Colonies without frontiers: Inter- Island trade in the eighteenthand nineteenth-century Caribbean

Mark W. Hauser, Kenneth G. Kelly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


By 1713, the treaty of utrecht had ended the War of spanish succession and had, in theory, formalized the imperial domains of north ern european powers in the americas, particularly in the Caribbean. simultaneously, a series of legislative actions taken by the imperial seats attempted to control these boundaries through the establishment of trading regimes that privileged royal monopolies and national trading companies. yet rather than a period of equilibrium in the Caribbean plantation colonies, the eighteenth century was marked by considerable internal regional trade in which the interstices of empire were sites of inter- And intracolonial economic interaction. in this chapter we explore the incongruity of collective economic frontiers and politi cal boundaries. specifically, we focus on the ways in which everyday internal and informal trade circumvented colonial frontiers. this incongruity has implications for the ways in which the material world shaped everyday life and for the way in which we as archaeologists are conceiving human interaction. in essence, the question we are asking is similar to the question those studying empire and po liti cal economy in other world areas ask: That is, in what ways do domestic and local economies intersect with broader imperial economic systems? this chapter is an attempt to describe the "diverse economic systems and strategies, which varied with the nature of the good being produced and its context of production" (Morrison and sinopoli 1992:335), and the ways in which colonial relations conditioned or framed the consumption of colonial subjects (stahl 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004b). to be certain, the archaeological analysis of po liti cal economy demonstrates the need to bring into converstation production, exchange, and con sumption within political systems and relationships of power (Cobb 1993, 2005; Morrison and sinopoli 1992; Muller 1997; Patterson 1999; sinopoli 1986, 1994a, 1994b, 2003; sinopoli and Morrison 1995; stahl 2001, 2004a; stein 1999, 2002, 2005).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIslands at the Crossroads
Subtitle of host publicationMigration, Seafaring, and Interaction in the Caribbean
PublisherThe University of Alabama Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)081735655X, 9780817356552
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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