At the turn of the nineteenth century, the establishment of unauthorized U.S. consulates throughout the Spanish Empire transformed both the infrastructure of Spanish colonial rule and the diplomatic relationship between Spain and the Early Republic. In places such as New Orleans, Havana, and Santiago de Cuba, U.S. consuls exercised extraterritorial jurisdiction over national citizens without the authorization of Spanish imperial authorities, sparking intense diplomatic conflicts over the boundaries of national sovereignty. Invoking diplomatic reciprocity, Spanish colonial officials also made use of unauthorized consulates in Savannah, New Orleans, and Natchez in order to contain U.S. expansion, protect Spanish subjects and property, and police runaway slaves and Native Americans. Over the 1800s, these ad-hoc uses of unauthorized consulates challenged metropolitan designs and international diplomatic norms as they locked both U.S. state authorities and Spanish colonial governments in negotiations of state sovereignty, transnational migration, and reciprocity and created a new institutional framework of transnational governance in the Spanish Caribbean and the North American Gulf.


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pp. 19-44
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