Caribbean studies (Río Piedras, San Juan, P.R.)

Published by Johns Hopkins University Press
Online ISSN: 1940-9095
This article examines the life histories of women return migrants to Puerto Rico. It emphasizes the cultural aspects of return migration, especially how the narrators understood and expressed their collective identity as distinctive from Puerto Ricans born and raised on the island. These informants turned their life histories into morality fables of class mobility, gender role restriction, and social rejection on the island. These tales asserted their radical differences from both middle class-islanders, whom they had joined, and the working-class diaspora in New York City, from which they had come. The narrators also built an organization which reinforced their "Latin New Yorker" identity, invented on the island.
Few studies have addressed the subject of romantic relationships in adolescence. In fact, it has been a little investigated in the Caribbean region. Considering this, the present study was carried out with the purpose of exploring the meaning of the word "love" within the context of adolescence, Dominican adolescence in particular. Thirty (30) high schools students participated and were subjected to the semantic networks technique proposed by Valdez (1998). The word stimulus used was "love". Results tend to show that "respect" is the word most closely associated with "love", and that differences by gender are also evident. Future studies that analyze the relation between love and adolescent sexuality are proposed.
This article assesses Helen I. Safa's legacy to anthropological thought in Puerto Rico. The first part of the article locates Safa's research on the Island within a long tradition of fieldwork by U.S. scholars since the early twentieth century. More recent research, conducted mostly by Puerto Rican women anthropologists and other social scientists, has expanded upon Safa's insights on gender and work. The second part of the essay analyzes Safa's major empirical work, The Urban Poor of Puerto Rico: A Study in Development and Inequality. Above all, this book helped overcome the theoretical impasse over the culture of poverty that characterized much of urban anthropology during the 1960s and 1970s. The article concludes with an appraisal of the relevance of Safa's work for the ethnography of contemporary Puerto Rico.
This paper examines racial differences in physical health and mental well-being in Guyana, South America: a country with cultural ties to the Caribbean. It explores the complex relationship among race, socioeconomic status and health outcomes which in developed societies continues to be of significant research interest. Utilizing a random probability sample of over 900 adults, the analyses provide information on the general physical and mental health status of this population and examine the differences by racial groups when other factors are controlled. The results indicate significant age-specific racial differences in physical and mental health in Guyana. Higher rates of diabetes, arthritis or rheumatism, back and breathing problems among Indo-Guyanese when compared to other groups were noted. Racial differences in physical health were attenuated when gender and educational levels were controlled.
This article discusses Helen Safa's analyses of the impact of development strategies and social policies on gender relations and women headed families in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. The discussion focuses on findings of a research project regarding patterns of women's employment, autonomy, marital relations, family headship and poverty in Puerto Rico in the decade beginning in the year 2000, using excerpts from interviews conducted with women workers displaced from a clothing and a tuna factory between 2001 and 2002 (Colón et al. 2008), as well as data from the Public Use Sample (PUMS) of the U.S. Census Puerto Rico Community Survey 2005-2007. It is argued that women's employment has resulted in advances in women's autonomy, gender equity, and renegotiations of the provider role, but, intensified by men's unstable earnings, it has also led to the increase of female family headship even among married women. Women's education and employment have been an important means of reducing family poverty both among dual earner families and female heads. Yet, the continuing joblessness in the Island places even higher educated sectors on the verge of economic precariousness.
Helen Safa has been a leading program builder and pioneer in research that examines the complex intersections of gender, race, class, and nation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her comparative research culminated in her influential book, The Myth of the Male Breadwinner: Women and Industrialization in the Caribbean (1995), which examined gender, family, and employment across three Caribbean societies. Over several decades Safa has inspired scholarship throughout the Caribbean and the Americas and her work is exemplary of engaged anthropology in the region. Here I present work I conducted in Cuba that was guided, like my work in Peru, Nicaragua, and southern Mexico by the writings of Safa and others who saw the critical need to bring gender into meaningful discussion in the field of Latin American and Caribbean studies. In what follows, drawn from my broader research on tourism in four nations, I explore and reflect on the contemporary dynamics of sex and romance tourism in Cuba. I suggest that the allure of this domain of tourism may be enhanced by Cuba's global political identity, and that Cuban women participating in commodified and intimate exchanges reveal an ability to get along in a market economy that generally excludes them.
