The Scramble for the Seas: the Ballad Evidence of Sir Andrew Barton

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The presence and importance of the sea as a factor that has helped shape the history of England since at least the Roman invasions of 55-54 BC (less successful, incidentally, than most of Caesar’s other military ventures ...) need no particular urging or demonstration. Nonetheless, a bird’s-eye view would necessarily survey the waves of invasions and settlements that, one after the other, came dashing over the centuries upon England’s shores; not to mention the requested invasion of 1688, Angles and Saxons, Scandinavians, Normans, they all crossed the whale’s path and cast anchor in England’s green and pleasant land. In the course of this retrospective voyage through the oceans of History, one would inevitably stop at the so-called ‘Discoveries’ of the 15th-16th centuries, meet their navigators, sailors and pirates extolled by Richard Hakluyt (1553?-1616), face an anonymous crowd of merchants and witness the huge expansion of trade, largely to the benefit of the ‘discovering’ countries as prescribed by the economic Gospel Adam Smith (1723-90) would later baptize as “mercantilism”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalOp. Cit.: Revista de Estudos Anglo-Americanos/A Journal of Anglo-American Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Baladas
  • Andrew Barton
  • Pirataria


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