Paperback / softback
December 21, 2007
9780801887260
English
392
25 line drawings
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1.15 Pounds (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
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December 29, 2010
9781421402024
English
392
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$31.00 USD, £23.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

France and the American Tropics to 1700

Tropics of Discontent?

Traditionally, the story of the Greater Caribbean has been dominated by the narrative of Iberian hegemony, British colonization, the plantation regime, and the Haitian Revolution of the eighteenth century. Relatively little is known about the society and culture of this region—and particularly France's role in them—in the two centuries prior to the rise of the plantation complex of the eighteenth century. Here, historian Philip P. Boucher offers the first comprehensive account of colonization and French society in the Caribbean.

Boucher's analysis contrasts the structure and character of the French colonies with that of other colonial empires. Describing the geography, topography, climate, and flora and fauna of the region, Boucher recreates the tropical environment in which colonists and indigenous peoples interacted. He then examines the lives and activities of the region's inhabitants—the indigenous Island Caribs, landowning settlers, indentured servants, African slaves, and people of mixed blood, the gens de couleur. He argues that the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were not merely a prelude to the classic plantation regime model. Rather, they were an era presenting a variety of possible outcomes. This original narrative demonstrates that the transition to sugar and the plantation complex was more gradual in the French properties than generally depicted—and that it was not inevitable.

About the Author

Philip P. Boucher is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and author of Cannibal Encounters: Europeans and Island Caribs, 1492–1763, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Reviews

"A serious, richly detailed scholarly study that has an important place in the historiography of slavery."—Bernard Moitt, World Sugar History Newsletter

"An important addition to the literature on Caribbean history and colonial societies in the 17th century."—Choice

"Boucher writes with full sensitivity to the complex religious politics of France and Europe . . . fine book."—J. R. McNeill, Journal of American History

"France and the American Tropics to 1700 draws on its author's lifelong study of France in America. It offers an authoritative and readable account of the period which is sure to become recognised as the standard work on the subject in English. It is a very valuable contribution to the historiography of the Caribbean."—Peter Hulme, Society for Carribean Historical Review, reviewing a previous edition

"This book is a rich—indeed invaluable—resource, one which will hopefully spur on a new generation of historians to wander back into this fascinating and startling period of encounter, devastation, change, and creation."—Laurent Dubois, H-France

"A number of strengths are evident in this book. Boucher is at his best narrating the Caribs in their glory and gradual demise and the political history of French colonization . . . forms a fundamental and reliable entry to the political establishment of French colonization in the Antilles and Guiana."—Sue Peabody, Slavery and Abolition

"A new synthesis of the history of the French circum-Caribbean before 1700."—Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, American Historical Review

"It will be of great help to anyone seeking to work on the French circum-Caribbean in the Old regime, as well as the scholars of the Atlantic World in general."—Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, American Historical Review

"Boucher's volume provides an important counter-weight to the Canada-focused surveys . . . Much more so than the English or Spanish Atlantic, studies of different areas of French Atlantic provide staggeringly different impressions of the role of family life, the nature of immigration, and the importance of the state in French colonial life. It is good to finally have a report on this quarter. May this volume pave the way for much future work on the seventeenth-century Caribbean."—Robert Taber, Itinerario: European Journal of Overseas History

"The overarching thesis . . . is pervasive."—Keith McLay, French History

"An informed starting point for scholars of all stripes."—James E. McClellan III, Journal of World History

"Boucher presents a judicious mix of political narrative history and an economic, social, and cultural analysis of the Caribbean social and racial groups—Europeans, Caribs (the original inhabitants), and the African slaves. The book is an important contribution to the history of the Caribbean and to the growing field of comparative Atlantic Empires."—Robert Forster, The Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9780801887260 : france-and-the-american-tropics-to-1700-boucher
Paperback / softback
392 Pages
$31.00 USD
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Electronic book text
392 Pages
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