Michaeline Crichlow and Patricia Northover. 2009. Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes on Fleeing the Plantation. Durham and London: Duke University Press. 305 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4441-4. Book review: Aníbal José Aponte Colón - University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus “We have to flee the plantation.” This is the earnest advice from Crichlow and Northover. We have to leave this old neo-Platonic Caribbean cavern. We need to stand up and turn around,
This book is both an explanation of how Cuba became a major producer of sugar cane—for some years indeed the leading producer—and an assessment of the damage to the island's environment this achievement involved. The author has based his arguments on research in archives in Spain and Cuba, on biological evidence of vegetation change and on the observations made over the centuries by government officials, travellers and scientists: Cuban, Spanish and foreign. He presents the results of this research in terms of the interests of three groups each of which had very definite ideas about the correct, or most appropriate, form of land use for the island: the Spanish Royal Navy which wished to preserve the island's forest cover so as to provide a continuing source of timber for export to Spain and for building naval ships in Cuba; agricultural interests seeking an extension of private landownership with the aim of clearing the forest to make way for sugar plantations; and a third group, growing more vocal with the passage of time, concerned about the environmental change caused by deforestation and the expanding sugar industry, and with whom the author sympathizes. The book is organized chronologically from the beginnings of the sugar industry in Cuba to the investment of American capital on a large scale in the early twentieth century. This translation from Spanish is clearly written, jargon free, as I assume is the original. There are Appendices with information on scientific names, climatic data, and units of measure. Rather than footnotes there are end notes organized by chapter, a Glossary, Bibliographical Essay, an Index and a good choice of maps and illustrations. Without doubt this book is a major contribution to the environmental history of Cuba and the Caribbean. The first 250 years or so of Cuban history since the Spanish arrival are covered rather quickly in the first chapter on the grounds that sugar industry was then comparatively underdeveloped, not yet the major force of landscape change that it was to become. The brief discussion of what the vegetation cover of the island might have been like in 1492 leads to the conclusion, even allowing for the activities of the indigenous population, that it was then well-forested. The Spanish farmers at first changed little, making use of woodlands for the grazing of hogs and cattle but the beginning of the sugar industry did start the process of deforestation to make way for fields and to supply timber for buildings, mills, carts and fuel. The dispute between the sugar industry and the navy developed particularly strongly during the late seventeenth century and on into the eighteenth in the most densely settled area of the island around Havana, reaching a climax in the years around 1800. By that time Havana had indeed become an important shipbuilding centre for the navy while the sugar industry had been given a major boost by the recent revolution in Haiti which destroyed the industry there, removing a competitor. The author devotes two chapters to this dispute which the navy was to lose. In 1815, after much debate, "the king put his seal on the royal edict giving private property owners the perpetual right to fell their own trees with complete freedom" (p. 124) ending the navy's claims to manage forests. The prospect of the tax revenues from a developing sugar industry was a deciding factor (p. 125). In the following three chapters the author examines the relationship between the sugar industry and the environment. In the first he discusses the immediate consequences of the edict: the expansion of cultivated land at the expense of the forests. The main theme of the second is the impact on the forests of the introduction of new technology such as the large central factories and railroads with their demand for fuel and railroad ties. In the third he discusses the American-financed clearances to make way for the expansion of the sugar industry into the east of the island. The study ends in 1926 the date of a final decree in a series issued by the government that, taken together, amounted to the virtual undoing of the 1815 edict. The brief Conclusion...
Published to mark the fourth centenary of the foundation of the English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, this volume of essays on Virginia in the Atlantic world achieves two impressive feats. Firstly, the collection, which is based on the proceedings of an international conference held at Williamsburg in 2004, brings together a stellar list of leading scholars to discuss the arrival of the English in the region that native people referred to as Tsenacommacah at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Secondly, these scholars present us with research that maps out current trends in history writing on the Atlantic world, presenting a multifaceted picture of that heterogeneous intercultural zone in the period between 1550 and 1624. In so doing, this collection also suggests some of the lines of debate that currently shape the study of Atlantic history along with future directions for research. Peter Mancall has therefore done far more than bring together essays on early English Virginia. He has coordinated a collection that places Virginia in Atlantic context and that sheds light on much broader Atlantic themes. Indeed, as Mancall points out in his neat introduction to the volume, not all of the contributions discuss Virginia in direct terms, but all of the essays, whether they focus on native Americans in Virginia, reading culture in early modern England or trade routes across the Sahara, enrich our understanding of the wider Atlantic systems of which the fledgling colony was part. The essays in Virginia and the Atlantic World are organised into five main sections. The first of these contains contributions by Daniel K. Richter, Joseph Hall, and James D. Rice and looks at Native Americans in early modern North America. In broad terms, these essays explore the social and cultural worlds inhabited by Native Americans and the alteration of these worlds by the arrival of European people, goods and diseases. They also suggest ways in which Indians attempted to make use of these transformations. The second section of the book continues some of these themes through its focus on “Africa and the Atlantic.” Just as the contributors of the first section seek to emphasise the agency and the complex reactions of Indians in the face of change, essays on Africa by E. Ann McDougall, David Northrup, James H. Sweet, and a jointly authored piece by Linda Heywood and John Thornton consider the multifaceted manner in which Africans responded to the opportunities and challenges wrought by the changing economic, social and cultural environments of the Atlantic interculture. The work in this volume that looks out onto the Atlantic world from Africa and from “Indian country” serve to demonstrate that the Atlantic was a contested space in which the ideas and ambitions of the inhabitants of the Ocean’s littoral clashed and came together. As Stuart B. Schwartz deftly points out at the end of this volume, we cannot deny the processes of enslavement, deracination and dispossession to which so many Africans and Native Americans fell victim. It is clearly possible and necessary, however, for historians to recognise the complexity of African and Indian cultures and to look at the ways in which different people from within these broadly defined groups attempted to shape the newly forming Atlantic to their advantage, albeit often in vain. The collection continues with a third section, on “European Models,” which contains essays by Philip P. Boucher, Peter Cook and Philip D. Morgan, along with a jointly authored piece by Marcy Norton and Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert. This section seeks to understand the establishment of the English settlement at Jamestown in relation to the Atlantic activities of other European powers, most notably the Spanish. The fourth section of the book includes essays by Andrew Fitzmaurice, David Harris Sacks, Benjamin Schmidt and David S. Shields and looks at “Intellectual Currents,” placing the expansion of the English Atlantic in the sixteenth and seventeenth century in the context of changing European ideas about trade, empire and the peoples of the Atlantic region. The final section of the book returns the focus to Virginia in Atlantic context and contains synoptic essays, by James Horn, J.H. Elliott and Stuart B. Schwartz. From a Caribbean perspective, of the chapters in these final...
