The Creole Archipelago: Colonization, experimentation, and community in the southern Caribbean, c. 1700-1796 /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Murphy, Tessa, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2016
Description:1 electronic resource (366 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Julie Saville Committee members: Dain Borges; Paul Cheney.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-08(E), Section: A.
Summary:This manuscript situates the southern Caribbean as an epicenter of broader contests over racial belonging, political participation, and economic practices in the eighteenth-century Atlantic World. Focusing on islands that were not incorporated into the British and French empires until after the Seven Years' War in 1763, the project traces the creation and persistence of a 'Creole Archipelago' that united Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Tobago in a shared social, economic, and informal political space. Colonial correspondence, parish and property records archived in the Caribbean, France, England, and the United States enable me to reconstruct the features of a distinctive society forged by thousands of Amerindians, free and enslaved Africans, and poor whites who chose or were forced to settle beyond the boundaries of European sovereignty in early America. In the watery borderlands of the southern Caribbean, generations of interracial extended families created a community in which free people of color enjoyed authority and respect; slaveholding was practiced on a small scale; and trade was conducted without regard to mercantilist restrictions. Repeated attempts to assimilate or erase this community revealed the limits of metropolitan domination, as residents of the Creole Archipelago seized the opportunities presented by decades of intra- and inter-imperial conflict to re-assert their autonomy and authority in the face of increasingly restrictive colonial regimes. Eschewing imperial frameworks in favor of focusing on the intimate interactions around which free and enslaved people built their everyday lives, this work emphasizes how creolized communities acted as a practical and ideological challenge to European rule in early America.