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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews scholarship on the history and historiography of slavery in Spanish Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Santo Domingo, the Spanish colony that became the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, its island neighbour to the east, rank as two of the Western hemisphere's most racially mixed societies. Historical factors related in one way or another to slavery account for the high degree of racial admixture. Both countries experienced enslavement and the Atlantic slave trade intensely in the sixteenth century. This was followed by a long period of economic declension during which slave imports were low and the exploitation of slave labour fell into relative obsolescence. In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, virtual economic autarchy in both colonies allowed for greater rates of miscegenation than in almost every other New World society significantly influenced by the institution of slavery.

Keywords: Santo Domingo, slavery, racially mixed societies, slave trade, miscegenation

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