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The Atlantic World
Europeans, Africans, Indians and their Shared History, 1400–1900

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  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521850995

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About the Authors
  • From ca. 1400 to 1900 the Atlantic Ocean served as a major highway, allowing people and goods to move easily between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. These interactions and exchanges transformed European, African, and American societies and led to the creation of new peoples, cultures, economies, and ideas throughout the Atlantic arena. The Atlantic World provides a comprehensive and lucid history of one of the most important and impactful cross-cultural encounters in human history. Empires, economies, and trade in the Atlantic world thrived due to the European drive to expand as well as the creative ways in which the peoples living along the Atlantic’s borders adapted to that drive. This comprehensive, cohesively written textbook offers a balanced view of the activity in the Atlantic world. The 40 maps, 60 illustrations, and multiple excerpts from primary documents bring the history to life. Each chapter offers a reading list for those interested in a more in-depth look at the period.

    • Extensive features including 37 primary documents, 40 maps, a bibliography and a glossary
    • Written by only one author - results in a cohesive text
    • Includes 60 illustrations
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    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400– 1900, is a welcome addition to the growing scholarship on the history of the Atlantic World. Benjamin's narrative, supplemented by the voices of contemporary Atlantic World inhabitants, deftly illustrates the complex connections that have historically joined people and places around the Atlantic Basin. The text's chronological and geographic breadth make it an ideal resource for scholars and students alike." – Dr. Rebecca Hartkopf Schloss, Texas A & M University

    "Benjamin's is a sweeping, learned, and comprehensive history of the making and undoing of a transnational world that the peoples of Africa, Europe, and the Americas created together from roughly 1450 to 1850. Benjamin traces the rise and decline of an Iberian Atlantic followed by one dominated by the French and the British. Both systems to work, however, relied on forced labor systems and fluid but unequal sexual commerce between the races. The system came to an end with a protracted 'Age of Revolutions' that shattered empires, emancipated slaves, and brought notions of equality to the fore, but that also marginalized Africa from the global economy." -Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra. University of Texas at Austin.

    "Both erudite and accessible, The Atlantic World is the perfect textbook for courses on the interaction between Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans in the early modern period. Professor Benjamin has achieved just the right tone, length, and detailed coverage, without losing sight of the larger picture. His years of reading widely on myriad topics has paid off handsomely, to the benefit of instructors and students alike." - Matthew Restall, The Pennsylvania State University

    "One of the leading teachers and scholars in the field of Atlantic history, Benjamin (Central Michigan Univ.) has written the most comprehensive survey of the field from the Age of Exploration through the revolutions of the early 19th century and the abolition of slavery. While suitable as a course textbook for upper-division classes, Benjamin's work includes rich materials for scholars and other experts in the field. He also seeks to synthesize some of the key historiographical questions. The author interweaves primary source texts with the narrative and uses maps, tables, and illustrations to excellent effect throughout. While recognizing that Europeans were the main actors in this story, the author pays considerable attention to the interactions that created the Atlantic world. Benjamin reminds readers that the number of Africans forced to emigrate was much greater than the number of Europeans who came to the Americas. In addition, the book is particularly strong at comparing and contrasting the actions of the various European nations as well as the diversity of the Native peoples. In sum, this seems likely to become the standard text in the field of Atlantic history. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries."
    - J. Mercantini, Kean University, CHOICE

    "...The Atlantic World is a good representation of the themes of the New Atlantic History, which focuses on exactly the sort of questions and interactions that Benjamin chooses. It is particularly commendable for the ease with which both Americas and Africa are included in the Atlantic World. He has been attentive to recent literature and themes. ...On the whole, then, the book is likely to be a worthwhile textbook for classes devoted to the New Atlantic History at the undergraduate level."
    John K. Thornton, Boston University, African Studies Quarterly

    "...this reviewer highly recommends Benjamin's The Atlantic World for both the classroom and the library." Charles H. Ford, The Historian

    "The Atlantic World synthesizes material from a wide array of sources and should be read by those interested in Atlantic, Latin American, and United States history as well as world history. It would also be useful as a supplementary text in courses on Atlantic history." -Wilfred Bison, World History Connected

