Within the chronological framework of implantation, maturity, and transition, "Atlantic American Societies" traces the history of European expansion in the Americas. Suggesting a shift in the traditional analysis of history away from nationally defined boundaries, Alan Karras and John McNeill treat the Atlantic world as a whole, encouraging the reader to see the larger inter-imperial issues which governed behavior in both the new world and the old. Emphasizing the links between Africa, Europe, and the Americas, the authors outline the process of transatlantic intercultural integration that began after the voyages of Columbus.
Providing readers with a mechanism for viewing inter-imperial rivalries, "Atlantic American Societies" focuses not only on the commercial and demographic history and military and economic interaction between metropolitan regions and their colonies, but also on the cultural components of American expansion. Combining a variety of approaches, from epidemiological to labor history and ethnohistory, this volume explores the societies of the Atlantic region and their blend of Amer-Indian, West European, and West African influences. Collecting some of the best recent scholarship from African, Latin American, and North American sources, "Atlantic and American Societies" opens a new perspective on this region.
"After Columbus, the Atlantic Ocean connected rather than separated Europe, Africa and the Americas, and their histories became interwoven on several levels. This book is a deeply imaginative and thought-provoking collection of new and old studies that reveal the foundations and evolution of the multidimentional interconnections within what became an Atlantic community of societies between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. The chapters illustrate the potential of an Atlantic approach to many historical issues that cannot be adequately explored in any other way.."
-David Barry Gaspar, Duke Univeristy
"Rather than seeing the creation of the Atlantic world as the triumphant story of European expansion, this volume, by examining the multiple dimensions of contact between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans, presents a far more complex, if more tragic vision of the foundations of the Atlantic colonial system."
-Stuart B. Schwartz, Director, Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota