The Development of the British West Indies, 1700-1763

The Development of the British West Indies, 1700-1763

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The Development of the British West Indies, 1700-1763

The Development of the British West Indies, 1700-1763

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The West Indies have attracted, in recent years, an increasing interest from students of American colonial society. The more the history of that society is investigated the more do we realize the significance of the West Indies in the development and also in the disruption of the old British empire. For it was from the West Indies that England derived, perhaps, the greatest increment of wealth in modern times. The settlement of the West Indies seemed to the British and French in the eighteenth century the most vital of their outside interests. From the European point of view it is probably not too much to say that tropical colonies were then considered of far greater value than the temperate zone settlements in North America. To the British Northern Colonies, moreover, the West Indies were no less significant. For in the great slave communities to the southward Americans found the only great and permanent market for all their staples. It was the wealth accumulated from West India trade which more than anything else underlay the prosperity and civilization of New England and the Middle Colonies. The situation was analogous to that in the first half of the nineteenth century when the growth of our middle western states rested so largely upon the demand from the cotton planters of the lower south for foods and live stock, cheap access to whose market was made possible by the Mississippi River.

In this book, which in its original form was a doctoral dissertation, I have attempted an investigation of industrial and social conditions in the British West Indies in . . .

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