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Atlantic World or Atlantic/World?


Coclanis, Peter A. (2006). Atlantic World or Atlantic/World?. William and Mary Quarterly, 63(4), 725-742.


DURING the past decade or two, Atlantic history has insinuated itself into the very depths of the historical discipline. In so doing the approach has transformed early American history- for better or worse or, more accurately, for better and worse. What is it about Atlantic history that has made it so appealing? For one thing he
relative capaciousness of the approach represents a significant improvement, ceteris paribus, over narrower national or protonational alternatives. Second the approach has proved attractive and enticing to some absolutely first-rate historians, which has had what economists would call a powerful signaling effect on others in the profession. And cultural capital helps too. Through a variety of powerful institutional mechanisms-Johns Hopkins University's program in Atlantic History, Culture, and Society and Harvard University's International Seminar in the History of the Atlantic World, 1500-1825, to name two of the most obvious and important-scores of bright young scholars over the years have been exposed to, dazzled by, and initiated into Atlantic History.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

William and Mary Quarterly


Coclanis, Peter A.