What do the visual and textual representations of the New World have to tell us about the complexity of the relationships between the major empires and the individuals who opposed and favored colonial expansion? By consulting rare manuscripts, images, maps and books, Jonathan Hart explores the relatively neglected empires of Portugal and the Netherlands to draw new conclusions about those of Spain, France, and England (Britain, as well as its successor the United States). The book ranges from the Portuguese voyages to and round Africa through Columbus and his French and English successors to the Spanish-American War of 1898 and concentrates on the frictions and shifting rivalries among the empires. By focusing on cultural aspects of the sea-borne empires of Western Europe and their explorationand settlement of the New World, the book contributes to the important debate of colonial and postcolonial studies and makes a distinct contribution by arguing for the necessity of the study of history in this debate - that is seeing the colonial in the postcolonial..

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