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9-08-2015, 18:34


The centuries covered in this book were not just a prelude to modernity, but a distinctive era of their own. If Albrecht Dürer, whose sketch of the myth of Europa from the early sixteenth century is the frontispiece to the introduction of this book, were to travel through time to the late eighteenth century of William Blake, whose engraving of Europe supported by Africa and America is the frontispiece to this chapter, what would he have thought? What changes would he have noticed, and what would have seemed familiar? Dürer was a well-traveled individual, and accustomed to many things from far beyond Europe, as his drawings and engravings of lions and rhinoceroses, and his portraits of women with pearl necklaces and men in turbans make clear. The range of products available by 1789 even in his home town of Nuremberg, far from the Atlantic world or any bustling seaport, would still have astounded him. The “Columbian exchange” that had only just begun in Dürer’s lifetime was now what we might call the “Captain Cook Exchange,” with hundreds of plants and animals intentionally taken from one part of the world to another for study or use. Naturalists collected specimens for “cabinets of curiosity,” while colonists experimented with crops native elsewhere. In the 1780s, French and British ships carried breadfruit from the Pacifi c to the Caribbean, hoping to grow it to feed slaves. One of these ships, the Bounty , captained by one of Cook’s former offi cers William Bligh, experienced a mutiny that made it far more famous than its mission. Dürer would not have found breadfruit in Nuremberg, but plenty that was new: rice, potatoes, peppers, coffee, tea, chocolate, perhaps a pineapple or two, and mounds of sugar. Human-made products traveled even more widely. Dürer could have bought Chinese lacquerware and Indian calicoes, and have had his choice between English Wedgwood, French Sèvres, and German Meissen for porcelain teapots, candelabra, fi gurines, and vases. He might have paid for these with Mexican silver pesos, which circulated globally, and were especially popular in China, where people thought the hefty rulers portrayed on their faces looked like the Buddha. Merchandise in large quantities still came primarily by ship as it had in the sixteenth century, but small amounts of goods, and private letters, could now be sent through postal services. Those deliveries also brought journals and newspapers, read and discussed in cafés and learned societies even in a relative backwater like Nuremberg. Dürer was a sociable type, and would no doubt have quickly adapted to the range of other pleasures such places also offered: distilled liquor, sweet wines, coffee, tea, tobacco, and perhaps even opium, mixed with tobacco and smoked in a pipe. Dürer’s Nuremberg had been an important intellectual, artistic, and economic center, where Luther’s ideas were discussed and printed, Italian products and ways of doing than custom, and emphasized the power of human reason, might have struck him as novel, however, and perhaps as misguided. The ideas of Galileo or Newton might have been more startling, particularly their assertion that knowledge was to be discovered primarily by measuring and analyzing the natural world, not by reading the words of ancient authorities. The residents of Nuremberg, like those of much of Europe, fought over religion in Dürer’s lifetime. By the end of the eighteenth century Lutheran Protestantism was still the offi cial religion in the city, though its practitioners, like Christians all over Europe, varied from those who attended church rarely to those for whom religious devotion was paramount. There were other types of Christian churches as well, however, and a synagogue; Jews, expelled from the city in 1499, had been allowed to return in the early eighteenth century. What might Dürer have thought of William Blake’s depiction of Europe, so different from his own? Her dependence on – or alliance with – Africa and America was certainly not part of the classical tradition, which emphasized Europe’s separation from other continents. But Dürer had drawn a sympathetic portrait of a Portuguese- African mixed-race woman, and on seeing an exhibit of Aztec art shipped back to Europe in 1520, commented in his diary, “All the days of my life I have seen nothing that rejoiced my heart so much as these things, for I have seen among them wonderful works of art, and I marveled at the subtle intellect of men in foreign parts.” 6 Dürer’s sentiments were not those of the majority of Europeans in their encounters with the rest of the world in the centuries that separated Dürer and Blake, but they might have helped him understand Blake’s message of interdependence and links between various parts of the world. QUESTIONS 1 In what ways were the European voyages of exploration in the period 1600–1789 different from those in the period 1450–1600? In what ways were they similar? 2 How did the growing power of the Dutch and British East India Companies change the economic and political situation in the Indian Ocean area? 3 How did the slave trade and slavery infl uence the social and economic structures of European colonies in the Caribbean? 4 What were the major differences between British and French settlement patterns in North America, and how do these explain why Britain came to control most of eastern North America by 1763? 5 How were ideas about differences among human groups shaped by colonialism, and how did these change in the early modern period? 