Ocean of knowledge

Globalization and the Making of Knowledge in the Atlantic World, 17th - Early 19th Centuries

This research project by prof. dr. Karel Davids takes a spatial view on the development of knowledge. The key question is, how the growth of circulation of people, goods and ideas in the Atlantic world between the 17th and early 19th centuries affected the development of 'useful and reliable' knowledge (in navigation, cartography, meteorology, natural history e.g.) and how this body of 'useful and reliable' knowledge in turn affected the growth of globalization. The project compares developments in the British, Dutch, Spanish and French Atlantics and it looks at the role of institutional forces (imperial governments, religious organizations, trading companies, scientific societies) as well as at network-building from below.

Selected publications

Davids, C.A. and Lucassen, Jan, A Miracle Mirrored. The Dutch Republic in European Perspective, (Cambridge 1995, 2011 2nd edition). [Link]

Davids, C.A., The Rise and Decline of Dutch Technological Leadership. Technology, Economy and Culture in the Netherlands, 1350-1800, (Leiden 2008). [Link]

Davids, C.A., Religion, Technology, and the Great and Little Divergences. China and Europe compared, c.700 -1800, (Leiden 2013). [Link]