Jeppe Mulich

Nov 24, 2020

In a Sea of Empires

Networks and Crossings in the Revolutionary Caribbean

Cambridge University Press 2020

Jeppe Mulich's new book, In A Sea of Empires: Networks and Crossings in the Revolutionary Caribbean (Cambridge University Press, 2020) highlights the revolutionary fervor, political turmoil, conflict, and chaos in the Leeward Island region of the Caribbean in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These tense dynamics created opportunities for interconnected politics, laws, and networks in this "microregion" as British, Danish, French, Spanish, and Swedish actors both competed and cooperated with one another. By exploring the transnational networks involved in trade, slavery, smuggling, privateering, and marronage, he emphasizes the border-crossing nature of life in the Leeward Islands that fostered conflicts between local interests and imperial policy and subverted formal imperial boundaries and claims to sovereignty. All-in-all, Dr. Mulich argues that this early period of "globalization" was in-part initiated from the bottom-up, with local peoples, local concerns, and various cross-border networks encouraging regional integration.

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Grant Kleiser

R. Grant Kleiser is a Ph.D. candidate in the Columbia University History Department. His dissertation researches the development of the free-port system in the eighteenth-century Caribbean, investigating the rationale for such moves towards “free trade” and the impact these policies had on subsequent philosophers, policy-makers, and revolutionaries in the Atlantic world.
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