British Atlantic, American Frontier

Spaces of Power in Early Modern British America

Stephen J. Hornsby

Reflecting the growing scholarly interest in transnational and comparative approaches to studying the past, British Atlantic, American Frontier offers a geographical perspective on the development of British America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It covers in detail not only the American eastern seaboard, but also eastern Canada and the West Indies, as well as the trans-Atlantic links to Western Europe and West Africa. At one level, the book synthesizes much of the current historical and geographical scholarship on these regions; at another level, it offers a provocative interpretation of British America, arguing that profound and long-standing differences existed between the American eastern seaboard and the Atlantic regions of eastern Canada and the West Indies. These differences ultimately led to the break-up of British America, the creation of the United States, and the reconfiguration of the British Empire. British Atlantic, American Frontier is illustrated with more than one hundred photographs, maps, and historical illustrations.

Paper: $37.5
ISBN-13: 9781584654278
Pages: 328 | Size: 7 in. x 10 in.
Date Published: December 3, 2004

“With British Atlantic, American Frontier, Stephen Hornsby takes his place in the front rank of historical geographers of his generation.”

The Canadian Geographer


  • . . . scholarly and stimulating . . . In the course of developing his geographic interpretation of what befell early modern British America, Hornsby leaves few aspects untouched and has an eye for telling detail.

    International Journal of Maritime History
  • [T]his book is remarkable for its presentation of a coherent and compelling geographical interpretation of early America, and for the ways in which it challenges readers to rethink and refine their assumptions about, and approaches to, the past. With British Atlantic, American Frontier, Stephen Hornsby takes his place in the front rank of historical geographers of his generation.

    The Canadian Geographer
  • This book should nonetheless become indispensable reading for historians of early America.

    The Journal of American History
  • An engagingly written, interesting, and especially well-illustrate overview of British Atlantic America. It has much to offer to those readers who are seeking a balanced and thoughtful synthetic examination of the early development of British Canada and the United States.

  • This book offers a compelling geographical interpretation of American colonial history that maps it into the wider Atlantic World and British Empire of which it was a part. Using maps to illustrate an empirically informed and theoretically sensitive argument, this is historical geography at its very best.

    David Demeritt
    Department of Geography, King’s College, London

About the Author

Stephen J. Hornsby

Stephen J. Hornsby is Director of the Canadian-American Center and Associate Professor of Geography and Canadian Studies, University of Maine. He is author of Nineteenth-Century Cape Breton: A Historical Geography (1992).

Other Recent Titles

The Marital Knot

Noa Shashar

A New Orient

Amit Levy

Jewish Country Houses

Edited by Juliet Carey and Abigail Green

The Spice Ports

Nick Nugent

Philosopher Fish

Richard Adams Carey