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Empires of the Atlantic world : Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830 /

Main Author: Elliott, John Huxtable.
Corporate Author: JSTOR books.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: New Haven : Yale University Press, 2006
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Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

Elliott (Univ. of Oxford) compares the American empires of Britain and Spain in this excellent, wide-ranging study. Synthesizing the vast secondary literature on these regions is no mean feat, and Elliott accomplishes it with skill. He adopts a thematic approach that is loosely chronological, often comparing the two empires in alternating paragraphs. His conclusions are mixed, noting important similarities and differences. Ultimately, though, the differences are more significant. Elliott cites religious tolerance and the rise of representative assemblies in British North America, which had no counterpart in the Spanish Empire, as the keys to the success of the future US. However, several similarities are striking, especially the roles of Native peoples and slaves in both empires. There is much that will be new to those with a deeper knowledge in one region than the other. For example, anti-elite uprisings and witchcraft accusations occurred in both in the later 17th century. Similarly, there were popular protests in Spanish America around the same time of the Stamp Act riots in the British Colonies. Elliott has written a comprehensive history indispensable for anyone with an interest in the Atlantic world. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All academic levels/libraries. J. Mercantini Canisius College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In a masterful account, Oxford don Elliott explores the simultaneous development of Spanish and English colonies in the so-called New World. Though colonists tried to recreate traditional institutions on American soil, there were inevitable differences between colonial life and life in the mother countries: familial roles, for example, were reconfigured across the ocean. In addition to differing from Europe, Spanish and British settlements differed from one another, says Elliott. Whereas Spain determined to prevent Jews and Moors from entering its territories, Britain's grudging acceptance of religious diversity was evidenced in the Crown's allowing, and in some cases encouraging, persecuted minorities to join colonial ventures. The English colonies' fractious Protestantism made Spain's Catholic colonies look homogeneous by contrast. Yet the "pigmentocratic" social order of Spanish colonies proved to be exceedingly complex. English colonies, with their adoption of racial slavery, came to be organized around the deceptively simple categories of black and white, while Spanish America was home to varied ethnic groups that readily produced "mixed-blood" offspring. Ultimately, British colonies would privilege innovation and entrepreneurship, while Spanish-speaking society held on more firmly to "the old hierarchies." Elliott's synthesis represents some of the finest fruits of the study of the Atlantic world. Illus., maps. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

A noted scholar of early modern Spain, Elliott (modern history, emeritus, Univ. of Oxford; Spain and Its World: 1500-1700) has expanded his scope with a comparative history of the British and Spanish empires in the Americas. He adopts this comparative approach in an effort to contend with what he feels is the fragmented story of the Americas, where historians separate out regions as distinct entities without much connection to a larger whole. His efforts thus run parallel to other recent scholarship, such as Anthony Pagden's Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, c.1500-c.1800, on interconnections in the Atlantic World. Given his background, Elliott of course writes very well on Spanish matters; his sections on British colonization do slightly pale in comparison. Nevertheless, he generally succeeds in illuminating the larger history of the Americas, providing readers with a sense of both the interplay between the two empires and the pressures (sociocultural, geographic, and demographic) that shaped colonization. While not essential for all libraries, Elliott's scholarship makes this survey a useful addition to academic collections, especially those with a focus on the Americas during the European Colonial era.-John Russell, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

A noted scholar of early modern Spain, Elliott (modern history, emeritus, Univ. of Oxford; Spain and Its World: 1500-1700) has expanded his scope with a comparative history of the British and Spanish empires in the Americas. He adopts this comparative approach in an effort to contend with what he feels is the fragmented story of the Americas, where historians separate out regions as distinct entities without much connection to a larger whole. His efforts thus run parallel to other recent scholarship, such as Anthony Pagden's Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, c.1500-c.1800, on interconnections in the Atlantic World. Given his background, Elliott of course writes very well on Spanish matters; his sections on British colonization do slightly pale in comparison. Nevertheless, he generally succeeds in illuminating the larger history of the Americas, providing readers with a sense of both the interplay between the two empires and the pressures (sociocultural, geographic, and demographic) that shaped colonization. While not essential for all libraries, Elliott's scholarship makes this survey a useful addition to academic collections, especially those with a focus on the Americas during the European Colonial era.--John Russell, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.