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Early modern European governments and their subjects had difficulty agreeing to laws governing behavior on the sea – an environment that featured watery borders, rampant piracy, the threat of free trade, and the large-scale transportation of human cargo. The essays in Governing the Sea in the Early Modern Era explore how the exploitation of the oceans changed the institution of slavery, long-distance trade, property crime, the environment, literature, and memory from medieval times to the nineteenth century.
Carole Shammas is Professor Emerita and John R. Hubbard Chair Emerita in History at the University of Southern California.
Peter C. Mancall is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Southern California and director of the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute.