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Cambridge University Press
When the Waves Ruled Britannia: Geography and Political Identities, 1500-1800

When the Waves Ruled Britannia: Geography and Political Identities, 1500-1800

by Jonathan Scott
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How did a rural and agrarian English society transform itself into a mercantile and maritime state? What role was played by war and the need for military security? How did geographical ideas inform the construction of English - and then British - political identities? Focusing upon the deployment of geographical imagery and arguments for political purposes, Jonathan Scott's ambitious and interdisciplinary study traces the development of the idea of Britain as an island nation, state and then empire from 1500 to 1800, through literature, philosophy, history, geography and travel writing. One argument advanced in the process concerns the maritime origins, nature and consequences of the English revolution. This is the first general study to examine changing geographical languages in early modern British politics, in an imperial, European and global context. Offering a new perspective on the nature of early modern Britain, it will be essential reading for students and scholars of the period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521152419
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/24/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Scott is Professor of History at the University of Auckland. His previous publications include England's Troubles: Seventeenth-Century English Political Instability in European Context (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and Commonwealth Principles: Republican Writing of the English Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Britain's island idea; 1. Community of water; 2. Queen of Sparta; 3. The discipline of the sea; 4. Ark of war; 5. Blowing a dead coal; 6. The British Empire in Europe; 7. The world in an island; 8. Anticontinentalism; 9. What continent?; Conclusion: floating islands.

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