This study explores the shared history of the French empire from a perspective of material culture in order to re-evaluate the participation of colonial, Creole, and indigenous agency in the construction of imperial spaces. The decentred approach to a global history of the French colonial realm allows a new understanding of power relations in different locales. Traditional binary models that assume the centralization of imperial power and control in an imperial centre often overlook the variegated nature of agency in the empire. In a selection of case studies in the Caribbean, Canada, Africa, and India, several building projects show the mixed group of planners, experts, and workers, the composite nature of building materials, and elements of different ‘glocal’ styles that give the empire its concrete manifestation. Thus the study proposes to view the French overseas empire in the early modern period not as a consequence or an outgrowth of Eurocentric state building, but rather as the result of a globally interconnected process of empire building.
‘Poor’ Europe’s pathways to empire and globalisation
is far less well studied in the histories of these societies compared to the Atlantic world. 3 Although less influential in the socio-economic and migration experience of all three countries before the 1820s, the Company’s commerce and colonialism should be integrated more consistently into assessments of earlymodern Scottish, Irish and Welsh histories. The starting point for an informed awareness of this Asia dimension is the matter of numbers. The Company’s embarkation lists, muster rolls and censuses between c. 1753 and the end of the India monopoly in 1813
Complicating the coloniser: Scottish, Irish and Welsh perspectives on British imperialism in Asia
This book is about Scottish, Irish and Welsh involvement in the English East India companies that controlled official contact between the British and Irish Isles and Asia throughout the earlymodern era. 1 It uses three societies not usually considered central to Europe’s eastward expansion to consider the multiple pathways into empire and to reflect on the ways in which links to Asia changed colonising countries in profound and often contrasting ways. The central contention is that Scotland, Ireland and Wales’s engagement with the English East India companies
Affective buildings and emotional communities on Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti
Earlymodern colonial empires lacked the supposed homogeneity of those of the modern era. The last case study returns to the Caribbean in order to illustrate how the techniques of empire building were not necessarily restricted to the use of European colonizers. Affective buildings and the resulting emotional communities are characteristic to earlymodern colonial culture, influenced government and social order, and could eventually be appropriated for different purposes, too. Thus the Haitian Revolution can serve as an event that marks the
The book is a comparative analysis of Scotland, Ireland and Wales’s participation in the English East India Company between c.1690 and c.1820. It explains the increasing involvement of individuals and networks from these societies in the London-based corporation which controlled contact between the early modern British and Irish Isles and one hemisphere of world trade. Scottish, Irish, and Welsh evidence is used to consider wider questions on the origins, nature and consequences of the early modern phase of globalisation, sometimes referred to as ‘proto-globalisation’. The book contributes to such debates by analysing how these supposedly ‘poorer’ regions of Europe relied on migration as an investment strategy to profit from empire in Asia. Using social network theory and concepts of human capital it examines why the Scots, Irish and Welsh developed markedly different profiles in the Company’s service. Chapters on the administrative elite, army officers and soldiers, the medical corps and private traders demonstrate consistent Scottish over-representation, uneven Irish involvement and consistent Welsh under-representation. Taken together they explore a previously underappreciated cycle of human capital that involved departure to Asia, the creation of colonial profits, and the return back of people and their fortunes to Britain and Ireland. By reconceptualising the origins and the consequences of involvement in the Company, the study will be of interest to historians of early modern Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Britain, the East India Company and the early phases of British imperialism in Asia.
Material culture approaches to exploring humanitarian exchanges
Amanda B. Moniz
themselves to be part of far-flung
communities of faith. Likewise, historian Hannah Robb has examined poor
purses used for dispensing alms, and through the wearing of which
early-modern Englishwomen displayed their generosity and piety. 7 Less attention has been
devoted to the objects employed in charitable institutions’
day-to-day programmatic work.
Charities’ minutes as a source
While historians of
from the provinces as much as
the means does from the end. They are only commercial outposts.’ 1 This declaration, which
bluntly acknowledged the problem of territorial continuity or
discontinuity for an earlymodern state, points to a complex and, at the
time, growing debate: were the French colonies a part of the Kingdom of
France and, if not, what were they? At the heart of this question, which
A Short History of Guinea and its impact on early British abolitionism
(eds), Atlantic World of Benezet , pp.
Benezet, Some Historical Account , p. 54. For
attitudes to Africa, see Toby Green and Jonathan D. Sassi,
‘Africans in the Quaker Image: Anthony Benezet, African Travel Narratives, and Revolutionary-Era
Antislavery’, Journal of EarlyModern History (2006), 10
(1–2), pp. 95–130; George E
Harper and Stephen Constantine have estimated that ‘1,474,740 indentured workers were recruited and sent overseas to other British Empire destinations between 1834 and 1920’, with India providing the ‘largest share’ of ‘1,258,861, or 85 per cent’.
To these figures we also need to add convict transportation during the earlymodern period, which the British Empire perfected as it rose to global prominence. The largest number of criminals were transported from Britain to North America and then Australia; other convicts
Changing the discourse on Indigenous visitors to Georgian Britain
territory, the category of Indigeneity in the earlymodern British imaginary
always attached to those non-Europeans whose land was the focus of most
expansionist attention. Between 1500 and about 1770, the paramount exemplars
of Indigeneity were unquestionably Indigenous Americans. 7
The first recorded Indigenous American visitors to Britain
were three Beothuk Indians, who arrived with some Bristol-based fishermen in