¡ Fiebre amarilla y malaria! La obesidad, el síndrome metabólico, la diabetes y la arteriosclerosis son enfermedades que se asocian cada vez más al azúcar. Estas asociaciones, si bien importantes, ya han dejado de ser noticia, al ser mencionadas con frecuencia en las revistas de divulgación médica. Ahora bien, relacionar el azúcar a la malaria y la fiebre amarilla y a sus vectores, los mosquitos, ¡eso es una noticia! Con mayor precisión, asociarlos a la caña de azúcar y a las plantaciones azucareras en la cuenca e islas del Caribe es una novedad. Más aun, se postula que el efecto de estos mosquitos y las enfermedades transmitidas por ellos fue decisivo en las pugnas imperiales y revolucionarias de la época colonial caribeña entre el 1620 y el 1914 hasta ganarles el título a estas potencias de ser “imperios de mosquitos”. Esta es la imaginativa tesis de John Robert McNeill, autor de esta obra. McNeill es un conocido historiador ambiental, investigador y cate-drático de la Universidad de Georgetown, en el Departamento de Historia y la Walsh School of Foreign Service. Su obra trata sobre historia ambiental del Caribe, la historia de la enfermedad, la historia de las revoluciones americanas y de la lucha de los imperios europeos por el control de las riquezas de América en el Gran Caribe, desde Chesapeake hasta el Noreste de Brasil, entre 1620 al 1914. McNeill, quien al igual que su padre —el igualmente distinguido historiador William McNeill—, ha sido premiado con el premio Toynbee por sus “contribuciones académicas y públicas a la humanidad”, ha llevado a cabo esta considerable labor con una pericia y profundidad tal que ya Mosquito Empires es una obra reconocida y premiada con el premio Albert J. Beveridge de la Asociación Americana de la Historia. La bibliografía de esta obra es extensa. El texto está acompañado por doce mapas que ilustran la localización de las batallas entre las tropas y con los mosquitos. La investigación es meticulosa. De hecho, en los momentos en los cuales el que reseña no podía aguantar el impulso incontrolable de hacer diagnósticos y llegaba a uno diferente al propuesto por el autor, se encontraba con que McNeill se le había adelantado proponiendo otras explicaciones y resumiendo las interpretaciones de otros autores. En la descripción de los ciclos de vida de los mosquitos y las particularidades de las enfermedades que ocasionan, McNeill demuestra su erudición y conocimiento de la disciplina de la ecología y sus implicaciones médicas que acompañan su imaginación y conocimiento de la historia. El autor comienza su obra con una breve explicación de su tesis. Ésta es que el creciente número de plantaciones de caña de azúcar en el Caribe y la importación de esclavos asociada a éstas produjeron cambios ecológicos que favorecieron el crecimiento de la población de mosquitos vectores del virus de la fiebre amarilla y de los parásitos causantes de la malaria. Este cambio ecológico favoreció la multiplicación de los mosquitos, los cuales tuvieron un efecto formidable en el desenlace de las guerras entre los imperios europeos atlánticos por el control del territorio y las riquezas en el Gran Caribe y, por lo tanto, en la política y en el balance de poder entre los poderes atlánticos. De aquí el epíteto de mosquitos imperiales. El fenómeno ecológico que sirvió de defensa al imperio español entre el 1640 y el 1770, favoreció también a los revolucionarios norteamericanos, a Toussaint Louverture y otros en Haití, a Bolívar y sus colaboradores en Venezuela y Colombia y a los revolucionarios cubanos en su gesta patriótica, ya que tenían como aliados a estos mosquitos que McNeill en estos casos llama “mosquitos revolucionarios”. Finalmente, el descubrimiento de que los mosquitos eran vectores de la fiebre amarilla y la malaria, el descifrar los detalles de los ciclos de vida de los vectores y parásitos y de la capacidad de los seres humanos de servir...
