Poseidon's Curse: British Naval Impressment and Atlantic Origins of the American Revolution

Poseidon's Curse: British Naval Impressment and Atlantic Origins of the American Revolution

by Christopher P. Magra


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Poseidon's Curse interprets the American Revolution from the vantage point of the Atlantic Ocean. Christopher P. Magra traces how British naval impressment played a leading role in the rise of Great Britain's seaborne empire, yet ultimately contributed significantly to its decline. Long reliant on appropriating free laborers to man the warships that defended British colonies and maritime commerce, the British severely jeopardized mariners' earning potential and occupational mobility, which led to deep resentment toward the British Empire. Magra explains how anger about impressment translated into revolutionary ideology, with impressment eventually occupying a major role in the Declaration of Independence as one of the foremost grievances Americans had with the British government.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107531055
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/21/2019
Pages: 349
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Christopher P. Magra is a prize-winning Early American historian, specializing in the Atlantic dimensions of the American Revolution. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Tennessee.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Seapower and commerce: an Atlantic minuet; 2. British naval impressment in the Atlantic world; 3. Profits; 4. Property; 5. Liberty; 6. Earnings; 7. Employment; 8. Liberty; 9. A spirit of rebellion; 10. Rebellious acts; Conclusion.

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