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Max Edelson

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Latest 8 Jan 2022 | Updated Daily

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145. Creating the New Map of Empire with Max Edelson

Conversations at the Washington Library

When the British defeated the French and their allies in the Seven Years’ War, they acquired vast new territories that expanded British America. Britain’s North America Empire grew to include New Brunswick in Canada, Florida on the southern mainland, and Caribbean Islands like Dominica, among many other places. How would the British meld these spaces – spaces that were religiously and ethnically diverse, characterized by both free and enslaved labor, and fraught with tension between indigenous peoples and white settlers – into a coherent empire? Well, first they had to map them. In the decade before the American Revolution, the British government embarked on a monumental effort to create new, high-resolution maps that would help it forge a new imperial landscape. On today’s episode, Dr. Max Edelson joins us to explain how a cadre of British military engineers, surveyors, and diplomats produced maps that sought to realize a vision of empire that never came to be. Dr. Edelson is a historian of British America at the University of Virginia, and the author of the recent book, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence.  Edelson and host Jim Ambuske discuss a number of maps in this episode, including: Maps in The New Map of Empire: Mapscholar.org/empire Herman Moll, A new and exact map of the dominions of the King of Great Britain on ye continent of North America, containing Newfoundland, New Scotland, New England, New York, New Jersey, Pensilvania, Maryland, Virginia and Carolina (1715) The Catawba Map [Map of the several nations of Indians to the Northwest of South Carolina] [c. 1724] Samuel Holland, A map of the island of St. John in the Gulf of St. Laurence divided into counties & parishes and the lots as granted by government, (1776). About Our Guest:  S. Max Edelson studies the history of British America and the Atlantic world. His research examines space, place, and culture in colonial North America and the Caribbean. His first book, Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina (Harvard, 2006) examines the relationship between planters and environment in South Carolina as the key to understanding this repressive, prosperous society and its distinctive economic culture His second book, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence (Harvard, 2017), describes how Britain used maps and geographic knowledge to reform its American empire in the eighteenth century. About Our Host: Jim Ambuske, Ph.D. leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. A historian of the American Revolution, Scotland, and the British Atlantic World, Ambuske graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA Law, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  He is currently at work on a book about emigration from Scotland in the era of the American Revolution as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/mountvernon/message

42mins

13 Feb 2020

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Max Edelson, "The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence" (Harvard UP, 2017)

New Books in British Studies

When we think of the history of the British empire we tend to think big: oceans were crossed; colonies grew from small settlements to territories many times larger than England; entire Continents, each with substantial indigenous populations, were brought under British rule. Maps were an important part of rule in America, but from the point of view of the Board of Trade, the lack of ‘exact Surveys’ meant that a new approach to mapping Britain’s American dominions was needed.Max Edelson is a Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and in The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017) he shows how the Crown and the Board of Trade initiated the mapping of every new corner of Britain’s American dominions – places that were also the ancestral homes of Native Americans and the site of emerging settler republics. The book has an accompanying website, includes a bibliography of 257 maps, which is only a selection of what was produced. Yet virtually every acre of ground shown in these maps was contested by colonists, settlers, indigenous people, land speculators, and servants of the Crown. Britain claimed vast territory which it could not effectively rule.Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/british-studies

56mins

16 May 2019

Similar People

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Max Edelson, "The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence" (Harvard UP, 2017)

New Books in Geography

When we think of the history of the British empire we tend to think big: oceans were crossed; colonies grew from small settlements to territories many times larger than England; entire Continents, each with substantial indigenous populations, were brought under British rule. Maps were an important part of rule in America, but from the point of view of the Board of Trade, the lack of ‘exact Surveys’ meant that a new approach to mapping Britain’s American dominions was needed.Max Edelson is a Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and in The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017) he shows how the Crown and the Board of Trade initiated the mapping of every new corner of Britain’s American dominions – places that were also the ancestral homes of Native Americans and the site of emerging settler republics. The book has an accompanying website, includes a bibliography of 257 maps, which is only a selection of what was produced. Yet virtually every acre of ground shown in these maps was contested by colonists, settlers, indigenous people, land speculators, and servants of the Crown. Britain claimed vast territory which it could not effectively rule.Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

56mins

16 May 2019

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Max Edelson, "The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence" (Harvard UP, 2017)

New Books in Intellectual History

When we think of the history of the British empire we tend to think big: oceans were crossed; colonies grew from small settlements to territories many times larger than England; entire Continents, each with substantial indigenous populations, were brought under British rule. Maps were an important part of rule in America, but from the point of view of the Board of Trade, the lack of ‘exact Surveys’ meant that a new approach to mapping Britain’s American dominions was needed.Max Edelson is a Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and in The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017) he shows how the Crown and the Board of Trade initiated the mapping of every new corner of Britain’s American dominions – places that were also the ancestral homes of Native Americans and the site of emerging settler republics. The book has an accompanying website, includes a bibliography of 257 maps, which is only a selection of what was produced. Yet virtually every acre of ground shown in these maps was contested by colonists, settlers, indigenous people, land speculators, and servants of the Crown. Britain claimed vast territory which it could not effectively rule.Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

56mins

16 May 2019

Most Popular

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Max Edelson, "The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence" (Harvard UP, 2017)

New Books in World Affairs

When we think of the history of the British empire we tend to think big: oceans were crossed; colonies grew from small settlements to territories many times larger than England; entire Continents, each with substantial indigenous populations, were brought under British rule. Maps were an important part of rule in America, but from the point of view of the Board of Trade, the lack of ‘exact Surveys’ meant that a new approach to mapping Britain’s American dominions was needed.Max Edelson is a Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and in The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017) he shows how the Crown and the Board of Trade initiated the mapping of every new corner of Britain’s American dominions – places that were also the ancestral homes of Native Americans and the site of emerging settler republics. The book has an accompanying website, includes a bibliography of 257 maps, which is only a selection of what was produced. Yet virtually every acre of ground shown in these maps was contested by colonists, settlers, indigenous people, land speculators, and servants of the Crown. Britain claimed vast territory which it could not effectively rule.Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/world-affairs

56mins

16 May 2019

Episode artwork

Max Edelson, "The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence" (Harvard UP, 2017)

New Books in American Studies

When we think of the history of the British empire we tend to think big: oceans were crossed; colonies grew from small settlements to territories many times larger than England; entire Continents, each with substantial indigenous populations, were brought under British rule. Maps were an important part of rule in America, but from the point of view of the Board of Trade, the lack of ‘exact Surveys’ meant that a new approach to mapping Britain’s American dominions was needed.Max Edelson is a Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and in The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017) he shows how the Crown and the Board of Trade initiated the mapping of every new corner of Britain’s American dominions – places that were also the ancestral homes of Native Americans and the site of emerging settler republics. The book has an accompanying website, includes a bibliography of 257 maps, which is only a selection of what was produced. Yet virtually every acre of ground shown in these maps was contested by colonists, settlers, indigenous people, land speculators, and servants of the Crown. Britain claimed vast territory which it could not effectively rule.Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

56mins

16 May 2019

Episode artwork

Max Edelson, "The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence" (Harvard UP, 2017)

New Books in History

When we think of the history of the British empire we tend to think big: oceans were crossed; colonies grew from small settlements to territories many times larger than England; entire Continents, each with substantial indigenous populations, were brought under British rule. Maps were an important part of rule in America, but from the point of view of the Board of Trade, the lack of ‘exact Surveys’ meant that a new approach to mapping Britain’s American dominions was needed.Max Edelson is a Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and in The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017) he shows how the Crown and the Board of Trade initiated the mapping of every new corner of Britain’s American dominions – places that were also the ancestral homes of Native Americans and the site of emerging settler republics. The book has an accompanying website, includes a bibliography of 257 maps, which is only a selection of what was produced. Yet virtually every acre of ground shown in these maps was contested by colonists, settlers, indigenous people, land speculators, and servants of the Crown. Britain claimed vast territory which it could not effectively rule.Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

56mins

16 May 2019

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186 Max Edelson, The New Map of the British Empire

Ben Franklin's World

As a result of Great Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War, British North America expanded so that it stretched from the Atlantic seaboard west to the Mississippi River and from Hudson Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Florida. Plus, it also included islands in the Caribbean. How exactly would Great Britain, centered on a small island over 3,000 miles away, govern this new, expanded North American empire? Max Edelson, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence, helps us explore this question by taking us on an investigation of the Board of Trade and its General Survey of North America. Show Notes: https://www.benfranklinsworld.com/186 Sponsor Links Omohundro Institute American Baroque (Use promo code 01DAH40 to save 40 percent) Complementary Episodes Bonus: Mapping America’s War for Independence Episode 151: Defining the American Revolution Episode 152: Origins of the American Revolution Episode 162: Dunmore’s New World: The British Empire and the American Revolution Episode 177: Martin Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America Helpful Show Links Ben Franklin's World Facebook Page Join the Ben Franklin's World Community Sign-up for the Franklin Gazette Newsletter Ben Franklin's World iOS App Ben Franklin's World Android App *Books purchased through this link will help support the production of Ben Franklin's World.

1hr 5mins

15 May 2018