Business and banking history are relatively underdeveloped fields within the English-speaking Caribbean and many of the books published on particular business and banking institutions are of dubious merit. A good number of these monographs are little more than vanity publications issued to commemorate a marketing milestone or a corporate birthday. Often, these texts are lavishly illustrated, expensively bound, and, given their privileged access to archives, well sourced. Generally published to serve an audience of shareholders and staff members, they are rarely critical. Similarly, histories of foreign business and banking institutions operating in the West Indies often have the veneer of academic legitimacy (established scholars are commissioned to write them, reputable university presses are enlisted to publish them) but their authors are constrained by the needs of their patrons and the histories they recount are often deployed for the strategic aims of the institution. With little work to constitute a scholarly tradition of business and banking history in the English-speaking Caribbean, it is no wonder that two recent texts—West Indian Business History: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, edited by historians Barry Higman and Kathleen E.A. Monteith, and A History of Money and Banking in Barbados, 1627–1973, authored by economist Eric Armstrong—both begin by noting that the field is neglected. Both works are attempts at redressing this neglect and developing a tradition of scholarship on Caribbean business and banking history. West Indian Business History is a collection of ten essays, most of them reprinted from historical journals, bookended by a concise introductory chapter by Higman and Monteith and a useful bibliography for further reading. In the introductory chapter, the editors stake a claim for the development of business history as a distinct historical subfield within the Anglophone Caribbean, outline its origins, and provide an overview of its approaches and concerns. They acknowledge the overlaps between business history and economic, political and social history but distinguish it from the applied investigations of management and entrepreneurialism of “business studies,” popular amongst students at the University of the West Indies, and from labor history, which has had, they note, a cantankerous and querulous relation with business history. In part, the vexed association of business history with labor history emerges from the genealogy of business history itself. As a discipline, business history first emerged from Harvard’s Center for Research and Entrepreneurial History, founded in 1948 to defend the activities of “big business and financial capitalism” (p. 1). While the editors offer no conjectures concerning whether or not that defensive imperative has persisted, its ideological imprint has certainly remained in business history’s normalization of the market as part of its work-a-day concerns. Higman and Monteith note that at its heart, business history centers business enterprises, no matter the size or scale, and analyzes its historical formations, its role in production, distribution, and exchange, its managerial systems and organization, and its relation to the state and society at large. They favorably cite the work of Harvard business historian Alfred Chandler—their chapter’s subtitle, “Scale and Scope,” draws from a Chandlerian vocabulary—arguing his approach to the managerial transformations of United States business, though rarely applied in the West Indies, offers a generative theoretical model for analyzing Caribbean business history. In a somewhat perfunctory fashion, they also suggest that the “plantation economy” model pioneered by Lloyd Best and George Beckford contains an autochthonous tradition of West Indian business history, one that comes closest in approach to the work of Chandler. Higman and Monteith also identify an archival paradox at the heart of business history. In business, failure is more common than success but it is those businesses that survive that provide the raw archival material from which business history is written. “The evidentiary record of success is always greater than that of failure, even though spectacular examples of the collapse of big business may be prominent in the history,” they write. “The failure of an enterprise, particularly in its early life, is often the trigger for the destruction of its archive” (p. 6). There is the danger, then, of business history becoming the history of exceptions—though making exceptions the rule goes some way to entrench business history’s sense...
One of the consequences of decolonization upon the bibliography of Caribbean Studies was a notable decline in the attention given by Caribbean authors to the subject of colonialism. As new countries were created in this region from the ruins of colonialism the research concerns in the social sciences gradually but steadily turned towards “nation-building” and the host of problems the new nations faced during the beginning years of the second postwar of the twentieth century. This is particularly true in the case of Suriname. While there is a fairly large body of literature written by Dutch and other historians about the long period that extends from the initial years of Dutch colonization in the seventeenth century to the postcolonial period in Suriname’s history, it has taken many years for its own intellectuals to form a historiographical body of their own. That is why Marten Schalkwijk’s book, The Colonial State in the Caribbean: Structural Analysis and Changing Elite Networks in Suriname, 1650–1920, is a welcome addition to the bibliography on historical colonialism in the Caribbean in general, and to Suriname’s in particular. The book is the end result of the research made by Marten Schalkwijk for his doctoral dissertation, which now sees the light in this edition from the Dutch publishing house Amrit/Ninsee, based on The Hague, Netherlands. Schalkwijk who is Professor of Social Sciences at the Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname in Paramaribo, is a leading historian of Suriname who is actively working with students at his institution to revisit many chapters of the history of Suriname. The book takes the reader from the beginning of Dutch colonization during the mid-seventeenth century to the critical years of the 1920s. That decade culminated a period of crisis that had begun during the early years of twentieth century, which triggered changes in the Colonial state structure of the Dutch Guiana, particularly in its coercive component. The author is principally concerned with two research areas. One is related the development of a theoretical framework for understanding the colonial State in Caribbean history, particularly its Surinamese chapter. This task leads the author into a critical incursion of the literature in the social sciences dealing with the different types of colonial enterprises in this region. The other is bringing to light the particularities of Suriname as a distinctive case study of colonialism in the Caribbean. The book has ten chapters where the author compares and contrasts colonial State formations, particularly the British and the French, and explores the evolution of the economy and society in Suriname, its particular ethnic configuration, the religious ingredient in the colonial society, and the networks formed by elites in Suriname during the period of scrutiny. From the beginning, the author makes clear his intent of providing new insights about the colonial history of Suriname, discussing the theoretical and historiographical contribution made by others, but providing his own vision of historical events as a native intellectual that has lived the transition from Dutch colonial rule to the establishment of an independent State in 1975. Thus, beyond the careful historical research and sociological analysis that is a mark of the book, there is also a continuous reflection by the author of the impact of Dutch colonial rule upon State formation in post-colonial Suriname that is at times explicit and sometimes embedded in the narrative itself. The author attempts a comparative historical analysis of the different manifestations of colonial rule in the Caribbean in order understand colonialism beyond a single case study. He therefore draws from the British experience with Crown Colony government and the centralized policies of French colonial rule in the Caribbean. However, his central attention is placed in the Dutch Guiana itself, where the relationship between the State, the economy and the society took an exceptionally particular form. The Dutch, he argues, was not an archetypical empire. Contrary to French colonial pattern, where complete control of the economy and society by the State was a central objective, the plantation colony in the Dutch Guiana was never fully under the grip of the Dutch state. Although the early stages of colonization in the Caribbean was done primarily by private companies, rather than...
Proponerse una tarea en extremo difícil y proceder a realizarla ha caracterizado el trabajo historiográfico de Barry Higman. Ha historiado plantaciones jamaiquinas, cocina criolla, demografía de los esclavos, trabajadores domésticos, ha editado un volumen de la Historia del Caribe de la UNESCO y los trabajos de Neville Hall y tiene a su haber varias antologías sobre el comercio, la economía y la sociedad caribeña. Ha integrado a sus obras la geografía, el estudio de planos, la toponimia, y la arqueología. Ahora procede a sorprender con la biografía de John Lindsay, un sacerdote anglicano del siglo 18, que viajó por Virginia y Senegal y se desempeñó como párroco de Saint Catherine, entonces la principal iglesia de la capital jamaiquina. La labor de Higman ha sido en extremo puntillosa. Ha trazado los orígenes de su sujeto a Escocia, ha descrito e investigado sus viajes en el Atlántico, y en un capítulo minucioso ha resumido y analizado una enorme novela que Lindsay escribió y publicó en Londres a mediados del siglo 18. Luego ha seguido a Lindsay a Jamaica. Como Lindsay era un aficionado de la historia natural dejó en manuscrito un libro con bocetos y descripciones de la fauna y la flora de Jamaica. También publicó en Inglaterra dos ensayos sobre trombas marinas. Higman ha examinado el conjunto de esa obra, la ha comparado con las de otros naturalistas de la época activos en Jamaica, y ha pasado juicio sobre los alcances y limitaciones de Lindsay como observador de la naturaleza. Higman también ha examinado el ideario religioso de Lindsay, según se trasluce de sus sermones publicados, y lo ha comparado al de otros clérigos activos en la isla. Finalmente ha considerado las actitudes de Lindsay hacia la esclavitud, tanto en África, donde visitó como capellán de una nave inglesa, como en Jamaica, donde casó con la hija de un plantador. Lindsay emerge de esos exámenes microscópicos de Higman como un clérigo latitudinario en su ministerio religioso, asiduo en sus quehaceres literarios y científicos, y puntual en su adherencia a las convenciones y los protocolos de su rango en la sociedad jamaiquina. Lindsay no edifica, pero tampoco escandaliza, a no ser que lo sometamos a las exigencias de nuestra época, lo que sería anacrónico. Pero la intención de Higman no es en ningún momento moralizar o ironizar, sino más bien situar a una persona creativa en el contexto de la Jamaica del siglo 18. Ese contexto quizás resulte más interesante que el biografiado mismo. Si nos preguntamos por qué Jamaica no entra en el vórtice revolucionario que arropa las colonias no tan distantes en el continente norteamericano, la biografía de Lindsay nos sugiere que no importa el descontento de los plantadores británicos en Jamaica comparado a la aprehensión que tienen de sublevaciones y fugas de sus esclavos. En última instancia la capacidad de manejar sus propios asuntos interesaba menos que garantizar su continuado dominio sobre sus dotaciones. El mundo esclavista caribeño se movía de manera distinta al continente, y ahí quizás sería provechoso trazar el paralelo con Cuba.
