Charbonneau on Reinhard, 'Empires and Encounters, 1350-1750'

Wolfgang Reinhard, ed.
Oliver Charbonneau

Wolfgang Reinhard, ed. Empires and Encounters, 1350-1750. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2015. Maps. 1168 pp. $39.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-674-04719-8.

Reviewed by Oliver Charbonneau (University of Western Ontario) Published on H-Empire (February, 2016) Commissioned by Charles V. Reed (Elizabeth City State University)

Printable Version:

In the late 1460s, the Russian merchant and explorer Afanasy Nikitin set out from Tver on a multiyear journey to India by way of Baku and the Kingdom of Ormuz. Reaching the Deccan Plateau, Nikitin settled in the Bahmani Sultanate, then under the stewardship of the Persian politician and intellectual Mahmud Gawan. Adopting a religious perspective that embraced overlaps between Russian Orthodox Christianity and Islam, the explorer became a quasi-convert to the latter during his three years in Bahmani. Nikitin’s travel notes were the basis for A Journey Beyond the Three Seas, a document remarkable for its extensive ruminations on Indo-Islamic culture and the challenges of embracing a syncretic identity. Two centuries later on the Pacific Rim, the shogun Iemitsu built an artificial island in Nagasaki Bay to mitigate tensions between the increasingly isolationist policies of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the desire for foreign commerce. Created in response to fears of Christian missionary incursions into Japanese culture, the island of Dejima was rented to the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) and later the Dutch government for strictly commercial purposes. Separated from Nagasaki proper by a carefully guarded bridge, the site nevertheless became a vector for knowledge transfer. Dutch merchants and scholars were primary conduits of information about Japan in the West, while the Japanese adopted certain European technological and scientific advances. In the Atlantic world, the quilombo (settlement of Africans in the New World) of Palmares was established in the early seventeenth century. A series of connected hinterland communities near the borders of modern-day Alagoas and Pernambuco in Brazil, Palmares was a space where escaped African slaves, indigenous peoples, and indentured, conscripted, or otherwise socially marginalized whites existed outside the orbit of Portuguese colonial domination. In existence for nearly a century, the quilombo boasted its own hybridic Afro-Brazilian culture, which combined religious, military, governmental, social, and commercial practices from both sides of the Atlantic. Decades of internecine warfare between the Palmares and colonial forces ended with the destruction of the quilombo in 1695.[1]

These three disparate stories of supraregional connectivity in the early modern period all appear in Empires and Encounters: 1350-1750, giving narrative specificity to its title. The work is the third of six projected entries in the series A History of the World, which, as its name suggests, intends to chart the sum of human history within a global historical framework. Under the general editorship of historians Akira Iriye and Jürgen Osterhammel, the titles in this German-American collaboration are among the most sprawling and ambitious being produced. Each volume represents an epoch of connectivity, and explores circuitries of exchange between and through world regions. Whereas the first two volumes (Global Interdependence: The World since 1945 [2014] and A World Connecting: 1870-1945 [2012]) covered comparatively brief but complex time frames, the current entry represents the first of what one can assume will be several works with much broader periodizations.[2] As such, Empires and Encounters moves into scholarly territory mapped by thinkers like Fernand Braudel and Immanuel Wallerstein as it attempts to demarcate zones of interactivity and thematic resonances across the longue durée.[3] In keeping with recent trends in the study of global history, however, the work emphasizes the importance of cultural transmissions in reshaping societies. Edited by Wolfgang Reinhard, professor emeritus of modern history at the University of Freiburg, Empires and Encounters is not so much a cohesive monograph as it is a collection of five surveys linked by temporalization and demarcated by geography. In the following, I consider the contents of each section before returning to Reinhard’s introduction and reflecting on the thematic and structural challenges of writing “big” histories.

In the first and most diffuse chapter, Peter C. Perdue examines the formation of the Russian Empire, the fragmentation of power in the Central Asian steppe during the post-Mongol period, the rise and fall of the Ming Dynasty in China, the refined Confucianism of Korea’s Chosun Dynasty, the growth of centrifugal tendencies and the impossibility of complete sakoku (isolation, literal translation: “closed country”) during the Tokugawa Period in Japan, and the consolidation of frontiers and incorporation of Chinese influences in early modern Vietnam. All of these developments are grouped under “Empires and Frontiers in Continental Eurasia,” and Perdue makes linkages between them in his concluding chapter. Acknowledging the heterogeneity of these groupings--which range from the Baltic to Southeast Asia to the fringes of the North Pacific--he identifies three “culturally defined regions … the Russian Orthodox and Slavic culture; Central Eurasian pastoralism, caravan, and oasis culture; and the East Asian agrarian, bureaucratic, Buddhist and Confucian culture” (p. 215).

