The Mediterranean in the English Empire of Trade, 1660-1748

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The Mediterranean in the English Empire of Trade, 1660-1748

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Title: The Mediterranean in the English Empire of Trade, 1660-1748
Author: Stein, Tristan
Citation: Stein, Tristan. 2012. The Mediterranean in the English Empire of Trade, 1660-1748. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This dissertation reintegrates the Mediterranean into the history of the development of the early modern British Empire. During the seventeenth century, the Mediterranean emerged as a distinct political, legal and commercial space within the wider currents of English expansion. The political and legal regimes of the sea shaped the evolution of the English presence there and the rulers of the Ottoman Empire, the North African regencies, and Italian states such as Tuscany and Genoa limited the expansion of English sovereignty. As a result, the sea offers a different perspective on the history of English expansion than that found in imperial histories set in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The development of the English presence in the Mediterranean highlights the relative weakness of the early modern English state and the extent to which other polities limited the expansion of its sovereign authority. However, this dissertation also aims to move beyond an imperial historiography that distinguishes the wider development of English trade and navigation from the growth of English empire. Through the latter half of the seventeenth century and first half of the eighteenth, the Crown's claims to jurisdiction over its subjects and their ships projected English authority into the Mediterranean. This dissertation examines how the English state extended its authority within a pluralistic maritime environment that lay largely beyond the reach of its claims to empire. By studying the jurisdictional contests that arose when the Crown’s claims to authority over its subjects and their ships collided with the sovereignty of Mediterranean polities, it shows how the intersection of diverse sovereign and legal authorities defined the organization of English trade and navigation. Moreover, as the English state extended its authority overseas during the early modern period, it called into question the location of sovereignty and jurisdictional authority in Mediterranean waters as well as in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. English expansion in the Mediterranean and the political evolution of the sea were part of a global process whereby states and empires sought to establish their authority over oceanic space and networks of trade.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10288459
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