Investing in the Early Modern Built Environment

Europeans, Asians, Settlers and Indigenous Societies


Editor: Carole Shammas
Today the bulk of tangible wealth around the globe resides in buildings and physical infrastructure rather than moveable goods. This situation was not always the case. Investing in the Early Modern Built Environment represents the first attempt to delve into the period’s enhanced architectural investment—its successes, its failures, and the conflicts it provoked. Not just cultural but clear economic and environmental reasons existed for a rejection of the new architectural agenda. Whatever its efficacy or flaws, it ultimately served as a model worldwide for cityscapes and housing well into the twentieth century. Contributors include Jordan Sand, Robin Pearson, John Broad, Kiyoko Yamaguchi, Steven W. Hackel, Susan E. Hough, Johnathan Farris, Matthew Mulcahy, Charles Walker, Emma Hart, Chad Anderson, Ross H. Cordy, Grace Karskens, and Carole Shammas.
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EUR €142.00USD $184.00

Biographical Note

Carole Shammas holds the John R. Hubbard Chair in History Emerita at the University of Southern California. She has written books and numerous articles on the history of consumption, households, and the built environment in the Atlantic world.

Review Quote

It is gratifying to see how the promises of scholarship are sometimes fulfilled. [...] Carol Shammas' new edited volume fulfils such a promise [...]. This is a dense collection, rich in content and theoretical interest. While it is framed primarely for a dedicated readership in architectural history, it has a far wider significance. The eassays work effectively in providing intersecting views of a transformation of the built landscape that, while incomplete and fractured in its impact, constitutet an important part of what we understand of the transition of modernity. Anne Murphy, Itinerario, Vol. 38, No. 1 (2014), pp. 165-168.

Table of contents

General Editor’s Preface List of Illustrations List of Tables List of Contributors Introduction 1. The Early Modern Built Environment Globally: The State of the Field, Carole Shammas PART I: INVESTING IN A “PERMANENT” BUILT ENVIRONMENT: JAPAN VS. ENGLAND 2. Property in Two Fire Regimes: From Edo to Tokyo, Jordan Sand 3. The Impact of Fire and Fire Insurance on Eighteenth-Century English Town Buildings and Populations, Robin Pearson 4. Permanence and Impermanence in Housing Provision for the Eighteenth-Century Rural Poor in England, John Broad PART II: INVESTMENT ABROAD BY THE EMISSARIES OF EUROPEAN EMPIRES 5. The Architecture of the Spanish Philippines and the Limits of Empire, Kiyoko Yamaguchi 6. Shaky Welcome: Seismic Risk and Mission Building on the Pacific Coast 1700-1830, Steven W. Hackel and Susan E. Hough 7. Dwelling Factors: Western Merchants in Canton, Johnathan Farris PART III: SETTLER SOCIETY INVESTMENT 8. That fatall spott”: The Rise and Fall – and Rise and Fall Again – of Port Royal, Jamaica, Matthew Mulcahy 9. Rebuilding the City of Kings: Architecture and Civility in Late- Colonial Lima, Charles Walker 10. The Ambition for an All Brick City: Elites, Builders and the Growth of Eighteenth-Century Charleston, South Carolina, Emma Hart PART IV: SETTLERS, INDIGENOUS SOCIETIES AND CONTROL OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT 11. The Built Landscape and the Conquest of Iroquoia 1750-1820, Chad Anderson 12. The Built Environment of Polynesian and Micronesian Stratified Societies in the Early Contact Period, Ross Cordy 13. Naked Possession: Building and the Politics of Legitimate Occupancy in Early New South Wales, Australia, Grace Karskens Concluding Remarks Select Bibliography Index


All interested in the world, European, Asian, Pacific Island and American history 1500-1800, architectural history, economic history, history of disasters, Indigenous and European contact,and imperial history.