Old World, the New World, and the Creation of the Modern World, 1400–1650

Old World, the New World, and the Creation of the Modern World, 1400–1650

An Interpretive History

By Aaron M. Shatzman

This book provides a unique look at the early years of European discovery and colonization, analyzing the impact of this period on the historical development of both the New and Old Worlds.

Paperback, 222 Pages


August 2013

£18.99, $34.95

  • About This Book
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  • Author Information
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

“The Old World, the New World, and the Creation of the Modern World, 1400–1650: An Interpretive History” provides a unique look at the early years of discovery and colonization of the Americas, and at the impact of this period on the historical development of both the New and Old Worlds. Through innovative use of visual evidence and original source material, Aaron M. Shatzman examines both the physical (economic and social) and the psychological impact of voyages of discovery and exploration on Europeans, discussing the ways in which Europeans “used” the New World both as a place to get rich and as a place to create ideal societies and expand God’s kingdom on Earth.

Providing the essential facts in conjunction with expert analysis, the volume invites readers to tackle a number of important questions so as to construct their own analysis of the evidence presented. A number of important historical issues are broached, including: the origins of slavery and racial prejudice; the significance of the wilderness (frontier) in shaping the future of the Americas; and the importance of the discovery and settlement of the Americas in the transition from a pre-modern to a modern world. Uniquely, the volume goes beyond the standard textbook formula of “what, when and where” to delve more deeply into the specific (as well as the wider) significance of historical developments, thereby providing the platform for a textured, interpretive understanding of the history of the Atlantic world.


“Atlantic history is fast becoming one of the most original and exciting modes of historical enquiry. With its plethora of contemporary source material, visual and written, Shatzman’s volume is a trusty guide through the intricacies and complexities of the early modern Atlantic world.” —Rev. Dr David Ceri Jones, Aberystwyth University, Wales

“In deft prose and through clear exposition of complex themes, Shatzman demonstrates a mastery of a huge body of often conflicting literature. Via extensive use of dramatic primary evidence, Shatzman makes vital and real the excitement, drama and massive human costs entailed in Europe’s encounter with the Americas from Columbus’s arrival in 1492 to the establishment of colonial British American colonies in the seventeenth century.” —Professor Trevor Burnard, University of Melbourne

Author Information

Aaron M. Shatzman is dean of social sciences at Montgomery County Community College, Philadelphia, PA.


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

List of Figures; List of Original Source Material; Preface; Introduction; Chapter One – Beginnings: Europe and the Wider World; Chapter Two – Expansion: The Old World and a New World; Chapter Three – Spain Ascendant: Conquest and Colonization; Chapter Four – Interlopers: Pirates, Traders, Trappers, Missionaries; Chapter Five – Profit and Piety: The English Settlements; Chapter Six – The Sea and the Land: Open Space, Abundance, Frontier; Index 


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