Catalogue

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The English Atlantic, 1675-1740 [electronic resource] : an exploration of communication and community /
Ian K. Steele.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1986.
description
xii, 400 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0195039688
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1986.
isbn
0195039688
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
7906362
 
Bibliography: p. 319-390.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-03:
Many scholars have seen the Atlantic Ocean as an intercontinental divide separating England from her American colonies, creating isolated societies. Early modern Atlantic communications have often been portrayed as slow, infrequent, and dangerous. In this detailed and provocative study, Steele (University of Western Ontario) presents a challenging and radical reinterpretation of such views. Maritime communications, he argues, met expectations for speed, frequency, and safety. Part 1 of his study provides a careful examination of the evolution of Atlantic routes. In the second part. Steele thoroughly analyzes the conscious efforts to improve communications through postal services, newspapers, and mail-packet boats. The concluding section explores the political, social, and economic aspects and implications of these findings. Steele discovered that conditions fostered a new social solidarity between the English-speaking elites, and united England with the Amerian colonies far more closely than is usually credited. His conclusion that American identity developed neither early nor easily has important ramificatons for both imperial history and American Colonial history. Detailed statistical appendixes and full bibliographical notes drawn from a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. Suitable for upper-division undergraduates and above.-R. Howell Jr., Bowdoin College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A tour de force...By focusing on aspects of this history which many social and economic historians simply ignore, he has made a splendid contribution to what some of us think is the best sort of new social history."--Canadian Journal of History
"Every reader can learn plenty from reading the book closely. Steele offers abundant detail on counless subjects....He has done heroic quantities of archival research....An informative, scholarly, thorough analysis."--Journal of Modern History
"Excellent....Steele's novel perspective on Anglo-American history and his meticulous mining of primary and secondary materials combine to make this a book at once solid and exciting."--Journal of American Studies
"Fills a major gap in our knowledge of how the Old Empire worked."--The Historian
"Fills a major gap in our knowledge of how the Old Empire worked."--The Historian "Every reader can learn plenty from reading the book closely. Steele offers abundant detail on counless subjects....He has done heroic quantities of archival research....An informative, scholarly, thorough analysis."--Journal of Modern History "Repays a careful reading not merely for its wealth of detail but also because it suggests a promising perspective for considering the English Atlantic world and, indeed, much of early American history....It belongs on that small but growing shelf of indispensable books on communications in colonial America."--Technology and Culture "A tour de force...By focusing on aspects of this history which many social and economic historians simply ignore, he has made a splendid contribution to what some of us think is the best sort of new social history."--Canadian Journal of History "Many scholars have seen the Atlantic Ocean as an intercontinental divide separating England from her American colonies, creating isolated societies. Early modern Atlantic communications have ofteen been portrayed as slow, infrequent, and dangerous. In this detailed and provocative study, Steele presents a challenging and radical reinterpretation of such views."--Choice
"Fills a major gap in our knowledge of how the Old Empire worked."-- The Historian "Every reader can learn plenty from reading the book closely. Steele offers abundant detail on counless subjects....He has done heroic quantities of archival research....An informative, scholarly, thorough analysis."-- Journal of Modern History "Repays a careful reading not merely for its wealth of detail but also because it suggests a promising perspective for considering the English Atlantic world and, indeed, much of early American history....It belongs on that small but growing shelf of indispensable books on communications in colonial America."-- Technology and Culture "A tour de force ...By focusing on aspects of this history which many social and economic historians simply ignore, he has made a splendid contribution to what some of us think is the best sort of new social history."-- Canadian Journal of History "Many scholars have seen the Atlantic Ocean as an intercontinental divide separating England from her American colonies, creating isolated societies. Early modern Atlantic communications have ofteen been portrayed as slow, infrequent, and dangerous. In this detailed and provocative study, Steele presents a challenging and radical reinterpretation of such views."-- Choice