6 How did colonialism interact with changes going on in Europe itself to shape the world of 1789? FURTHER READING For general overviews of issues surrounding colonialism, see Peter Kriedte, Peasants, Landlords and Capitalists: Europe and the World Economy, 1500–1800, trans. Volker Berghahn ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1983); Karen Kupperman, ed., America in European Consciousness, 1493–1750 ( Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press , 1995); Anthony Pagden, The Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain and France c. 1500–c. 1800 ( New Haven : Yale University Press , 1995); Oxford History of the British Empire, vols. I and II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998); David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2000); Tony Chafur and Amanda Sackur , eds., Promoting the Colonial Idea: Propaganda and Visions of Empire in France ( Basingstoke, UK : Palgrave-Macmillan, 2002); Lauren Benton, Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History, 1400–1900 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2002); Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik , eds., The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present, 3rd edn ( Armonk, NY : M. E. Sharpe , 2012). For explorations, see Nicholas Thomas, Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, and Colonialism in the Pacifi c ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 1991); Glyn Williams , Voyages of Delusion: The Quest for the Northwest Passage ( New Haven : Yale University Press , 2002). The debate over the death of Cook began with Marshall Sahlins, Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands ( Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press , 1981), countered by Obeyesekere Gananath, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacifi c ( Princeton: Princeton University Press , 1992), which was answered by Marshall Sahlins, How “Natives” Think: About Captain Cook, For Example ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press , 1996). For a discussion that sets Cook’s encounter within a broader framework, see Vanessa Smith, Intimate Strangers: Friendship, Exchange and Pacifi c Encounters ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2010). For a fascinating – and funny – view of Cook’s voyages, and attitudes toward Cook held by modern Pacifi c islanders, see Tony Horwitz, Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before ( New York : Picador , 2003). For the Indian Ocean, start with the classic overview by Charles R. Boxer , The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800 ( Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965). More specialized works include Jonathan Israel, Dutch Primacy in World Trade, 1585–1740 ( Oxford : Oxford University Press , 1989); Prasannan Parthasarathi, The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2000); H. V. Bowen, Margarette Lincoln, and Nigel Rigby , eds., The Worlds of the East India Company ( Rochester, NY : Boydell, 2002). For the Caribbean, see Robert Louis Stein, The French Sugar Business in the Eighteenth Century ( Baton Rouge : University of Louisiana Press , 1988); Hilary McD. Beckles, A History of Barbados: From Amerindian Settlement to Nation-State ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1990); Richard S. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713 ( Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press , 2000). For the Atlantic world, see Nicholas Canny and Anthony Pagden, eds., Colonial Identity in the Atlantic World ( Princeton: Princeton University Press , 1987); Alan L. Karras and J. R. McNeill, eds., Atlantic American Societies: From Columbus through Abolition 1492–1888 ( London: Routledge, 1992); Colin Kidd, British Identities before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic World, 1600–1800 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1999); Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra , How to Write the History of the New World: Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World ( Stanford : Stanford University Press , 2001); David Armitage and Michael J. Bradick, eds., The British Atlantic World, 1590–1800, 2nd edn ( Basingstoke, UK : Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009); Christine Daniels, ed., Negotiated Empires: Centers and Peripheries in the New World, 1500–1820 ( London: Routledge, 2002); Elizabeth Mancke and Carole Shammas, eds., The Creation of the British Atlantic World ( Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press , 2005); John H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492– 1830 ( New Haven : Yale University Press , 2006); Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic ( Princeton: Princeton University Press , 2009); Bernard Bailyn and Patricia L. Denault, eds., Soundings in Atlantic History: Latent Structures and Intellectual Currents, 1500–1830 ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 2009); John R. Chávez, Beyond Nations: Evolving Homelands in the North Atlantic World ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2009); Carla Gardina Pestana, Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the British Atlantic World (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press , 2010); Jane Landers, Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 2010). For the interior of North America, see James Axtell, The Invasion Within: The Contest of Cultures in Colonial North America ( New York : Oxford University Press , 1985); Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1991); Daniel Usner , Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange Economy: The Lower Mississippi Valley before 1783 ( Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press , 1992); Allan Greer , The People of New France ( Toronto : University of Toronto Press , 1997); Warren R. Hofstra, ed., Cultures in Confl ict: The Seven Years War in North America ( New York : Rowman and Littlefi eld , 2007). Studies of Atlantic slavery and the slave trade include Robin Blackburn , The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern 1492–1800 ( London: Verso , 1998); David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1999); Herbert S. Klein, The Atlantic Slave Trade ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1999); Kenneth Morgan, Slavery and the British Empire: from Africa to America ( Oxford : Oxford University Press , 2008); Walter Hawthorne , From Africa to Brazil: Culture, Identity, and an African Slave Trade, 1600–1830 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2010). On the cultural impact of slavery on Europeans, see Susan Dwyer Amussen, Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of European Society ( Durham, NC : University of North Carolina Press , 2007); Simon Gikandi, Slavery and the Culture of Taste ( Princeton: Princeton University Press , 2011); and Catherine Molineux, Faces of Perfect Ebony: Encountering Atlantic Slavery in Imperial Britain ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 2012). Studies of colonial hybrid cultures include Kenneth J. Andrien, Andean Worlds: Indigenous History, Culture, and Consciousness under Spanish Rule, 1532–1825 ( Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press , 2001); Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind: The Intellectual Dynamics of Colonization and Globalization ( London: Routledge, 2002); James H. Sweet, Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the Portuguese World, 1441–1770 ( Durham, NC : University of North Carolina Press , 2003). For the development of ideas about race, Ivan Hannaford , Race: The History of an Idea in the West ( Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press , 1996), is a good place to start. More specialized analyses include Sue Peabody , “ There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime ( New York : Oxford University Press , 1996); Sue Peabody and Tyler Stovall, eds., The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France ( Durham, NC : Duke University Press , 2003). A recent study of ideas about Asia is Franklin Perkins, Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2004). For an analysis of the Tiepelo ceiling, with excellent color plates of the various parts, see Svetlana Alpers and Michael Baxandall, Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence ( New Haven : Yale University Press , 1994). The role of early modern scientists in creating racial and gender ideologies is discussed in Londa Schiebinger , Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science ( Boston: Beacon Press , 1995), and Joyce E. Chaplin, Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500–1676 ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 2001). For intersections of gender and race in the colonial world, see Kathleen M. Brown , Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and Power in Colonial Virginia ( Durham, NC: University of North Carolina Press , 1996); Ann Laura Stoler , Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule ( Berkeley: University of California Press , 2002); Kathleen Wilson , The Island Race: Englishness, Empire and Gender in the Eighteenth Century ( London: Routledge, 2002); Jennifer Morgan, Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press , 2004). Studies of the cultural impact of colonialism include Kathleen Wilson , The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture and Imperialism in England, 1715–1785 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1995); Victor Lieberman, ed., Beyond Binary Histories: Re-imagining Eurasia to c. 1830 ( Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press , 1999); Hans Joachim Voth , Time and Work in England, 1750–1830 ( Oxford : Oxford University Press , 2000); Emma Rothschild, The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History ( Princeton: Princeton University Press , 2011). Immanuel Wallerstein’s classic work is The Modern World System ( New York : Academic Press , 1974, 1980, 1989). Kenneth Pomeranz’s is The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy ( Princeton: Princeton University Press , 2000). For works by other scholars mentioned, see Joel Mokyr , The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress ( Oxford : Oxford University Press , 1990), and The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); Margaret C. Jacob, Scientifi c Culture and the Making of the Industrial West ( New York : Oxford University Press , 1997); Jan de Vries , The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (New York : Cambridge University Press , 2008); Philip T. Hoffman , Gilles Postel-Vinay , and Jean- Laurent Rosenthal, Surviving Large Losses: Financial Crises, the Middle Class, and the Development of Capital Markets ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 2007); Prasannan Parthasarathi, Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence 1600–1850 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2011); Jean-Laurent Rosenthal and R. Bin Wong , Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe ( Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press , 2011); Robert C. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2009). The books noted as arguing for European cultural superiority are David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are so Rich and Some so Poor ( New York :W. W. Norton , 1998); Ricardo Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization ( Leiden: Brill, 2011); Niall Ferguson, Civilization: The West and the Rest ( London: Allen Lane, 2011). A wide-ranging survey of these issues, with a huge bibliography, is Jack A. Goldstone, “Effl orescences and Economic Growth in World History: Rethinking the ‘Rise of the West’ and the Industrial Revolution ,” Journal of World History 13/2 ( 2002): 323–90. For an extensive and thoughtful discussion about the role of the state in these changes, also with an extensive bibliography, see J. H. H. Vries , “ Governing Growth: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of the State in the Rise of the West ,” Journal of World History 13/1 ( 2002): 67–138. For more suggestions and links see the companion website www.cambridge.org/wiesnerhanks . NOTES 1 Samuel Purchas , Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes, contayning a History of the World in Sea Voyages and Lande Travells, by Englishmen and others ( London: Hakluyt Society , 1905), vol. XX, pp. 248, 249, 250, 251. 2 Letter from Colbert to Intendant Jean Talon, January 5, 1666, quoted and translated in Saliha Belmessous, “ Assimilation and Racialism in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Colonial Policy ,” American Historical Review 110/2 (April 2005): 326. 3 Quoted in Charles Boxer , The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800 ( New York : Knopf, 1965), p. 221. 4 Baron de Wimpffen, quoted and translated in John D. Garrigus, “Tropical Temptress to Republican Wife: Gender, Virtue, and Haitian Independence, 1763–1803,” unpublished paper. 5 Cornelius de Pauw , Recherches philosophiques sur les Américains ( Berlin, 1771). 6 Albrecht Dürer, quoted in Benjamin Keen, The Aztec Image in Western Thought ( New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press , 1971), p. 69.