Spanish Hispaniola and Puerto Rico

Francisco A. Scarano

in The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199227990
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Spanish Hispaniola and Puerto Rico

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This article reviews scholarship on the history and historiography of slavery in Spanish Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Santo Domingo, the Spanish colony that became the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, its island neighbour to the east, rank as two of the Western hemisphere's most racially mixed societies. Historical factors related in one way or another to slavery account for the high degree of racial admixture. Both countries experienced enslavement and the Atlantic slave trade intensely in the sixteenth century. This was followed by a long period of economic declension during which slave imports were low and the exploitation of slave labour fell into relative obsolescence. In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, virtual economic autarchy in both colonies allowed for greater rates of miscegenation than in almost every other New World society significantly influenced by the institution of slavery.

Keywords: Santo Domingo; slavery; racially mixed societies; slave trade; miscegenation

Article.  12108 words. 

Subjects: History ; History of the Americas ; Slavery and Abolition of Slavery

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