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Aeolian empires: the influence of winds and currents on European maritime expansion in the days of sail

Bankoff, Greg

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Abstract

Historiography has paid insufficient attention to the influence of winds and currents. The rise of Western European states to global dominance and world empires from the sixteenth century is usually characterised as maritime but should more fittingly be described as Aeolian or 'wind-driven'. This article examines the role winds and currents played in influencing the outline, structure and nature of Western European seaborne empires. It incorporates the patterns of winds and currents in each ocean, and the endeavours and ventures of each major European maritime power into a single global portrait that reveals the extent of the historical influence such factors exerted in the age of sail.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2017
Journal Environment and history
Print ISSN 0967-3407
Electronic ISSN 1752-7023
Publisher White Horse Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 2
Pages 163-196
Institution Citation Bankoff, G. (2017). Aeolian empires: the influence of winds and currents on European maritime expansion in the days of sail. Environment and History, 23(2), 163-196. https://doi.org/10.3197/096734017X14900292921734
DOI https://doi.org/10.3197/096734017X14900292921734
Keywords Winds; Currents; European maritime empires
Publisher URL http://www.whpress.co.uk/EH/EH2306.html
Additional Information This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article published in: Environment and history, 2017, v.23.

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