Dr. Mancke is an associate professor of history at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, 44325–1902.
EARLY MODERN EXPANSION AND THE POLITICIZATION OF OCEANIC SPACE*
Version of Record online: 21 APR 2010
1999 American Geographical Society
Volume 89, Issue 2, pages 225–236, April 1999
How to Cite
MANCKE, E. (1999), EARLY MODERN EXPANSION AND THE POLITICIZATION OF OCEANIC SPACE. Geographical Review, 89: 225–236. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.1999.tb00215.x
This essay benefited from the comments of the participants at the Oceans Connect workshop at Duke University and from the assessments of two anonymous reviewers. The John Carter Brown Library, where I was a fellow, provided a collegial environment for completing the revisions.
- Issue online: 21 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 21 APR 2010
- European expansion;
- international relations
ABSTRACT. The definition of oceans as international politicized space is an integral but little analyzed aspect of early modern European expansion, which took place between about 1450 and 1800. In this essay I explore the implications of thinking about the development of European imperialism and global dominance in oceanic terms. I argue that oceanic, rather than terrestrial, dominance characterized early modern European empires, particularly in relation to Africa and Asia, where indigenous political and economic control prevailed. The long apprenticeship in mastering oceanic space contributed to the ability of Europeans to build land-based empires in Asia and Africa in the nineteenth century. As well, the international relationships worked out by Europeans in the nonstate but militarized arena of the high seas contributed to an emergent global order.