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Title: Empire later : England and West Africa, 1553-1631, and the foundations of English dominance in the region in the late seventeenth century
Author: Blum, Lior
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 922X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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This study examines English activity in West Africa during the years 1553-1631, and explores the ways in which it shaped the history of England’s engagement with the region in the later seventeenth century. A scholarly tendency to focus on the history of the Royal African Company (1672-1752), while overlooking the century of activity that preceded it, makes the rise of that organization to prominence during the closing decades of the seventeenth century to seem as an extraordinary and an explained event. This study however, argues that a strong connection between the two periods does exist, as those early stages of English engagement with West Africa were instrumental in the making of England one of the most prominent powers in the region in the late seventeenth century. It is further argued that, as opposed to North America, the establishment of the English in West Africa during the first decades of engagement was not the result of a co-ordinated, planned effort, but was brought about by individual merchants who pursued narrow commercial interests. Thus, a great deal of contingency was involved in that process of establishment, and it is this feature which makes it unique in the history of England’s overseas expansion. Nevertheless, this study shows that English activity in West Africa in 1553-1631 is highly relevant in the wider context of England’s global pursuits, as the events which took place in that region at that time serves as a precursor of English activity on the other side of the Atlantic, in North America and the Caribbean.
Supervisor: Petley, Christer ; Jowitt, Claire E. ; Hayward, Maria Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available