In this Book

Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbean
summary
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 Caribbean works 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover, Title Page, Copyright
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-16
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part I: Isabel: “If Her Soul Was Condemned, It Would Be the Authorities’ Fault”
  2. pp. 17-62
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. Contesting the Boundaries of Anti-Christian Cruelty in Cartagena de Indias
  2. pp. 19-37
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Imperial Intercession and Master-Slave Relations in Spanish Caribbean Hinterlands
  2. pp. 38-50
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Law, Religion, Social Contract, and Slavery’s Daily Negotiations
  2. pp. 51-62
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part II: Nicolas: “To Live and Die as a Catholic Christian”
  2. pp. 63-105
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Northern European Protestants in the Spanish Caribbean
  2. pp. 65-80
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. Empire, Bureaucracy, and Escaping the Spanish Inquisition
  2. pp. 81-91
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Conversion, Coercion, and Tolerance in Old and New Worlds
  2. pp. 92-105
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part III: Henry: “Such as will truck for Trade with darksome things”
  2. pp. 107-146
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. Cromwellian Political Economy and the Pursuit of New World Promise
  2. pp. 109-118
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. The Politics of Economic Exclusion: Plunder, Masculinity, and “Piety”
  2. pp. 119-133
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. Anxieties of Interracial Alliances, Black Resistance, and the Specter of Slavery
  2. pp. 134-146
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part IV: Nell, Yaff, and Lewis: “He hath made all Nations of one Blood”
  2. pp. 147-197
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 10. Quakers, Slavery, and the Challenges of Universalism
  2. pp. 149-165
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 11. Evangelization and Insubordination: Authority and Stability in Quaker Plantations
  2. pp. 166-180
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 12. Inclusion, the Protestant Ethic, and the Silences of Atlantic Capitalism
  2. pp. 181-197
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Conclusion: Cynicism and Redemption
  2. p. 199
  1. 13. Religion, Empire, and the Atlantic Economy at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century
  2. pp. 201-230
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 231-301
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 303-309
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.