Never truly a "new world" entirely detached from the home countries of its immigrants, colonial America, over the generations, became a model of transatlantic culture. Colonial society was shaped by the conflict between colonists' need to adapt to the American environment and their desire to perpetuate old world traditions or to imitate the charismatic model of the British establishment. In the course of colonial history, these contrasting impulses produced a host of distinctive cultures and identities.
In this impressive new collection, prominent scholars of early American history explore this complex dynamic of accommodation and replication to demonstrate how early American societies developed from the intersection of American and Atlantic influences. The volume, edited by Robert Olwell and Alan Tully, offers fresh perspectives on colonial history and on early American attitudes toward slavery and ethnicity, native Americans, and the environment, as well as colonial social, economic, and political development. It reveals the myriad ways in which American colonists were the inhabitants and subjects of a wider Atlantic world.
Cultures and Identities in Colonial British America, one of a three-volume series under the editorship of Jack P. Greene, aims to give students of Atlantic history a "state of the field" survey by pursuing interesting lines of research and raising new questions. The entire series, "Anglo-America in the Transatlantic World," engages the major organizing themes of the subject through a collection of high-level, debate-inspiring essays, inviting readers to think anew about the complex ways in which the Atlantic experience shaped both American societies and the Atlantic world itself.
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