304 pages | 6 x 9 | 3 illus.
Cloth 2013 | ISBN 9780812245516 | $49.95s | Outside the Americas £38.00
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A volume in the series Early American Studies
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"The ten essays in this volume prove the value of an exploration of Louisiana's colonial and American territorial past from an Atlantic world perspective. American, Canadian, and European historians demonstrate through extensive comparative and connective analysis of Louisiana's administrative, economic, and social links to France, Spain, and the Caribbean that eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Louisiana should never again be characterized as isolated and insular."—Julien Vernet, The Journal of Southern HistoryLocated at the junction of North America and the Caribbean, the vast territory of colonial Louisiana provides a paradigmatic case study for an Atlantic studies approach. One of the largest North American colonies and one of the last to be founded, Louisiana was governed by a succession of sovereignties, with parts ruled at various times by France, Spain, Britain, and finally the United States. But just as these shifting imperial connections shaped the territory's culture, Louisiana's peculiar geography and history also yielded a distinctive colonization pattern that reflected a synthesis of continent and island societies.
"Sitting at the edges of a New France trading economy and a circum-Caribbean system of slavery as well as at the heart of what would become the continental United States, Louisiana did indeed sit at the crossroads of the Atlantic world. Bridging historiographic and nationalistic divides, Louisiana: Crossroads of the Atlantic World is a welcome addition to the transnational scholarship of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth century Louisiana."—Jennifer M. Spear, author of Race, Sex, and Social Order in Early New Orleans
"These smart essays make good on the transnational promises and post-colonial potential of Atlantic history. No one, ever again, will refer to Louisiana as the neglected stepchild of United States or French colonial history."—Catherine Desbarats, McGill University
Louisiana: Crossroads of the Atlantic World offers an exceptional collaboration among American, Canadian, and European historians who explore colonial and antebellum Louisiana's relations with the rest of the Atlantic world. Studying the legacy of each period of Louisiana history over the longue durée, the essays create a larger picture of the ways early settlements influenced Louisiana society and how the changes in sovereignty and other circulations gave rise to a multiethnic society. Contributors examine the workings of empire through the examples of slave laws, administrative careers or on-the-ground political negotiations, cultural exchanges among landowners, slave holders, and slaves, and the construction of race through sexuality, marriage, and household formation. As a whole, the volume makes the compelling argument that one cannot write Louisiana history without adopting an Atlantic perspective, or Atlantic history without referring to Louisiana.
Contributors: Guillaume Aubert, Emily Clark, Alexandre Dubé, Sylvia R. Frey, Sylvia L. Hilton, Jean-Pierre Le Glaunec, Cécile Vidal, Sophie White, Mary Williams.
Cécile Vidal is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for North American Studies at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.