Studying Atlantic history can boast a long and impressive tradition, however, in recent years, early Americanists have begun to incorporate it more into classroom discussions. This text synthesizes the best work on the later 17th and 18th centuries, approaching Atlantic history thematically, taking long-dominant themes in early American scholarship such as immigration, native peoples, the rise of slavery, women and the family and war and politics and situating each within a broader Atlantic context. The book's main focus is on the period between the Glorious Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. Not only did the Glorious Revolution inaugurate a new phase in the North American rivalry between Britain, France and Spain, but it also coincided with new, more intensive contacts between the colonists and the wider Atlantic, with lasting consequences for commerce, migration, the communication of ideas and - significantly - the rise of slave-based agriculture in Virginia and the Lower South.
Although all these developments had roots in earlier phases of Europe's overseas expansion, it is only in the 18th century that we can begin to speak of Britain's North American colonies as integral parts of the larger Atlantic world. Furthermore, the transatlantic relationships that are the subject of this book persisted even after the Glorious Revolution, exerting a significant role in the cultural, economic and political life of the American Republic well into the next century. Comprehensive in scope, the book takes into account the contemporary historiography exploring new ways to conceptualize an evolving field, and should provide a concise overview for students of early American history.