"Caribbean women - black, white and brown, free and enslaved, migrants and creoles, rich and poor - are assembled in this book and their lives examined as they battled both against male domination and among themselves for social advantage." "Professor Beckles uses the method of narrative biography with its appealing sense of immediacy of women's language, script and social politics, to expose the gender order of Caribbean slave society as it determined and defined the everyday lives of women. He also seeks to explore the effectiveness of women's actions as they searched for freedom, material betterment, justice and social security."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Kristen Block examines the entangled histories of Spain and England in the Caribbean during the long seventeenth century, focusing on colonialism’s two main goals: the search for profit and the call to Christian dominance. Using the stories of ordinary people, Block illustrates how engaging with the powerful rhetoric and rituals of Christianity was central to survival. Isobel Criolla was a runaway slave in Cartagena who successfully lobbied the Spanish governor not to return her to an abusive mistress. Nicolas Burundel was a French Calvinist who served as henchman to the Spanish governor of Jamaica before his arrest by the Inquisition for heresy. Henry Whistler was an English sailor sent to the Caribbean under Oliver Cromwell’s plan for holy war against Catholic Spain. Yaff and Nell were slaves who served a Quaker plantation owner, Lewis Morris, in Barbados. Seen from their on-the-ground perspective, the development of modern capitalism, race, and Christianity emerges as a story of negotiation, contingency, humanity, and the quest for community. Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbeanworks in both a comparative and an integrative Atlantic world frame, drawing on archival sources from Spain, England, Barbados, Colombia, and the United States. It pushes the boundaries of how historians read silences in the archive, asking difficult questions about how self-censorship, anxiety, and shame have shaped the historical record. The book also encourages readers to expand their concept of religious history beyond a focus on theology, ideals, and pious exemplars to examine the communal efforts of pirates, smugglers, slaves, and adventurers who together shaped the Caribbean’s emerging moral economy.
Plantations, especially sugar plantations, created slave societies and a racism persisting well into post- slavery periods: so runs a familiar argument that has been used to explain the sweep of Caribbean history. Here one of the most eminent scholars of modern social theory applies this assertion to a comparative study of most Caribbean islands from the time of the American Revolution to the Spanish American War. Arthur Stinchcombe uses insights from his own much admired Economic Sociology to show why sugar planters needed the help of repressive governments for recruiting disciplined labor. Demonstrating that island-to- island variations on this theme were a function of geography, local political economy, and relation to outside powers, he scrutinizes Caribbean slavery and Caribbean emancipation movements in a world-historical context. Throughout the book, Stinchcombe aims to develop a sociology of freedom that explains a number of complex phenomena, such as how liberty for some individuals may restrict the liberty of others. Thus, the autonomous governments of colonies often produced more oppressive conditions for slaves than did so-called arbitrary governments, which had the power to restrict the whims of the planters. Even after emancipation, freedom was not a clear-cut matter of achieving the ideals of the Enlightenment. Indeed, it was often a route to a social control more efficient than slavery, providing greater flexibility for the planter class and posing less risk of violent rebellion.