Empire at the Periphery: British Colonists, Anglo-Dutch Trade, and the Development of the British Atlantic, 1621-1713

NYU Press
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Throughout history the British Atlantic has often been depicted as a series of well-ordered colonial ports that functioned as nodes of Atlantic shipping, where orderliness reflected the effectiveness of the regulatory apparatus constructed to contain Atlantic commerce. Colonial ports were governable places where British vessels, and only British vessels, were to deliver English goods in exchange for colonial produce. Yet behind these sanitized depictions lay another story, one about the porousness of commercial regulation, the informality and persistent illegality of exchanges in the British Empire, and the endurance of a culture of cross-national cooperation in the Atlantic that had been forged in the first decades of European settlement and still resonated a century later. In Empire at the Periphery, Christian J. Koot examines the networks that connected British settlers in New York and the Caribbean and Dutch traders in the Netherlands and in the Dutch colonies in North America and the Caribbean, demonstrating that these interimperial relationships formed a core part of commercial activity in the early Atlantic World, operating alongside British trade. Koot provides unique consideration of how local circumstances shaped imperial development, reminding us that empires consisted not only of elites dictating imperial growth from world capitals, but also of ordinary settlers in far-flung colonial outposts, who often had more in common withOCoand a greater reliance onOCopeople from foreign empires who shared their experiences of living at the edge of a fragile, transitional world. Part of the series Early American Places
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About the author

Christian J. Koot is Associate Professor of History at Towson University in Maryland.

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Publisher
NYU Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9780814749425
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Commerce
HISTORY / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Christian J. Koot
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Reveals the little known history of one of history’s most famous maps – and its maker Tucked away in a near-forgotten collection, Virginia and Maryland as it is Planted and Inhabited is one of the most extraordinary maps of colonial British America. Created by a colonial merchant, planter, and diplomat named Augustine Herrman, the map pictures the Mid-Atlantic in breathtaking detail, capturing its waterways, coastlines, and communities. Herrman spent three decades travelling between Dutch New Amsterdam and the English Chesapeake before eventually settling in Maryland and making this map. Although the map has been reproduced widely, the history of how it became one of the most famous images of the Chesapeake has never been told. A Biography of a Map in Motion uncovers the intertwined stories of the map and its maker, offering new insights into the creation of empire in North America. The book follows the map from the waterways of the Chesapeake to the workshops of London, where it was turned into a print and sold. Transported into coffee houses, private rooms, and government offices, Virginia and Maryland became an apparatus of empire that allowed English elites to imaginatively possess and accurately manage their Atlantic colonies. Investigating this map offers the rare opportunity to recapture the complementary and occasionally conflicting forces that created the British Empire. From the colonial and the metropolitan to the economic and the political to the local and the Atlantic, this is a fascinating exploration of the many meanings of a map, and how what some saw as establishing a sense of local place could translate to forging an empire.
Christian J. Koot
Throughout history the British Atlantic has often been depicted as a series of well-ordered colonial ports that functioned as nodes of Atlantic shipping, where orderliness reflected the effectiveness of the regulatory apparatus constructed to contain Atlantic commerce. Colonial ports were governable places where British vessels, and only British vessels, were to deliver English goods in exchange for colonial produce. Yet behind these sanitized depictions lay another story, one about the porousness of commercial regulation, the informality and persistent illegality of exchanges in the British Empire, and the endurance of a culture of cross-national cooperation in the Atlantic that had been forged in the first decades of European settlement and still resonated a century later.

In Empire at the Periphery, Christian J. Koot examines the networks that connected British settlers in New York and the Caribbean and Dutch traders in the Netherlands and in the Dutch colonies in North America and the Caribbean, demonstrating that these interimperial relationships formed a core part of commercial activity in the early Atlantic World, operating alongside British trade. Koot provides unique consideration of how local circumstances shaped imperial development, reminding us that empires consisted not only of elites dictating imperial growth from world capitals, but also of ordinary settlers in far-flung colonial outposts, who often had more in common with—and a greater reliance on—people from foreign empires who shared their experiences of living at the edge of a fragile, transitional world.

Part of the series Early American Places

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