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Title page for ETD etd-05272009-181157


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wheat, David
URN etd-05272009-181157
Title The Afro-Portuguese Maritime World and the Foundations of Spanish Caribbean Society, 1570-1640
Degree PhD
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jane G. Landers Committee Chair
Daniel H. Usner, Jr. Committee Member
David J. Wasserstein Committee Member
Marshall C. Eakin Committee Member
William R. Fowler Committee Member
Keywords
  • African Acculturation
  • Caribbean Peasantry
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Iberian Atlantic world
  • Caribbean colonization
Date of Defense 2009-05-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This dissertation explores African and Portuguese roles in the rise of the Spanish Caribbean's most important port cities, with particular emphasis on Cartagena de Indias and Havana. During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Portuguese and Luso-African mariners, merchants, and immigrants linked the Spanish Caribbean to a broader Portuguese maritime world. This network's most significant outcome was the forced migration of tens of thousands of African captives, funneled to the Caribbean in overlapping waves from Upper Guinea, Lower Guinea, and West Central Africa. Spain's heavy reliance on sub-Saharan Africans and their descendants to populate and sustain key Caribbean seaports resulted in social transformations which often mirrored or directly responded to contemporary events in precolonial Western Africa. Rather than portraying the post-conquest Caribbean as a "backwater" within a historical framework that privileges Mexico or Peru, this study argues that the early colonial Caribbean may be more accurately viewed as an extension of the early modern South Atlantic world.
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