The editors of this very useful collection of essays boldly state that it is their thesis that 'early modern botany both facilitated and profited from colonisation and long distance trade and that the development of botany and Europe's commercial and territorial expansion are closely associated developments' (p. 3).
This is a short book on what turns out to be a rather bigger subject than might have been expected from the title; not because the Dutch slave trade was so important, but because Emmer uses it as an entry to a wide range of issues concerning the Atlantic slave trade in general and its historiography.
In a seminal article on Portuguese merchants published 35 years ago (1), David Grant Smith suggested (on p. 247) that emigrants from Madeira ‘constituted a sort of gentile Diaspora’, highlighting how family ties and friendships originating on this small Portuguese Atlantic island ‘endured and formed the basis for a network of commercial relationships’.
Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World provides a nuanced investigation into cities with varying degrees of connection to the Portuguese empire during the 16th through the 18th centuries.
Maxwell-Stuart's The Chemical Choir is a potentially useful book about the history of alchemy from its roots in ancient China and Egypt in the 4th century AD until the 20th century. It has several merits. Firstly, it breaks down a complex subject – the study of nature through experiments with chemicals – into ten easy-to-read chapters.
In this book, Tonio Andrade tells the story of a wild and uncultivated island originally inhabited by aboriginal hunters and traders.
Professor Sir John Elliott is surely the most distinguished Anglophone historian of early modern Spain and its empire; and his mastery of that topic has enabled him to make an equally distinguished contribution to our understanding of Europe as a whole between the 15th and 18th centuries.
The New Imperial Histories Reader is part of a series of history readers aimed at the undergraduate/ postgraduate market that have been published by Routledge over the past decade.
Ten Years of Debate on the Origins of the Great Divergence between the Economies of Europe and China during the Era of Mercantilism and Industrialization
1. Smith, Marx and Weber
The cotton industry is fundamental to the development of global capitalism and broadly shaped the world we live in today. It is therefore important to realise the extent to which this depended on the militarisation of trade, massive land expropriation, genocide and slavery.