• A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies is a six-volume translation, published in London in 1798, of the ten-volume Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes by Guillaume-Thomas-François (1713–96), also known as Abbé Raynal. Educated by the Jesuits and ordained as a priest, Raynal left the clergy and became a journalist. He published the first edition of Histoire des deux Indes in 1770, which he expanded in editions of 1774 and 1780. Raynal was the mastermind behind this comprehensive history of European colonization, but much of the work was written by collaborators that included the French philosophes Baron d'Holbach (1723–89) and Denis Diderot (1713–84), editor of the Encyclopedie. It describes the colonies of the European powers—notably the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish, and English—in the East Indies, South America, the West Indies, and North America and concludes with a discussion of Europe and its future. Topics such as slavery, commerce, religion, and the customs and culture of indigenous peoples are discussed from the perspective of the French Enlightenment. Among the features of the English translation are seven maps, made by the London cartographer and engraver Thomas Kitchin, Jr. especially for this edition, including “one of the United States of North America, with the British, French, and Spanish dominions adjoining, according to the treaty of 1783.”




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  • A. Strahan, London



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  • 6 volumes : frontispieces (portraits), 7 folded maps ; 22 centimeters


  • Second edition