Cover: The English Conquest of Jamaica: Oliver Cromwell’s Bid for Empire, from Harvard University PressCover: The English Conquest of Jamaica in HARDCOVER

The English Conquest of Jamaica

Oliver Cromwell’s Bid for Empire

Product Details


$41.00 • £35.95 • €37.95

ISBN 9780674737310

Publication Date: 04/24/2017

Academic Trade

376 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

10 halftones, 4 maps

Belknap Press


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[A] thorough, revelatory reassessment of the Western Design and its ultimate purpose.—David Horspool, The Times Literary Supplement

Compared with his role in winning the civil wars of the 1640s, subduing Ireland and ruling England as a republic, Cromwell’s Western Design is barely remembered. But his plan to expand England’s presence in the Americas by dismantling the Spanish empire did much to shape the course of British imperial history. Pestana’s richly detailed narrative takes this little-known story to another level.—Tony Barber, Financial Times

With much colorful detail and intelligent analysis, reinforced by informative footnotes, this book illuminates a significant event too often overlooked in historiographical studies of Britain and its empire.—Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

In a bold and well-argued book, Pestana contends that Cromwell’s Western Design was a major shift in English imperial thinking, with much greater consequences than have hitherto been realized. Jamaica’s rather inglorious first five years as an English colony are thus not an irrelevant oddity in Atlantic history but signal the beginning of a new phase in British American empire. This engaging book is greatly to be welcomed.—Trevor Burnard, author of Planters, Merchants, and Slaves

Meticulously researched and convincingly argued, Pestana’s book contains a trove of information on the Cromwellian empire, the growing professionalism of the English army and navy, and England’s relations with other European powers. It is a must-read for historians of Britain and its seventeenth-century empire.—Eliga H. Gould, author of Among the Powers of the Earth

The English Conquest of Jamaica vividly demonstrates the huge investment of money, men and ships that went into Cromwell’s plan to enlarge and rationalize the English presence in America. This field-transforming book shows that the Western Design actually set the stage for the Restoration government’s aspirations to build and control the empire.—Karen Ordahl Kupperman, author of The Jamestown Project

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