A tale of two port cities: contraband trade, the asiento contract, and conflict in the early modern Caribbean

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Humanities
Department History
Author Schmitt, Casey Sylvia
Title A tale of two port cities: contraband trade, the asiento contract, and conflict in the early modern Caribbean
Date 2011-05
Description The long and lucrative history of smuggling in the early modern period receives the attention of colonial scholars only as it relates to their isolated geographic field of study, ignoring the broader history that linked imperial economies in a mercantilist age. This thesis addresses the history of eighteenth-century smuggling in the Caribbean by examining both British and Spanish sources in order to shift the angle of focus away from imperial metanarratives and towards an understanding of the commercial networks forged between Spanish and British colonists on the periphery of empire. By examining the contraband trade between Jamaican merchants and residents of Cartagena, this work explores the blurred lines of colonial jurisprudence as well as the commercial networks necessary to the survival of those colonial spheres. These interimperial commercial relations brought together a diverse group of actors who defied the mercantilist ambitions of their respective monarchies. This thesis exposes the conflicts and compromises that arose in the colonies in order to facilitate economic survival and success. The Spanish residents of Cartagena, due to the erratic arrival of the galleon fleet in the eighteenth century, depended on Jamaican merchants for their most basic necessities. For their part, Jamaican interlopers used the licit slave trade of the asiento contract in order to flood the Spanish port cities with British manufactured goods, thereby stimulating the economy of their own island. Despite the many conflicts that erupted between the maritime powers of the eighteenth century, the illicit flow of goods through circum-Caribbean ports linked geographically distant parts of the world in a global economy that survived and flourished despite imperial mandates ordering its cessation.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Asiento contract; Caribbean; Cartagena; Contraband trade; Jamaica; South sea company
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Casey Sylvia Schmitt 2011
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 603,040 bytes
Identifier us-etd3,30527
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; HV15.5 2011 .S34
ARK ark:/87278/s6029677
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2018-03-15
ID 194426
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6029677
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