Hubs of Empire: The Southeastern Lowcountry and British Caribbean

Hubs of Empire: The Southeastern Lowcountry and British Caribbean

by Matthew Mulcahy


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Hubs of Empire: The Southeastern Lowcountry and British Caribbean by Matthew Mulcahy

In Hubs of Empire, Matthew Mulcahy argues that it is useful to view Barbados, Jamaica, and the British Leeward Islands, along with the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, as a single region. Separated by thousands of miles of ocean but united by shared history and economic interest, these territories formed the Greater Caribbean.

Although the Greater Caribbean does not loom large in the historical imaginations of many Americans, it was the wealthy center of Britain’s Atlantic economy. Large-scale plantation slavery first emerged in Barbados, then spread throughout the sugar islands and the southeastern mainland colonies, allowing planters to acquire fortunes and influence unmatched elsewhere—including the tobacco colonies of Maryland and Virginia.

Hubs of Empire begins in the sixteenth century by providing readers with a broad overview of Native American life in the region and early pirate and privateer incursions. Mulcahy examines the development of settler colonies during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, explores diverse groups of European colonists, and surveys political, economic, and military issues in the decades before the Seven Years War.

The plantation system achieved its fullest and harshest manifestation in the Greater Caribbean. The number of slaves and the scale of the slave trade meant that enslaved Africans outnumbered Europeans in all of the affiliated colonies, often by enormous ratios. This enabled Africans to maintain more of their traditions, practices, and languages than in other parts of British America, resulting in distinct, creole cultures. This volume is an ideal introduction to the complex and fascinating history of colonies too often neglected in standard textbook accounts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421414690
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 11/03/2014
Series: Regional Perspectives on Early America
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Matthew Mulcahy is a professor of history at Loyola University Maryland. He is the author of Hurricanes and Society in the British Greater Caribbean, 1624–1783, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Rethinking Regions in Colonial British America
1. Plundering and Planting the Greater Caribbean
2. The Sweet Negotiation of Sugar
3. Jamaica
4. "Carolina in ye West Indies"
5. "In Miserable Slavery"
6. Creole Societies
7. Trade, Politics, and War in the Eighteenth Century
Epilogue: The Political Crisis of the 1760s
Essay on Sources

What People are Saying About This

David Barry Gaspar

"An impressively constructed and stylistically presented account of the British Greater Caribbean, Hubs of Empire is historically sound and intellectually appealing. Matthew Mulcahy demonstrates great skill and command of the historical period and contexts."

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