The English Atlantic in an Age of Revolution, 1640-1661

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Harvard University Press, 2004 - History - 342 pages
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Between 1640 and 1660, England, Scotland, and Ireland faced civil war, invasion, religious radicalism, parliamentary rule, and the restoration of the monarchy. Carla Gardina Pestana offers a sweeping history that systematically connects these cataclysmic events and the development of the infant plantations from Newfoundland to Surinam.

By 1660, the English Atlantic emerged as religiously polarized, economically interconnected, socially exploitative, and ideologically anxious about its liberties. War increased both the proportion of unfree laborers and ethnic diversity in the settlements. Neglected by London, the colonies quickly developed trade networks, especially from seafaring New England, and entered the slave trade. Barbadian planters in particular moved decisively toward slavery as their premier labor system, leading the way toward its adoption elsewhere. When by the 1650s the governing authorities tried to impose their vision of an integrated empire, the colonists claimed the rights of "freeborn English men," making a bid for liberties that had enormous implications for the rise in both involuntary servitude and slavery. Changes at home politicized religion in the Atlantic world and introduced witchcraft prosecutions.

Pestana presents a compelling case for rethinking our assumptions about empire and colonialism and offers an invaluable look at the creation of the English Atlantic world.

 

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Contents

The English Atlantic 16401661 xii
1
The English Atlantic in 1640
14
The Challenge of Civil War
25
Puritan Ascendancy and Religious Polarization
53
Regicide and Royalist Rebellions
86
Religious Politics of a Puritan Revolution
123
Free Trade and Freeborn English Men 757
157
the Atlantic World
183
The English Atlantic and
213
Population Figures 1640
229
London Pamphlets about New England
235
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About the author (2004)

Pestana is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University.

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