This book was written by two outstanding scholars whose works on Caribbean culture and social history are well known. The title already promises a very interesting study based on an approach to Caribbean social history which uses the enactment of laws as primary data. Nevertheless, this review finds it necessary to comment on the title. The term “Anglophone” is used in the title to circumscribe the geographical setting of the study. It could seem that the term is quite convenient and appropriate, understood by all, although the precise meaning of “phone” is somewhat vague. Technically, it means “sound” or “voice,” but in “Anglophone,” it has expanded its etymological meaning and now expresses “(native) speaker of.” The matter becomes unambiguously critical in the opening paragraph of the book where the authors remove any vagueness left in the term “Anglophone” by using “English-speaking” instead. However, neither “Anglophone” nor “English-speaking” is accurate. It may be that the authors wish to uplift the image of these Caribbean countries by attributing to them the ability to speak English; or simply that the convenience of the terms outweighs any inaccuracy in their use. Whatever is the case, it is time that scholars show more understanding and thoroughness of knowledge of the cultural products of the region. Post-colonial adjustments have helped to improve the status of regional religions (e.g. the Spiritual Baptists of Trinidad and Tobago), regional music (e.g. reggae, dance-hall of Jamaica), regional medicine (see Payne-Jackson and Alleyne 2000 and the nutriceutical products of Dr. Henry Lowe based on local herbs and roots). Post-colonial discourse must also see to it that the naming of these products makes it clear that they are legitimate expressions of human creativity and production, distinct and different from but equal to any and all of their counterparts across the globe, and that we remove any lingering demeaning denotative or connotative features. In the same way that the religion(s), the music, the foods etc. that emerged in the islands are not the same as their European counterparts, so are their languages. To say that Jamaicans are English-speaking or Anglophone is faulty at best and totally unhelpful to a strict understanding of the people and their language(s). To say that the people of St. Lucia and Dominica are “anglophone (i.e. that English is their native language) is hopelessly wrong. The people of St.Lucia and Jamaica do not in their vast majority have English as their native language. The way to enhance the self-image of the people is not to try to embellish them by using inaccurate even though flattering terms to refer to their cultural products, but to honor these products by first using proper accurate, even though not prestigious, terms. There are other inverse cases (though also very instructive) having to do with religion where scholars continue to use inaccurate names and do not take time to find more correct and proper terms. The Haitian religion is still spelled by some scholars as “voodoo.” The use of the double “oo” links this word with “boo-boo” (deciphered as “black magic”) and “moomoo” etc., and contributes to the negative meaning (denotative and connotative) of this Haitian religion. Consistently using the proper name “Vaudoun” will go a long way in cementing the integrity and legitimacy of the religion. The Jamaican religion which is often called “pocomania” (deciphered by some as “little madness”) has a proper authentic name pukumina which should be regaled and honored. Similarly, for example, we must try to cement the use of the term “Haitian” or “le haitien” to refer to the language spoken by Haitians and reject completely the use of exotic irrelevant meaningless terms such as “creole” and “patois” which belong to an earlier time when the prerogative of naming the New (sic) World was enjoyed by the colonizers. This prerogative was mis-used in a euro-centric way to place the colonized forever in the shadow of the colonizer. The case of “obeah” is very interesting and the authors have to be thanked for expanding and sharpening our understanding of a practice which was sadly vilified and forced to go underground, into hiding, shedding...
At the end of XVII century, the Spanish Crown was worried about keeping the sovereignty and the commerce in the Mexican Gulf against the United States settlers. Bernardo de Gálvez projected a cartographic expedition from Tampico to Florida managed by José de Hevia. This work analyzes this little known expedition that happened in 1783–1786. Resumen: Durante el último cuarto del siglo XVIII fueron muchos los intentos de completar y ampliar el conocimiento exacto de las zonas adyacentes al Golfo de México, una de las áreas más importantes para la seguridad del comercio español y el mantenimiento de su soberanía y explotación comercial. Dado el temor de la Corona española a la expansión de los colonos norteamericanos, Bernardo de Gálvez ideó una comisión cartográfica y de control a lo largo de la costa mexicana entre Tampico y Florida. El trabajo contextualiza la poco estudiada actividad exploradora del español José de Hevia entre 1783 y 1786 rumbo a las costas occidentales de la península de Florida hasta el cabo de San Blas primero, Nueva Orleans y bahía de San Bernardo después para concluir con el cartografiado de la costa hasta Tampico ya en territorio novohispano y recalando en Veracruz como fin de la comisión. Résumé: Le dernier quart du 18eme siècle a vu de nombreuses tentatives à compléter et étendre la connaissance exacte des zones adjacentes au Golfe du Mexique, l’une des zones les plus importantes pour la sécurité du commerce espagnol et le maintien de sa souveraineté et de zones d’exploitation commerciale. Compte tenu de la crainte ressentie par la Couronne Espagnole vis-à-vis de l’exploit des colons nord-américains, Bernado de Gálvez a mis sur pied une commission cartographique et de contrôle autour de la côte mexicaine entre Tampico et Floride. L’article met en contexte l’activité exploratoire, d’ailleurs peu étudiée, de l’espagnol de José de Hevia entre 1783 et 1786 à partir des cotes occidentales de la péninsule de Floride vers le cap de San Blas, Nouvelle Orléans et le baie de San Bernardo pour conclure avec le projet de cartographié de la côte vers Tampico en territoire de la Nouvelle Espagne tout en considérant Veracruz comme fin de mission.
