As social history’s highest tides recede, certain of its presumptions are exposed for reargument.
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’.
At the start of this century, Britons were polled about which century was the worst century of the last millennium. They alighted on the 14th century as the century when the four horsemen of the apocalypse rode most freely. The 14th century was the worst because the bubonic plague devastated the population of Eurasia.
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.
These books present reassessments of the colonizer/colonized relationship and how individuals and groups negotiated their space in conflict, spanning the period from earlier colonization to the brink of the American Revolution.
Among the challenges that define teaching the history of Britain to undergraduates, those presented by national context are perhaps the most complex.
In this book, Tonio Andrade tells the story of a wild and uncultivated island originally inhabited by aboriginal hunters and traders.
The so-called middle period of Cambodian history, stretching from the abandonment of the imperial urban complex we know as Angkor in the 1430s until the imposition of the French protectorate in 1863, has recently begun to attract renewed scholarly attention.
In 1994 I published a now widely cited and highly regarded volume entitled Immigration, Ethnicity and Racism in Britain, 1815–1914 (1), which, at the time, faced critical comment.
In the opening of his recent volume, Nature and History in the Potomac Country, historian James D. Rice informs his readers that the idea for the book began with what he perceived as a ‘hole in the map’ (p. 1).