The Smugglers' World: Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in Eighteenth-Century Venezuela

The Smugglers' World: Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in Eighteenth-Century Venezuela

by Jesse Cromwell

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469636917
Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/05/2018
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: 336
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Jesse Cromwell is associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Jesse Cromwell's wonderful new book is a beautifully written study of the multinational and multiracial smuggling networks of the circum-Caribbean. As he shows, long-neglected and under-provisioned peripheries of the Spanish Empire over time established a moral economy that normalized smuggling despite the sometimes harsh consequences. The Smugglers' World will be a welcome addition to my Atlantic World courses.--Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University



This masterful social history traces elite Europeans' love of chocolate to its main South American source. Cromwell brings colonial Venezuela out of obscurity and offers powerful insights about the negotiated character of empires and the centrality of smuggling to a multitude of Americans: lowly enslaved producers, interloping French, Dutch, and British merchants funneling cacao into transatlantic networks, and Spanish officials who strove in vain to enforce mercantilist ideals. Within a comparative Atlantic framing, Cromwell's Venezuelans make 1770s Bostonians look like honest, peaceful, law-abiding subjects and Bermudians only slightly crooked.--Michael J. Jarvis, University of Rochester



In this deeply researched and theoretically sophisticated history of smuggling and its enemies, Jesse Cromwell brings tacitly accepted illicit trade into sharp and dramatic relief. Venezuelans of all types found a sense of 'community in criminality' by resisting state actors' attempts to monopolize local cacao. This novel argument adds much to the new history of corruption in the Iberian empires and to the Bourbon reforms and their consequences. It also says a lot about that old devil, chocolate.--Kris E. Lane, Tulane University



A fascinating investigation of the murky world of contraband commerce. Illicit trade flourished in early modern Venezuela; it was commonplace, normative, mundane, part of the ordinary fabric of life. Cromwell's insightful book is a tour de force exploration of clandestine, covert, interimperial trade.--Philip D. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University

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