Atlantic History

Atlantic history is a specialty field in history that studies of the Atlantic World in the early modern period. It is premised on the idea that, following the rise of sustained European contact with the New World in the 16th century, the continents that bordered the Atlantic Ocean—the Americas, Europe, and Africa—constituted a regional system or common sphere of economic and cultural exchange that can be studied as a totality.

Its theme is the complex interaction between Europe (Britain, France, the Iberian Peninsula) and the New World colonies. It encompasses a wide range of demographic, social, economic, political, legal, military, intellectual and religious topics treated in comparative fashion by looking at both sides of the Atlantic. Religious revivals characterized Britain and Germany, as well as the First Great Awakening in the American colonies. Migration and race/slavery have been important topics.

Practitioners of Atlantic history typically focus on the interconnections and exchanges between these regions and the civilizations they harbored. In particular, they argue that the boundaries between nation states which traditionally determined the limits of older historiography should not be applied to such transnational phenomena as slavery, colonialism, missionary activity and economic expansion. Environmental history and the study of historical demography also play an important role, as many key questions in the field revolve around the ecological and epidemiological impact of the Columbian Exchange.

Robert R. Palmer, an American historian of the French Revolution, pioneered the concept in the 1950s with a wide-ranging comparative history of how numerous nations experienced what he called the The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800 (1959 and 1964). Since the 1980s Atlantic history has emerged as an increasingly popular alternative to the older discipline of imperial history, although it could be argued that the field is simply a refinement and reorientation of traditional historiography dealing with the interaction between early modern Europeans and native peoples in the Atlantic sphere. The organization of Atlantic History as a recognized area of historiography began in the 1980s under the impetus of American historians Bernard Bailyn of Harvard University and Jack P. Greene of Johns Hopkins University, among others. The post-World War II integration of the European Union and the continuing importance of NATO played an indirect role in stimulating interest throughout the 1990s.

Read more about Atlantic HistoryBailyn, Perspectives, Colonial Studies, Criticism, See Also

Other articles related to "atlantic history, atlantic, history":

Comparative History - Atlantic History
... Atlantic history studies the Atlantic World in the early modern period ... the New World in the 16th century, the continents that bordered the Atlantic Ocean—the Americas, Europe, and Africa—constituted a regional system or common ... fashion by looking at both sides of the Atlantic ...
Nicholas Canny - Works - Papers, Articles and Review Articles
... 'Early Modern Ireland an appraisal appraised', in Irish Economic Social History, IV (1977), pp ... and Virginia, 15501650', in Minorities in History ed ... mal posée', in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, XXX (1979), pp ...
Historiography Of The United States - Colonial and Revolution - Atlantic History
... the colonial and revolutionary eras in the wider context of Atlantic history, with emphasis on the multiple interactions among the Americas, Europe and Africa ...

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