La sexta edición de la obra de André Pierre Ledru, titulada Viaje a la Isla de Puerto Rico, reviste un significado especial para la comunidad académica y para todas aquellas personas interesadas en el devenir político, social y económico de Puerto Rico. Esta nueva edición a cargo de Manuel Domenech, investigador del Centro de Investigaciones Sociales de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, se enriquece con sus propias anotaciones, las cuales se suman a las ya conocidas que hace Julio Vizcarrondo en el siglo 19. Cuenta también con un estimulante ensayo introductorio de la Dra. Libia González—profesora del Departamento de Humanidades de la Facultad de Estudios Generales—que provee el contexto histórico-cultural de la obra. Como si fuera poco, a iniciativa de Domenech, se incluye además la obra original en francés que se encuentra en la Colección Josefina del Toro Fulladosa, conocida como Sala de Libros Raros de la Biblioteca José Manuel Lázaro del Recinto de Río Piedras. La publicación recibió el apoyo de la Oficina del Historiador Oficial de Puerto Rico, cuyo director, el profesor Luis González Vales, ha sido un puntal en la reimpresión de obras clásicas de la historiografía puertorriqueña que están agotadas o que por diversas razones fueron relegadas al olvido. También destaca la generosa colaboración de los estudiantes del Programa de Traducción, Hery Gadiel Rivera Flores y Luis Armando Flores, que con entusiasmo y dedicación prestaron su ayuda al proyecto en la labor de contrastar la traducción al español con el original en francés. A los fines de aquilatar la importancia de esta obra, es preciso enmarcarla en los contextos histórico-culturales en que se publicó en el siglo 19. La primera edición data de 1810, comprende dos tomos y fue publicada en París con un largo y explicativo título, a la usanza del siglo 18: Viaje a las islas de Tenerife, Trinidad, San Tomas, Santa Cruz y Puerto Rico, ejecutado por orden del gobierno francés desde el 30 de septiembre hasta el 7 de junio de 1798, bajo la dirección del capitán Baudin para hacer las investigaciones y reunir las colecciones relativas a la historia natural. La obra contiene las observaciones sobre el clima, la población, la agricultura, la producción, el carácter, las costumbres y el comercio de los habitantes de estas islas. A renglón seguido, se destaca que el autor de tales observaciones es André Pierre Ledru, a quien se identifica como uno de los naturalistas de la expedición, miembro de la Sociedad de las Artes de Mans, de la Academia Céltica de París, del Museo de Tours y ex profesor de legislación de la Escuela Central de la Sarthe. El viaje se enmarca dentro del espíritu científico que caracterizó el siglo 18, el siglo de las luces o de la Ilustración. Durante este período se llevaron a cabo numerosas expediciones procedentes, en su mayoría, de Europa occidental las cuales obedecieron a la curiosidad individual y al gusto por la aventura, lo exótico, lo extraordinario. Prevaleció el interés por desarrollar aquellas ciencias que comenzaban a despuntar—la botánica, la zoología, la antropología—que las exploraciones de regiones poco conocidas o vírgenes prometían enriquecerlas. Por otra parte, las monarquías europeas respaldaron y apoyaron misiones científicas, con el propósito de conocer con mayor precisión y detalles los contornos geográficos de sus dominios, descubrir nuevas riquezas que fuesen útiles para el comercio, la minería, la industria textil y la medicina, de manera que este cúmulo de conocimientos contribuyera a racionalizar la administración de los territorios coloniales. Como parte del proyecto, se hacía necesario conocer el carácter, las costumbres de los habitantes, sus relaciones políticas, sociales y económicas. Se desató la pasión por coleccionar plantas y animales que serían objeto de estudio en los museos de historia natural y los jardines botánicos que comenzaban a proliferar en...