"Fills a major gap in our knowledge of how the Old Empire worked."--The Historian "Every reader can learn plenty from reading the book closely. Steele offers abundant detail on counless subjects....He has done heroic quantities of archival research....An informative, scholarly, thorough analysis."--Journal of Modern History "Repays a careful reading not merely for its wealth of detail but also because it suggests a promising perspective for considering the English Atlantic world and, indeed, much of early American history....It belongs on that small but growing shelf of indispensable books on communications in colonial America."--Technology and Culture "Atour de force...By focusing on aspects of this history which many social and economic historians simply ignore, he has made a splendid contribution to what some of us think is the best sort of new social history."--Canadian Journal of History "Many scholars have seen the Atlantic Ocean as an intercontinental divide separating England from her American colonies, creating isolated societies. Early modern Atlantic communications have ofteen been portrayed as slow, infrequent, and dangerous. In this detailed and provocative study, Steele presents a challenging and radical reinterpretation of such views."--Choice
"Many scholars have seen the Atlantic Ocean as an intercontinental divide separating England from her American colonies, creating isolated societies. Early modern Atlantic communications have ofteen been portrayed as slow, infrequent, and dangerous. In this detailed and provocative study,Steele presents a challenging and radical reinterpretation of such views."--Choice
"Repays a careful reading not merely for its wealth of detail but also because it suggests a promising perspective for considering the English Atlantic world and, indeed, much of early American history....It belongs on that small but growing shelf of indispensable books on communications incolonial America."--Technology and Culture
"Steele has amassed and carefully interpreted a body of evidence, both primary and secondary, unsurpassed in its richness and comprehensiveness....He provides an excelletn background to the role of communications before the period of disintegration leading to 1776."--The GeographicalReview
"Steele's well-researched and well-written study tells us much about the workings of the English Atlantic world....A clearly significant contribution to early modern historiography."--Business History Review
"There is quite simply no antecedent work within the field to which [this] can be compared....It is very rare that a book so original in concept is also so comprehensive in its coverage and in the depth of its research."--Richard Johnson, University of Washington
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1987
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Exploding the curious myth that the ocean is a barrier rather than a highway for communication, this unusual interdisciplinary study examines the English Atlantic context of early American life. From the winterless Caribbean to the ice-locked Hudson Bay, maritime communications in fact usually met the legitimate expectations for frequency, speed, and safety, while increased shipping, new postal services, and newspapers hastened the exchange of news. These changes in avenues of communications reflected--and, in turn, enhanced--the political, economic, and social integration of the English Atlantic between 1675 and 1740. As Steele deftly describes the influence of physical, technological, socioeconomic, and political aspects of seaborne communication on the community, he suggests an exciting new mode of analyzing Colonial history.
Main Description
Exploding the curious myth that the ocean is a barrier rather than a highway for communication, this unusual interdisciplinary study examines the English Atlantic context of early American life. From the winterless Caribbean to the ice-locked Hudson Bay, maritime communications in factusually met the legitimate expectations for frequency, speed, and safety, while increased shipping, new postal services, and newspapers hastened the exchange of news. These changes in avenues of communications reflected--and, in turn, enhanced--the political, economic, and social integration of theEnglish Atlantic between 1675 and 1740. As Steele deftly describes the influence of physical, technological, socioeconomic, and political aspects of seaborne communication on the community, he suggests an exciting new mode of analyzing Colonial history.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
News by Merchantman
Sugar Routesp. 21
Tobacco Routesp. 41
Western Routesp. 57
Northern Routes and the English Atlanticp. 78
Communicating Revolution, 1688-1689p. 94
Comanding Time
The Postsp. 113
The Papersp. 132
The Packet Boats, 1702-1715p. 168
Sending Peace and War Beyond the Line, 1667-1739p. 189
The English Atlantic: Aspects and Implications
Commerce and Communicationsp. 213
Governors, Agents, and the Communication of Politicsp. 229
Communication and Communityp. 251
Conclusionp. 273
Abbreviationsp. 279
Tablesp. 281
Notesp. 319
Indexp. 391
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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