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Francis Bacon, colonisation, and the limits of Atlanticism

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Serjeantson, Richard  ORCID logo


Historical interest in the ideologies behind the ‘first’ British empire have tended, for very understandable reasons, to look towards the colonies of the eastern seaboard of North America and the Caribbean. By contrast, this study of the imperial vision held by the English philosopher and politician Francis Bacon (1561–1626) emphasises a different geography of empire. In an investigation of what Bacon took to be the implications of the union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in the person of King James VI & I, and in the pacification of Ireland following the conclusion of the Nine Years War in 1603 and the Flight of Earls in 1607, it argues that Bacon’s own imperial ambitions were ultimately directed towards the annexation of the Low Countries and the founding of a new British imperium in western Europe.



44 Human Society, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 5002 History and Philosophy Of Specific Fields, 5003 Philosophy, 4408 Political Science

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History of European Ideas

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Informa UK Limited
European Research Council (617391)
Isaac Newton Trust (MINUTE 507(D))
Isaac Newton Trust (MINUTE 507 (D))
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 617391.