How the Old World Ended The Anglo-Dutch-American Revolution 1500-1800 Jonathan Scott

Publication date:
12 Nov 2019
Yale University Press
392 pages: 235 x 156mm
9 maps


A powerful account of how the complex mercantile and military relationships between the British, Dutch, and American territories made the Industrial Revolution possible

Between 1500 and 1800, the North Sea region overtook the Mediterranean as the most dynamic part of the world. At its core the Anglo-Dutch relationship intertwined close alliance and fierce antagonism to intense creative effect. But a precondition for the Industrial Revolution was also the establishment in British North America of a unique type of colony—for the settlement of people and culture, rather than the extraction of commodities.
England’s republican revolution of 1649–53 was a spectacular attempt to change social, political, and moral life in the direction pioneered by the Dutch. In this powerfully written account, Jonathan Scott argues that it was also a turning point in world history. In its wake, competition with the Dutch transformed the military-fiscal and naval resources of the British state. Within the resulting navy-protected Anglo-American trading monopoly, the demographic and commercial vibrancy of British North America played a crucial role in triggering the Industrial Revolution.

Jonathan Scott is Professor of History at the University of Auckland. His previous publications include England’s Troubles and When the Waves Ruled Britannia.