"Between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, the connections among Africa, the Americas, and Europe transformed world history--through maritime exploration, commercial engagements, human migrations and settlements, political realignments and upheavals, cultural exchanges, and more. This book, the first encyclopedic reference work on Atlantic history, takes an integrated, multicontinental approach that emphasizes the dynamics of change and the perspectives and motivations of the peoples who made it happen. The entries--all specially commissioned for this volume from an international team of leading scholars--synthesize the latest scholarship on central themes, including economics, migration, politics, war, technologies and science, the physical environment, and culture. Part one features five major essays that trace the changes distinctive to each chronological phase of Atlantic history. Part two includes more than 125 entries on key topics, from the seemingly familiar viewed in unfamiliar and provocative ways (the Seven Years' War, trading companies) to less conventional subjects (family networks, canon law, utopias)." -- Publisher's description.