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Documents of West Indian History

Eric Williams

Documents of West Indian History

This, the first volume of the series of Documents of West Indian History, covers the period from the discovery of the West Indies by Columbus in 1942 down to the British conquest of Jamaica in 1655, Britain’s conquest represented the first successful breach in the Spanish claim to monopoly, the first permanent conquest of a territory occupied by the Spaniards as distinct from settlement of islands like Barbados or St. Kitts which were not physically occupied by the Spaniards. It constituted therefore the first practical repudiation of the Papal Donation of the New World to Spain. The period covered by this volume is therefore the period of the Spanish monopoly and the international competition thereby engendered. In this period the foundations were laid of West Indian political development, of the West Indian social structure, and of the West Indian character and psychology. --From the forward

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