    "This is a highly lucid and readable textbook synthesis of five centuries of Atlantic world history." -Catherine Desbarats, Canadian Journal of History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521850995
    • length: 752 pages
    • dimensions: 261 x 186 x 40 mm
    • weight: 1.5kg
    • contains: 60 b/w illus. 40 maps 37 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Oceans Shall Unloose the Bonds of Things:
    1. Antecedents: the Americas, Africa and Europe in the fifteenth century
    2. Commencement: the European opening of the Atlantic ocean
    3. Conquests: forging the Iberian empires in Africa and the Americas
    4. Realms: the overseas empires of Spain and Portugal
    Part II. Europe Supported by Africa and America:
    5. Incursions: French, English and Dutch invasions of the Iberian Atlantic
    6. Engagement: the entangled worlds of Indians and Europeans
    7. Uprooted: West Africa, the Americas, and the Atlantic slave trade
    8. Bondage: the Atlantic plantation complex and the cultures of slaves
    9. Partners: women and men in the making of the Atlantic world
    Part III. A New Order of the Ages:
    10. Rivals: Britain and France in the long eighteenth century
    11. Liberty: the Atlantic world in the age of revolution
    12. Equality: the Atlantic world in the age of revolution
    13. Freedom: the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade and new world slavery.

  • Resources for

    The Atlantic World

    Thomas Benjamin

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Advanced historical literature - comparative empires
    • Africa & Latin America in the Atlantic World
    • Africa and the Black Diaspora
    • Africa and the Slave Trade
    • Africa since 1870
    • African American Hist. to 1877 and Hist.320 African American Snc 1877
    • African Diaspora
    • African Encounters
    • African History to 1800
    • African Slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade
    • African and Diaspora Literature
    • America and the World
    • American Encounters I and New Worlds
    • American colonies
    • Atlantic Basin to 1800
    • Atlantic World to 1763
    • Atlantic World, Two Parts (1450-1650 and 1650-1800)
    • British Empires
    • British Thought in the Age of the American Revolution
    • Civilization 2
    • Colloquium in Atlantic World History
    • Colonial Expansion in the Atlantic World
    • Colonial Latin America
    • Colonial Latin America (next year, I might adopt it for my undergraduate course= ~100 students)
    • Colonial US History
    • Colonial World
    • Colonial Worlds
    • Colonial america/topics in colonial history
    • Colonialism
    • Colonialism & Slavery in the Atlantic World
    • Colonialism in Africa
    • Comparative Colonization and Slavery
    • Comparative Slavery / Africa to 1870
    • Comparative Slavery and Emancipation in the Americas
    • Comparative Topics in African History
    • Cross-Cultural Understandings: The Atlantic World: Perspectives from 1400-1900
    • Early Modern Globalization
    • Emergence of the Atlantic World
    • Empires and Independence in the Atlantic World
    • Foundations of Civilzation
    • Gender and Empire
    • Global Studies
    • Hisory of Latin America
    • History of Africa before 1840
    • History of Africa/History of African Americans
    • History of Atlantic Empires
    • History of Exploration
    • History of Slavery in teh Western Hemisphere
    • History of World Civlizations since 1500
    • History of the American People to 1877
    • History of the South Atlantic World
    • Intro to African History
    • Introduction to Global History 1500-1848
    • Introduction to Latin America
    • Introduction to Latin America Civilization
    • Latin America and the Wider World
    • Latin America: Conquest and Colonization
    • Latin America: The Founding of New Societies
    • Latin American History
    • Latin American History: From Ancient Native Civilizations to National Independence
    • Latin American and Caribbean Civilization
    • Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Formation of Atlantic Capitalism
    • New World/New Ideas
    • Passages to the Modern World
    • Passages to the Modern World, Since 1750
    • People of Latin America
    • Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
    • Perspectives on Global History
    • Pirates, Privateers, & Imperial Politics: The Atlantic World in the Age of Sail
    • Popular Culture in the Atlantic World and others in the future
    • Pre- Colonia Africa
    • Readings in Atlantic History
    • Slavery & Abolition and Atlantic Revolutions
    • Slavery & Its Historical Legacy in the Cinemas of the Atlantic World
    • Slavery and Liberation
    • Slavery, Race, and the Atlantic World
    • Spain since 1492: Inquisition, Empire and the Road to Democracy
    • The African American Experience from the Beginnings to 1865
    • The Atlantic Slave Trade
    • The Atlantic Word, 1492-1800
    • The Atlantic World (Advanced History Course - Newly Offered)
    • The Atlantic World since 1500
    • The Atlantic World, 1400-1900
    • The Atlantic world in the early modern period
    • The Caribbean in the Age of Revolution, 1700-1920
    • The Expansion of Europe
    • West and the World
    • Western Civ ll or Intro to Latin American History
    • Women in Early Latin America and/or Early Latin America Survey
    • World History 1500-Present
    • World History Middle Period
  • Author

    Thomas Benjamin, Central Michigan University
    Thomas Benjamin is Professor of History and a member of the Center for Transnational and Comparative History at Central Michigan University. He is editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism Since 1450 and co-editor of The Atlantic World in the Age of Empire.


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

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