The dynamics of the maritime world has held the fascination of researchers and scholars of history for long. Viewing the waterscapes as conduits of much economic and cultural sharing between peoples and lands, the focus of Networks in the First Global Age: 1400–1800 is on the oceans and seas––the Indian, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea––and economic, military and cultural transmissions within and across them.
The book shows how conventional arguments in history writing about the rise of the West, the hegemon of the State and the might of overseas colonial empires can be overturned by emphasizing on dynamic, collaborative, nonlinear networks as opposed to formal networks based on hierarchy. Such networks signal a completely different picture about global interactions in the period 1400–1800, emphasizing the centrality of peoples and commodities at different times in different parts of the world. More importantly, the book challenges chronological readings and urges us to think spatially instead.
With contributions from Indian, American, French and Iberian scholars, Networks in the First Global Age: 1400–1800 tells us what happens when the sea of history meets the sea of network analysis.