The English Atlantic, 1675-1740: An Exploration of Communication and Community

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Exploding the curious myth that the ocean is a barrier rather than a highway for communication, this unusual interdisciplinary study examines the English Atlantic context of early American life. From the winterless Caribbean to the ice-locked Hudson Bay, maritime communications in fact usually met the legitimate expectations for frequency, speed, and safety, while increased shipping, new postal services, and newspapers hastened the exchange of news. These changes in avenues of communications reflected--and, in turn, enhanced--the political, economic, and social integration of the English Atlantic between 1675 and 1740. As Steele deftly describes the influence of physical, technological, socioeconomic, and political aspects of seaborne communication on the community, he suggests an exciting new mode of analyzing Colonial history.