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Trade and Privateering in Spanish Florida, 1732–1763
by Joyce Elizabeth Harman
introduction by Carl E. Swanson
University of Alabama Press, 2004
eISBN: 978-0-8173-9439-4 | Paper: 978-0-8173-5120-5
Library of Congress Classification HF3161.F7H34 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 382.097590171241

An important study of the First Spanish Period in Florida’s history

Trade and Privateering examines the illegal yet highly profitable and mutually beneficial trade between Spanish Florida and the English colonies on the eastern seaboard in the mid-18th century. In St. Augustine, the arrival of subsidies from Spain was erratic, causing shortages of food and supplies, so authorities ignored the restrictions on trade with foreign colonies and welcomed British goods. Likewise, the British colonists sought Spanish products from Florida, especially oranges.
But when England and Spain became declared enemies in the War of Jenkins’ Ear and the French and Indian Wars, this tacit trade arrangement was threatened, and the result was a rise of privateering in the region. Rather than do without Spanish goods, the English began to attack and capture Spanish vessels with their cargoes at sea. Likewise, the Spaniards resorted to privateering as a means of steadily supplying the Florida colony. Harman concludes that, both willingly and unwillingly, the English colonies helped their Spanish neighbor to sustain its position in the Southeast.

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