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Remaking the British AtlanticThe United States and the British Empire after American Independence$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199640355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640355.001.0001

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The Swing to the South

The Swing to the South

Chapter:
(p.176) 9 The Swing to the South
Source:
Remaking the British Atlantic
Author(s):

Peter J. Marshall

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640355.003.0010

In the closing stages of the American war Britain gave priority to the defence of the West Indies, regarded as a British asset of the utmost national importance, over efforts to subdue the mainland colonies. The war had posed acute problems for the islands, but they quickly regained much of their prosperity through their slave‐worked plantation agriculture. Jamaica remained Britain's most valued colony. Although the Florida colonies had been surrendered to Spain at the peace, British governments were still interested in expanding Britain's stake in the Caribbean and around the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement of loyalists from the southern colonies in the Bahamas was supported, trade with the Spanish colonies was encouraged and plans for disrupting the Spanish empire by inciting Indian and creole revolts were revived in 1790 at the prospect of war with Spain.

Keywords:   West Indies, Spanish empire, plantations, Jamaica, Florida, loyalists, Bahamas

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