Perdue also outlines supraregional developments shared by all, including how each responded to global climactic changes, trends in population growth and decline, and increased competition between traditional overland trade routes and the acceleration of circumoceanic commerce. Territorial aggrandizement in the form of frontier expansion occurred repeatedly. The Russians colonized the Siberian vastness and continued into Pacific North America, while the Qing Dynasty acquired land to its north in Manchuria and to its west in Islamic Xinjiang. Even comparatively miniature Japan and Vietnam expanded into Hokkaido and the Mekong Delta region, respectively. Most important, the period witnessed an expansion of the state in each region, a development often driven by once marginal “frontier commanders and ethnic groups” who redefined the status quo (p. 212). State formation contributed to the standardization of bureaucratic and military cultures, extended control over out-groups (often with extreme brutality), and created more efficient commercial networks. In Perdue’s telling, “the large empires of Russia and China and the smaller states of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all penetrated their societies more effectively, while expanding their territorial dimensions and generally experiencing population growth and cultural dynamism” (pp. 217-218).

Suraiya Faroqhi meticulously chronicles the reach of the Ottoman Empire throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and southeast Europe in “The Ottoman Empire and the Islamic World” (chapter 2). Although much of their legitimacy among Muslims derived from the cultivation of the sultan as the political leader of the ummah (community, in a global sense), the Ottoman state also stabilized itself through pragmatic variations of absolutist rule. That is, the imperial center negotiated control via alliances with the military, religious, and legal elites. This balancing of interest groups, Faroqhi argues, helped enshrine governmental bureaucracies that functioned even when sultans and grand viziers were deposed. Granting tax collection concessions to the highest bidders generated state revenue. Often aristocrats or military officials, these provincial tax farmers were also sources of “interest-free credit” to the state in times of monetary need (pp. 248-249). The Ottoman Empire retained a polyrhythmic cultural character through the period under study. Among the elite, a series of ethnic kinship networks developed. Abkhazians from the Caucasus and Serbs from the Balkans, for instance, vied with one another for favor in the royal households. Migration, voluntary and forced, ensured a constant circulation of peoples throughout the empire. In Bosnia, Ottoman Turkish was so commonly used that “a regional dialect developed” (p. 271). Jewish communities in cities like Istanbul and Saloniki served as important intermediary figures and were central in the book-printing industry.

In their role as a conduit between the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, Ottoman contacts with “the world beyond” were extensive. Sixteenth-century incursions into the Indian Ocean by the empire were in part a reaction to the development of Portuguese trade networks along the coastlines of India and maritime Southeast Asia. Closer to home, Ottoman rulers cultivated prestige in the Islamic world by safeguarding pilgrimage routes to Mecca, clashed with unruly provincial leaders in their North African provinces, and waged naval warfare against a host of Christian states in the Mediterranean. Not ones to let warfare impede trade, the Ottomans utilized Greek and Armenian trade diasporas and “international” ports like Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast to ensure goods continued to flow between Italy and the Sublime Porte. War with the Spanish and the Habsburgs was itself a form of connectivity, especially in the Balkans where populations carefully crafted hybrid identities that straddled two empires. Faroqhi argues convincingly that accounts marking Suleiman the Magnificent’s death in 1566 as the beginning of an “undifferentiated period of decline” for the Ottoman state fail to consider its flexibility in the face of “momentous political challenges” (pp. 326, 328). The role of provincial elites, general toleration for religious and ethnic minorities, patronage networks, and other adaptations ensured the survival of the Ottoman Empire into the early twentieth century. Faroqhi closes with a consideration of Safavid Iran, the Ottoman Empire’s neighbor to the east. She traces political developments along the Safavid-Ottoman borders and provides a fascinating account of how, partially through Armenian diaspora populations, Persian textiles found markets abroad.

Stephan Conermann situates his history of South Asia and the Indian Ocean (chapter 3) in opposition to meta-histories that reinscribe Western “fantasies of omnipotence” and epochal centrality (p. 391). Rather, he argues, the position of Europe c. 1400 was “decidedly” bleak and it was the Mughal Empire that “spread beyond the Indian Ocean to create a global network of economic contacts” (p. 392). Conermann advocates a polycentric approach to the study of the region, stressing the variability of cultural, political, and economic interconnectedness. Thus, for example, Islam can be read as both a cultural unifier and a heterogeneous religion that adapted to local circumstances. The first section charts the history of the Indian subcontinent, mainly focusing on the establishment and maintenance of Mughal rule until the end of the early modern period, when the empire faced increasing incursion from the Maratha Confederacy. Crucially for their success, the Mughals cultivated socioreligious identities--largely through the expansion of the military--that transcended caste. These new identities, combined with a multitude of symbols and rituals surrounding the ruler, helped reinforce Mughal rule. Promotion and personal advancement were codified within imperial hierarchies, and the scholar Abu Fazl Allami promulgated a sophisticated notion of spiritual discipleship that placed Mughal legitimacy within religious myth. The resilience of the Mughals in a region of overwhelming variance came not only from their ability to enshrine social structures, but also from their approach to land management, taxation, and trade. Regional aristocratic domains continued to exist, but they looked to the central Mughal state for security and freedom of trade. The empire began its long decline in the latter half of the seventeenth century due to a combination of peasant revolts, pressure from smaller states, and economic competition for bank credit from outside organizations (the VOC, for example). Such disruptions upset the “finely balanced networks and alliances” at the heart of the Mughal state (p. 464).

The remainder of Conermann’s chapter focuses on the Indian Ocean as a connected space. Its role as a “supraregional trade zone” was linked to the Islamization of East Africa, Southeast Asia, and the development of the Red Sea as a trading hub (p. 474). By 1350, according to Conermann, the Indian Ocean was in commercial terms “a single entity whose trade routes were more than ever being determined by Muslim merchants” (p. 476). Within this zone there developed a “transregional, semiotically coded nexus of commonalities of meaning and lifestyle” linked to the spread of Islam, particularly in coastal regions (p. 479). Myriad competing centers within the Indian Ocean world were all linked through “an overarching religious community,” hence the importance of Islamic semiotics in supraregional binding (p. 485). Developments in navigation and maritime technology further integrated these commercial hubs. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the Ottoman, Mughal, non-Muslim confederations of India, and the Safavids all competed with one another for trade advantages. Against this backdrop were growing incursions by European traders, first the Portuguese and then the Dutch, and a multitude of Islamic trading communities dotting the Indian and Southeast Asian littorals. The expansion of commercial banking in the eighteenth century, particularly in India, accelerated trade, and each region had its specialties, from textiles to slaves to precious metals. Important to the creeping spread of European influence was the discovery of vast quantities of silver in the mines of South America, yet it was not until the eighteenth century that “trade with Europeans took on significant proportions for Indian rulers” (p. 543). Conermann concludes that the history of the Indian Ocean in the early modern period is still best understood as an economic history. In other words, mercantile exploration and contacts created the preconditions for the development of transregional identities and the resulting cultural residuum (migrations, hybridities, conflicts). The chapter concludes with a series of theses emphasizing the connections and complexities of the region. “It is sensible,” Conermann writes, “to talk in terms of a constantly changing and adaptable social and economic network” (p. 550).

In chapter 4, Reinhard Wendt and Jürgen G. Nagel explore Southeast Asia and Oceania. The thousands of large and small landmasses comprising these regions, from the continental (Australia) to the small and remote (Easter Island), present a challenging spread. Wendt and Nagel, however, seek commonalities amidst remarkable heterogeneity. An opening section emphasizes the importance of environmental cycles (dry/wet seasons), variances between highland and lowland societies, the role of rice cultivation, ethnic segregation in urban areas, religious sojourners, oral histories, and the centrality of water routes in trade and communication. In Southeast Asia, they note, societies were linked by their “capacity for cultural syncretism, selective adaptation, and creative integration of external influences” (p. 611). These phenomena accelerated through regional importance in the “Maritime Silk Road” that stretched from the South China Sea across the Indian Ocean. The eastern edges of maritime Southeast Asia were the terminal point for the Islamization discussed in the previous chapter, and through the migration of Islamic trader-missionaries a number of sultanates developed between the Malay Peninsula and the southern Philippines. Chinese Confucian traditions played an important role in Vietnam’s culture, while Buddhist and Hindu cultural adaptations took root in (modern-day) Cambodia and Thailand. These waves of Sinicization, Indianization, Islamization, and (eventually) Europeanization were “assimilated into existing belief systems” (p. 627). Buddhist monasteries and Islamic scholarship both fostered connections between Southeast Asia and the outside world. In the Philippines, an early example of European colonial state building occurred, as the Spanish first conquered and then Christianized much of the archipelago. Even here, however, natives infused the dogma of the Catholic Church with their own local customs. The import of written forms such as Sanskrit and Arabic also fueled interconnection.

Tracing the histories of kingdoms and peoples in mainland and maritime Southeast Asia, Wendt and Nagel note the importance of Buddhism in creating state structures on the mainland, particularly in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Further, they examine the roles diaspora groups and “peoples of limited statehood.” On the peripheries of the Buddhist kingdoms and Vietnam, for example, highland communities provided refuge for “those wishing to escape taxes, labor duties, or other constraints, commitments, and norms that were a common feature of life in the lowland kingdoms” (p. 656). Diaspora merchant communities, such as the Chinese and Japanese, facilitated supraregional trade and helped standardize commercial practices. On the mainland, European influence in the early modern period came primarily through missionary activity. By the close of the seventeenth century, some 200,000 to 300,000 Vietnamese had converted to Christianity. Hinduism, once powerful in the islands of (modern-day) Indonesia, was supplanted by Islamic sultanates, which spread outwards from Sumatra. In the sixteenth century, the Malacca Sultanate became an important economic linchpin in trade between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, although it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. Further east, the sultanates of the southern Philippines proved remarkably resilient in the face of Spanish colonialism, maintaining de facto independence through the entire period under study. The European presence in maritime Southeast Asia, outside of the Philippines, mainly took the form of Portuguese and Dutch proto-colonialism. According to Nagel and Wendt, this further bound the region together, establishing some of the preconditions for “a completely new epoch of empire building” during the nineteenth century (pp. 674-675). As on the mainland, highly mobile commercial diasporas connected the islands, here this included not only the Chinese but also groups of Muslim Indian traders and the Bugis of Sulawesi. The integration of Southeast Asia into global markets was, the authors contend, “already in train before [European] arrival,” but hastened by entities like the VOC and, later, the British East India Company (p. 693). The chapter concludes with a study of the encounters between Europeans and the peoples of Oceania, who, due to their relative isolation and a lack of written documentation, remain little understood when compared to Southeast Asia during the same time period. The section focuses mainly on exploration and the colonial imaginary in relation to indigenous peoples and their lands.

The fifth and final chapter focuses on the intersecting histories of Europe and the Atlantic world. Its author, volume editor Wolfgang Reinhard, admits that histories of the Atlantic world have thus far largely originated in Europe and the United States, although some shifts are occurring. He first examines West Africa, detailing the environmental and sociological conditions of the region and disputing the notion that it only developed in a recognizable way after the introduction of Islam. Home to hundreds of ethnic kinship networks, thousands of spiritual practices, and multiple indigenous empires, Atlantic Africa was an incredibly diverse space. Nevertheless, Reinhard identifies commonalities, including the shared usage of languages from the Niger-Congo family. As elsewhere, Islamization played an important role in providing erstwhile disparate groups with a shared religio-cultural language. Timbuktu, on the southern edge of the Sahara in modern-day Mali, became a center for Islamic learning in West Africa, by 1550 boasting “more than a hundred Quranic schools” and for a time outpacing the Maghreb in the quality of its scholarship (p. 756). Non-Islamic city-states and small empires such as Ife and Benin also flourished during this period. Portuguese explorers marvelled at Benin’s highly developed capital and its courtly traditions. In the kingdom of Asante, formed around 1680, subjugated peoples and vassal states paid taxes and tributes to the center, mimicking early modern state formation elsewhere. Indeed, Reinhard characterizes the period from 1350 to 1750 in Atlantic Africa with the term “empire-building,” emphasizing population growth and extensive trade networks reaching as far as the Mediterranean that antedated European contact (p. 770).

In his section on Europe, Reinhard focuses upon what he calls “Latinate Europe … as it was only this entity that was involved in the formation of a shared Atlantic world” (p. 771). This included the Iberian states, the Netherlands, France, and England. Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, development in Europe was slowed by a series of recurring catastrophes--environmental (the “Little Ice Age”), epidemiological (various plagues), and man-made (intermittent warfare). “Death was a constant feature of daily life,” writes Reinhard (p. 773). Nevertheless, the relative absence of ancestor worship and “hereditary charisma” in Christian religion created an atmosphere promoting “growth of individuality and mobility … and the forging of new social ties that were to become characteristic traits of Western culture” (pp. 774-775). Although retaining calcified modes of social ordering, early modern Europe witnessed a number of important developments. Both the Protestant Reformation and the beginnings of enlightened thought challenged the cultural monopoly of the Catholic Church. Scholars looked to texts from antiquity (preserved in the Muslim world) for alternatives to Christian doctrine, the university system expanded, armies were professionalized, and state violence increased as “private” violence waned. Centralized administrations, proto-industrial concerns, notions of extraterritoriality, and other hallmarks of the modern state existed by 1750, although Reinhard cautions, “we should continue to qualify polities at this period as ‘early modern states’” as they lacked the concept of equality among citizenry (p. 842).

The dynamism of early modern Europe found an outlet in trips to the so-called New World that Christopher Columbus “discovered” in 1492. Spanish and Portuguese conquerors soon encountered developed civilizations, particularly in Central and South America where the Mayans and Incans controlled vast swathes of territory. The Atlantic and Pacific trades were swiftly linked by the desire for South American metals in Asia, and circumatlantic trade accelerated as the demand for African slaves exploded in the new colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The violence of conquest and settlement was extensive, although dwarfed by the effects of biological exchange. New bacteria and viruses decimated entire peoples. The first smallpox epidemic in Hispaniola (Haiti) killed one-third to one-half of its indigenous population. Outbreaks occurred elsewhere in the Americas with similar lethality. Racially stratified societies differentiating Europeans, Creoles, Indigenous peoples, and Africans appeared throughout the “New World.” Reinhard discusses the character of European colonialisms in the Americas, noting variations in modes of settlement and disposition towards indigenous populations. In North America, the ravages of colonial warfare and epidemic were especially brutal, and by the mid-eighteenth century only one hundred thousand natives remained east of the Mississippi (p. 935). Economies reliant on plantation commodities produced by slavery existed throughout the Americas, although the character and severity of slave regimes varied dependent on location and time period. The prominence of unfree labor in the “New World” leads Reinhard to suggest that “Africans should be accorded a new key role in the development of Europe and the Atlantic World” (p. 941).

The introduction ties each monograph-length chapter together. Reinhard readily admits that the five “cultural-geographical macroregions” represented are determined by a “certain degree of pragmatic arbitrariness” (p. 7). That is to say, their organization has likely been determined by degrees of connectivity alongside more practical considerations such as the regional specializations of each author. Nevertheless, the scale and ambition of the volume is breathtaking, and even a lengthy review such as this one cannot summarize it with any hope of totality. The contributors trace cultural commonalities not only within their own broad regional studies, but also with the other “worlds” at points. What links many of these histories together are empires, which during the early modern period were antecedents to the nation-state in their centralizing impulses, entrenchment of state bureaucracies, systems of revenue generation, and promulgation (with varying degrees of success) of unitary imperial identities. In his introduction, Reinhard sees the role of empire building as a common theme running throughout each chapter. Additionally, he stresses the importance of maritime exploration and trade routes throughout the volume. Mughal, Ottoman, Portuguese, and Dutch vessels plied the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea attempting to secure, by consent or coercion, fortuitous commercial links. Flourishing trade between the Middle East, southern India, and maritime Southeast Asia allowed Islam to spread through coastal societies from Gujarat to the southern Philippines. In the Atlantic world, a profitable trade in human beings saw millions transported from the “Slave Coast” of Atlantic Africa to the Americas, transforming both. Frontier territories of “underdeveloped statehood” also appear in each chapter (p. 36). In Russia, South America, and North America, frontier zones were conceptualized as empty spaces requiring civilizational inscription. The effects of this ideological disposition on indigenous populations were catastrophic. Reinhard also identifies a number of “contact zones” important to cultural transmission and state formation: Russia’s border with Latin Europe, the Sahara Desert, and the Indian Ocean. Connected to this is the importance of “contact groups,” or, in Reinhard’s words, “the figure of the ‘cultural broker’ on the middle ground between empires and cultures with less than rigid claims on a person’s allegiance” (p. 42). Missionaries, whether they were Portuguese Catholics in Japan or Arab Muslim preachers on the Malay Peninsula, are the most obvious example of a contact group, although the importance of trade diasporas like those of the Jews, Armenians, and Greeks also match the description. The creation of imperial lingua francas to ease communication and the rise of firearms in warfare also had global impacts.

The volume is fashioned as a corrective to global histories that imagine the non-European world strictly in relation to the ascendency of Western colonial empires. In the chapters on South and Southeast Asia especially, the authors emphasize the relative unimportance of Europeans amidst a multitude of dynamic societies. It was only towards the very end of the early modern period, in Asia at least, that advanced commercial networks, expansionist ideologies, and superior technology allowed European ascendance. Another shared theme is the importance of trade and religion. The two often operated in tandem, and each historian here generates some of their richest material from missionary and merchant travel narratives, as well as from regional economic histories. Stephan Conermann in particular does excellent work connecting trade in the Indian Ocean, the fortunes of the Mughal Empire, and the role of Islamic culture in creating shared identities. All chapters observe the increasing sophistication of states, imperial and otherwise, during the period. From the well-developed Confucian political traditions of Ming China to the proto-democratic stirrings in the Netherlands and England, governing bodies extended their reach as never before. A final commonality that appears throughout Empires and Encounters is the environmental and demographic ramifications of biological exchanges. The most prominent of these, the so-called Columbian Exchange in the Atlantic world, reshaped agriculture and consumption as far afield as China, decimated indigenous populations in the Americas, and introduced soon-pervasive habits like tobacco smoking to Europeans. Elsewhere, plague travelled the Silk Road into Europe, smallpox and scarlet fever arrived in Oceania with European explorers, and introduced species flourished in Australia.

Certain issues with content and structure are inevitable in a project that attempts to be all things at once. At times, chapters awkwardly balance the necessity of traditional narrative histories with the broader prerogatives of the series--that is, to demonstrate interconnection. Rote retellings of specific dynastic struggles abruptly segue into broad reflections on regional commonalities. This is perhaps inevitable. Responsible for telling the stories of vast cross-sections of humanity across four centuries, the authors have to strike a demanding balance between the contextual and the thematic. Tensions between the desire to demarcate historical zones and the acknowledgement of porousness and complexity are also present, although those are standard in any serious comparative or transnational history. Inevitably, certain peoples and places receive only cursory treatment. Existing largely outside of state-generated archival records, the inhabitants of Oceania, Australia, and the Americas do not receive the same attention as, say, the empires of Asia or the states of Europe. This speaks more to the shortcomings of our archive-centric discipline rather than the writers themselves, all of whom try to acknowledge the liminal peoples of world history.

Small criticisms aside, Wolfgang Reinhard and his four co-authors should be lauded for this brilliant addition to the study of world history. Each individual chapter is an impressive summary of and contribution to regional historiographies, and all are saturated in fascinating detail--from the granular to the world-historical. Multicausal explanatory frameworks balancing cultural, political, economic, and environmental histories add depth to the contributions. Praise is also due to Peter Lewis, who translated four of the five entries here. His concise work ensures that the text is eminently readable. Taken in sum, Empires and Encounters is required reading for those seeking a broad understanding of global interactions, connectivities, and transferences in the early modern period.


[1]. On Afanasy Nikitin, see Mary Jane Maxwell, “Afanasii Nikitin: An Orthodox Russian’s Spiritual Voyage in the Dar al-Islam, 1468-1475,” Journal of World History 17, no. 3 (2006): 243-266. On Dejima, see Leonard Blussé, “Peeking into the Empires: Dutch Embassies to the Courts of China and Japan,” Itinerario 37, no. 3 (2013): 13-29. On Palmares, see Robert Nelson Anderon, “The Quilombo of Palmares: A New Overview of a Maroon State in Seventeenth-Century Brazil,” Journal of Latin American Studies 28, no. 3 (1996): 545-566.

[2]. Akira Iriye, ed., Global Interdependence: The World after 1945 (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014); Emily Rosenberg, ed., A World Connecting: 1870-1945 (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012).

[3]. Fernand Braudel, Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme, XVe-XVIIIe (Paris: Armand Colin, 1979); Immanuel Wallerstein, World-systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). See also John Darwin, After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000 (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2008); Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 2 vols. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988-1993); and John K. Thornton, A Cultural History of the Atlantic World, 1250-1820 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Citation: Oliver Charbonneau. Review of Reinhard, Wolfgang, ed., Empires and Encounters, 1350-1750. H-Empire, H-Net Reviews. February, 2016. URL:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.