . . [This] book is first class all the way, from the many reproduced maps to the generous space allotted for the index, and it is a pleasure to pick up and peruse." - Arkansas Historical Quarterly
"One of the smartest pieces of scholarship on the eighteenth century published in the last decade. . . . A possible revolution in Seven Years War historiography." -H-Diplo Roundtable
"Path-breaking . . . . A rich and novel story that will force historians to rethink some of the standard interpretations of the struggle for empire in 18th-century North America." - London Review of Books
"Greatly expand[s] our understanding of European competition for control of North America . . . [an] encompassing and convincing argument." - Northwest Ohio History
"By examining geographic misunderstandings of North America, Mapp helps us see imperial successes and failures in an entirely new way. His insights are based on his own expansive knowledge of the long history of exploration and map-making by multiple empires, as each tried to capture the elusive nature of the continent's interior. An important and innovative book."--Kathleen DuVal, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Deeply researched and beautifully written and illustrated book... is highly recommended." - Tennessee Historical Quarterly
"Deeply researched and carefully argued." - American Historical Review
"An impressively well-researched and thoughtful work." - Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"An incredible work of history." - Terrae Incognitae
"Brilliantly calculating the costs of ignorance, Paul Mapp shows that what eighteenth-century European statesmen didn't know about the North American interior not only hurt the empires they served, but reshaped the world itself. The Elusive West utterly reorients our understanding of the period 1713-1763. It is a superb book."--Fred Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder
"Brilliantly calculating the costs of ignorance, Paul Mapp shows that what eighteenth-century European statesmen didn't know about the North American interior not only hurt the empires they served, but reshaped the world itself.The Elusive Westutterly reorients our understanding of the period 1713-1763. It is a superb book."--Fred Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2011
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Summaries
Main Description
A truly continental history in both its geographic and political scope,The Elusive West and the Contest for Empireinvestigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars' traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Paul Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history. In the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century, imperial officials in London, Paris, or Madrid knew very little about western North America. Yet Europeans' competition to gain access to the Pacific Ocean and control trade to the Far East enhanced the importance of western American territories. Mapp reconstructs French, Spanish, British, and Amerindian ideas about these unknown regions, especially the elusive Northwest Passage, and shows that a Pacific focus is crucial to understanding the causes, course, and consequences of the Seven Years' War. Mapp's work serves as a model for constructing a comprehensive colonial history of the continent. His book transcends artificially imposed boundaries of scholarly inquiry that did not exist in the diverse and interconnected early modern world and relates remote Pacific regions to the Atlantic aspects of the global Seven Years' War.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a truly continental history in both its geographic and political scope. The book investigates 18th-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs.
Main Description
A truly continental history in both its geographic and political scope, The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire investigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars' traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Paul Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history. In the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century, imperial officials in London, Paris, or Madrid knew very little about western North America. Yet Europeans' competition to gain access to the Pacific Ocean and control trade to the Far East enhanced the importance of western American territories. Mapp reconstructs French, Spanish, British, and Amerindian ideas about these unknown regions, especially the elusive Northwest Passage, and shows that a Pacific focus is crucial to understanding the causes, course, and consequences of the Seven Years' War. Mapp's work serves as a model for constructing a comprehensive colonial history of the continent. His book transcends artificially imposed boundaries of scholarly inquiry that did not exist in the diverse and interconnected early modern world and relates remote Pacific regions to the Atlantic aspects of the global Seven Years' War.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
List of Illustrationsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Spanish Empire and the Elusive West
Peoples and Terrain, Difficulties and Disappointmentsp. 29
Exploiting Indigenous Geographic Understandingp. 69
South Sea Interlude
The Alluring Pacific Oceanp. 101
The Pacific Ocean and the War of the Spanish Successionp. 122
France and the Elusive West After the Treaty of Utrecht
Visions of Western Louisianap. 147
Imperial Comparisonsp. 166
Communication and Interpretationp. 194
Restricted Pathwaysp. 233
British Pacific Ventures and the Early Years of the Seven Years' War
British Designs on the Spanish Empire, 1713-1748p. 261
French Reactions to the British Search for a Northwest Passage from Hudson Bay and the Origins of the Seven Years' Warp. 283
Spanish Reactions to British Pacific Encroachments, 1750-1757p. 312
French Borderlands Encroachments and Spanish Neutralityp. 330
The Elusive West and the Outcome of the Seven Years' War
French Geographic Conceptions and the 1762 Western Louisiana Cessionp. 359
Spain's Acceptance of Trans-Mississippi Louisianap. 387
Old Visions and New Opportunities: Britain and the Spanish Empire at the End of the Seven Years' Warp. 413
Conclusionp. 429
Indexp. 435
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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