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Other titles in the Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American Hist series:
The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763
Synopses & Reviews
A truly continental history in both its geographic and political scope, The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire investigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars' traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Paul Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history.
In the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century, imperial officials in London, Paris, or Madrid knew very little about western North America. Yet Europeans' competition to gain access to the Pacific Ocean and control trade to the Far East enhanced the importance of western American territories. Mapp reconstructs French, Spanish, British, and Amerindian ideas about these unknown regions, especially the elusive Northwest Passage, and shows that a Pacific focus is crucial to understanding the causes, course, and consequences of the Seven Years' War.
Mapp's work serves as a model for constructing a comprehensive colonial history of the continent. His book transcends artificially imposed boundaries of scholarly inquiry that did not exist in the diverse and interconnected early modern world and relates remote Pacific regions to the Atlantic aspects of the global Seven Years' War.
"Brilliantly calculating the costs of ignorance, Paul Mapp shows that what eighteenth-century European statesmen didn't know about the North American interior not only hurt the empires they served, but reshaped the world itself. The Elusive West utterly reorients our understanding of the period 1713-1763. It is a superb book."--Fred Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder "The Elusive West puts Paul Mapp at the forefront of an exciting generation of continental early Americanists. His dazzling research combines diplomacy and geography with political, military, and intellectual history. This trailblazing book gives weight to the vast American West, both real and imagined, during the vital half-century before 1763."--Peter H. Wood, Duke University, emeritus "By examining geographic misunderstandings of North America, Mapp helps us see imperial successes and failures in an entirely new way. His insights are based on his own expansive knowledge of the long history of exploration and map-making by multiple empires, as each tried to capture the elusive nature of the continent's interior. An important and innovative book."--Kathleen DuVal, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Mapp investigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars' traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history.
About the Author
Paul Mapp is associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary.
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History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies