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The Enlightenment of Cadwallader ColdenEmpire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York$
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John M. Dixon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801448034

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801448034.001.0001

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Knowledge of Empires

Knowledge of Empires

(p.61) Chapter 4 Knowledge of Empires
The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden

John M. Dixon

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Cadwallader Colden's ideas on empire as an intellectual in New York. New York's imperial importance increased following the War of the Spanish Succession, a conflict that rewarded Britain with extra territory and commercial rights. New York, with its accessible inland waterways and mid-Atlantic location, stood to benefit from a postwar British expansion into the continental interior. However, politics on both sides of the Atlantic hindered efforts to redirect New York's commerce away from Canada and toward Indians in the Far West. This chapter considers how the increased possibility of British extension into inland North America created a new intellectual niche for Colden: as one of Britain's foremost experts on the economy, geography, and history of North America. It also discusses Colden's imperial agenda which he articulated in his book, The History of the Five Indian Nations.

Keywords:   empire, Cadwallader Colden, New York, War of the Spanish Succession, Britain, commerce, North America, economy, geography

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