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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Longitude and Empire

How Captain Cook’s Voyages Changed the World

Before Captain Cook’s three voyages, to Europeans the globe was uncertain and dangerous; after, it was comprehensible and ordered. Written as a conceptual field guide to the voyages, Longitude and Empire offers a significant rereading of both the expeditions and modern political philosophy. More than any other work, printed accounts of the voyages marked the shift from early modern to modern ways of looking at the world. The globe was no longer divided between Europeans and savages but populated instead by an almost overwhelming variety of national identities.

Cook’s voyages took the fragmented and obscure global descriptions available at the time and consolidated them into a single, comprehensive textual vision. Locations became fixed on the map and the people, animals, plants, and artifacts associated with them were identified, collected, understood, and assimilated into a world order. This fascinating account offers a new understanding of Captain Cook’s voyages and how they affected the European world view.


256 pages


Table of Contents

Contents

Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introductions / The Story / The Book / The Author

1. Points / Rules of Exploration / Points along a Coast / The Coordinate System / Verification of Details / The Possibilities of Location

2. Shapes / Grand Divisions / Extreme Places / The Oceanic Plane / Cook’s Turn to Islands / Landscapes and Maps / The Move to Interiors

3. Nations / The Orient, the Savage, and Europe  The Primacy of Place / Studying Nations / Classifying Nations / Explaining Nations / The Savage, the Noble Savage, and the Nation

4. States / Hobbes / Locke / Rousseau / The Scottish Enlightenment / The Native State in Cook’s Voyages / Kant Finding and Creating the Territorial Nation-State

5. Collections / The Cabinets of Curiosities / Collecting Nations / The Practices of the Collection / Boredom and the Collection / The Dangers of Relativism / The Persistence of Extreme Otherness / The Transcendence of the Collector

6. Empires / Cook and Empire / Empire As Collection / Empire As Exchange / Empire As Cultivation / Empire As Panopticon

Conclusions; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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