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The Barbadian Empire

Friday, March 17, 2017 8:42
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From Creating and Contesting Carolina:

“The Carolina colony was founded amidst a flurry of Barbadian expansion projects in the 1650s and 1660s. Nationalist approaches have situated the colony within the context of the area that eventually formed the United States. At its inception, however, South Carolina was part of a Caribbean world. Imperial rivalries and economic, demographic and political forces in the early English Caribbean dictated the settlement of the Carolina colony. Most of its principal architects drew on their experiences in settling and cultivating the English Caribbean, envisioning the colony as a satellite to their Caribbean world. To better understand the impetus for the settlement of Carolina, its initial failures, and its ultimate survival, the story of early Carolina needs a broader Atlantic framework. The capital that fueled the exploration and settlement of the Carolinas drew heavily on the fantastic wealth being generated in the sugar islands, and the leaders of the Carolina adventure envisioned the colony as a satellite to their Caribbean world. …”

Read the whole thing.

I hate the way American history is taught in our public schools. It artificially places the South in a narrative of an inevitable American nationalism. New England is at the center of the narrative. In reality, South Carolina was a Caribbean colony and originally had nothing to do with the Puritan experiment in New England. It was an offshoot of Barbados.

The Barbadians also successfully spread their plantation civilization to the Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Jamaica in the Caribbean which never became part of the United States. They colonized Suriname on the coast of South America until they were run out by the Dutch after the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667. In fact, it was only after their failure to settle nearby Suriname and St. Lucia that the Barbadians turned their attention to settling South Carolina.

This story has been airbrushed out of our historical memory. The South only makes sense when you think of it as the far northern tier of the Greater Caribbean.


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