The Emergence of a Mixed Society in Cape Verde in the Seventeenth Century


in Brokers of Change

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754180 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Emergence of a Mixed Society in Cape Verde in the Seventeenth Century

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter illuminates how a mixed cultural framework developed in the 17th century on Cabo Verde. Following commercial and ecological collapse at the end of the 16th century, the island Creole class broke decisively from metropolitan control and created a new economy. Based on subsistence and also on trading with passing maritime trade, this led to different influences in different islands depending on the accent of the trade – English salt trade from the island of Maio to Newfoundland, for instance. By the end of the 17th century, differing identities in the differing islands of Cabo Verde were emerging, based on balancing the internal agency and influences with the priorities of external global demand. The mixed Creole world that emerged, transcending the polar hierarchies of race common elsewhere in the Atlantic world, became a fundamental constituent of the hybrid Creole identity of Cabo Verde to this day.

Keywords: Cabo Verde islands; identity; Portuguese empire; English trade; Newfoundland; Dutch empire; race; creolisation

Chapter.  9543 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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