At mid-century, the Dutch merchant fleet monopolized European and overseas shipping, and Amsterdam publishers dominated the continental trade in charts, maps, and atlases. In the 1660s, King Charles II of England implemented a strategy to unseat their position. He enacted legislation requiring all English trade to be carried in English ships and provoked the Netherlands into a series of wars. In 1672, he tried to weaken English dependence on Dutch maps and charts by banning their importation, giving trade protection to London publishers. 

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A new and accurat map of the world ...

A new and accurat map of the world ...

by John Speed

London, 1676
Copperplate, full color , 42 x 56 cm.

Speed, a historian and the most noted compiler of maps in 17th-century England, produced the first atlas of the British Isles and, in 1627, two years before his death, a complementary collection--the popular Prospect of the World, in which this map initially appeared. Speed's design used the decorative potential of the double-hemisphere projection to fullest advantage, requiring the expert skills of an Amsterdam engraver. By the time this 1676 edition was issued, London map publishing was on the ascendancy, albeit still supported by a cadre of immigrant Dutch craftsmen.