The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World

The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World

by Elena A. Schneider

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Overview

In 1762, British forces mobilized more than 230 ships and 26,000 soldiers, sailors, and enslaved Africans to attack Havana, one of the wealthiest and most populous ports in the Americas. They met fierce resistance. Spanish soldiers and local militias in Cuba, along with enslaved Africans who were promised freedom, held off the enemy for six suspenseful weeks. In the end, the British prevailed, but more lives were lost in the invasion and subsequent eleven-month British occupation of Havana than during the entire Seven Years' War in North America.

The Occupation of Havana offers a nuanced and poignantly human account of the British capture and Spanish recovery of this coveted Caribbean city. The book explores both the interconnected histories of the British and Spanish empires and the crucial role played by free people of color and the enslaved in the creation and defense of Havana. Tragically, these men and women would watch their promise of freedom and greater rights vanish in the face of massive slave importation and increased sugar production upon Cuba's return to Spanish rule. By linking imperial negotiations with events in Cuba and their consequences, Elena Schneider sheds new light on the relationship between slavery and empire at the dawn of the Age of Revolutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469645360
Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/29/2018
Series: Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 360
File size: 18 MB
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About the Author

Elena A. Schneider is assistant professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

During the eighteenth century, Havana was the crown jewel of the Spanish Caribbean, a place of dazzling wealth and formidable power. Behind this impressive facade, however, lay a more complicated history of war, trade, and slavery that Havana shared with its British neighbors. Elena Schneider brings this entangled Anglo-Spanish history to life as no historian before her has done. The result is a landmark in the history of the British and Spanish Atlantic worlds.—Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire



At every level, from its treatment of geopolitics in the Atlantic world to its fine-grained social history, this is a splendid book. No previous scholar has so clearly recounted the 1762 siege of Havana in all its contexts; no reader of this volume will be able to doubt that event's significance.—Fred Anderson, Emeritus, University of Colorado Boulder

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