Law, Labour and Empire

Comparative Perspectives on Seafarers, c. 1500–1800

  • Maria Fusaro
  • Bernard Allaire
  • Richard J. Blakemore
  • Tijl Vanneste

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Overview. Trades, Ports and Ships: The Roots of Difference in Sailors’ Lives

  3. Seamen and Law

  4. Seamen and Labour

  5. Seamen and Empire

About this book


Seafarers were the first workers to inhabit a truly international labour market, a sector of industry which, throughout the early modern period, drove European economic and imperial expansion, technological and scientific development, and cultural and material exchanges around the world. This volume adopts a comparative perspective, presenting current research about maritime labourers across three centuries, in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, to understand how seafarers contributed to legal and economic transformation within Europe and across the world. Focusing on the three related themes of legal systems, labouring conditions, and imperial power, these essays explore the dynamic and reciprocal relationship between seafarers' individual and collective agency, and the social and economic frameworks which structured their lives.


Law labour seafarers maritime law development early modern period empire Europe law mediterranean migration seventeenth century

Authors and affiliations

  • Maria Fusaro
    • 1
  • Bernard Allaire
    • 1
  • Richard J. Blakemore
    • 2
  • Tijl Vanneste
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterUK
  2. 2.University of OxfordUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2015
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-68604-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-44746-3
  • About this book