Abstract and Keywords
This chapter highlights some of the key issues and themes of Caribbean legal and historical development from the time of first contact between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of the region to the early 20th century. The second section traces the attempts that were made to divide the Old World from the New, and explores the new forms of mercantilism and militarism which resulted. The third section examines two key engines for Caribbean wealth—slavery and sugar production—and traces the gradual and piecemeal abolition of the slave trade and slavery. The fourth section highlights the effect of maritime actors in the Caribbean and their role in maintaining a distinction between the European and Caribbean spheres. The fifth section looks at the role of chartered trading companies. The sixth section examines the impact of two pivotal revolutions: the American and Haitian.
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