By now, the transgressions of Puerto Rican clergy in the nineteenth century already constitute a topic of historiography. The different explanations for these entangled with the conceptual pair culture-nature. On the one hand, it is argued that in so far as they were men, as such, nature prompted them, while, on the other hand, they scarcely had an academic background. If both claims are to be sustained, nevertheless, how do we explain the sound behaviour of other such priests? How do we explain such things when the priests in question did have such a background? The present paper makes use of the constructionist theory of subjectivities to portray these clergymen as products of the limitations of the disciplinary power of the very church. Setting out with the claims of Foucault in mind, and based on a detailed prosopo-graphical study, we argue that the problem with the clergy was owed to the limitations inherent to the very institution in producing the subject conceived by the Magisterium, especially that of the Council of Trent and the local synod of 1645. Resumen: Las transgresiones del clero de Puerto Rico del siglo XIX son ya un tema de la historiografía. Las explicaciones de estos comportamientos están relacionadas con el par conceptual naturaleza-cultura. Por una parte se sostiene que eran hombres y que como tales la naturaleza les urgía, y por otra, que tenían muy poca formación académica. Si ambas propuestas se sostuvieran, ¿cómo explicar, entonces, el comportamiento ordenado de los otros sacerdotes? ¿Cómo explicar cuando los transgresores tenían grados académicos? En este artículo se utiliza la teoría de la construcción de subjetividades para representar a estos eclesiásticos como producto de las limitaciones del poder disciplinario de las misma Iglesia. A partir de los planteamientos foucaultianos, y de un detallado estudio prosopográfico, se sostiene que el problema de esta clerecía estaba en las limitaciones que tenía la misma institución para producir al sujeto que había diseñado el Magisterio, especialmente el Concilio de Trento y el Sínodo local de 1645. Résumé: Les transgressions du clergé de Porto-Rico au XIXe siècle font partie de l’historiographie. Les explications de ces comportements sont liées au concept nature-culture. D’une part, on affirme que la nature était responsable de la faiblesse des hommes, et d’autre part, qu’ils avaient une formation académique peu élevée. Si ces deux arguments tiennent debout, comment expliquer alors le comportement ordonné des autres prêtres ? Comment expliquer que les transgresseurs ont reçu leur diplôme ? Cet article utilise la théorie de la construction des subjectivités afin de représenter ces ecclésiastiques comme résultat de l’inaptitude du pouvoir disciplinaire de l’Eglise. À partir des approches de Foucault et d’une étude prosopo-graphique détaillée, nous affirmons que le problème de ce clergé reposait sur la déficience de cette même institution à former des prêtres selon le profil sacerdotal élaboré par le Magistère ecclésiastique, en particulier le Concile de Trente et le Synode local de l’année 1645.
In the present article I study the slave conspiracy of the Day of the Kings in Puerto Rico in 1812, using the reports of the colonial authorities and the declarations of the slaves envolved in it. My goals are: first, to highlight the fact that external factors were decisive in the forge of the cited plot, especially the news of the coronation of Henri Christophe in Northern Haiti and of the abolitionist debate in the Spanish Cortes de Cádiz, which reached the Hispanic Caribbean from mouth to mouth; second, to show that the said conspiracy, as well as the Aponte rebellion in Cuba and the black plot in Santo Domingo, all of whom took place in 1812, were not independent slave plots, but rather three different echoes of the same wave of uneasiness that shook the Spanish Antilles at that moment. For that purpose, I have articulated my exposition in five sections: first, I analyze the antecedents of the plot of the Day of the Kings; then, I describe the external factors that favored it, recovering the testimony of the slaves involved in that episode; third, I study the development of the conspiracy; after that, I analyze the punishment of the slave leaders; finally, I sum up my conclusions. En el presente artículo estudio la conspiración esclava del día de Reyes de Puerto Rico en 1812, a partir de los informes de las autoridades coloniales y las declaraciones de los implicados. Mis principales objetivos son: en primer lugar, resaltar que en la forja de dicho complot jugaron un papel decisivo los factores externos, concretamente la coronación del negro Henri Christophe en el norte de Haití y el debate abolicionista de las Cortes de Cádiz, que se conocieron en el Caribe hispano gracias al "boca a boca"; en segundo lugar, demostrar que la conspiración que me ocupa, así como la conspiración de Aponte en Cuba y el complot negro de Santo Domingo, todos ellos ocurridos en 1812, no fueron tres fenómenos aislados, sino tres ecos diferentes de una misma oleada de inestabilidad que sacudió las Antillas españolas en aquella fecha. Para ello, he articulado la exposición en cinco partes: en la primera analizo los antecedentes inmediatos del complot; seguidamente, describo los factores externos que lo favorecieron, recuperando el testimonio de los esclavos implicados en los primeros desórdenes; en la tercera, estudio el desarrollo de la conspiración; a continuación, enumero las condenas de los implicados; por último, expongo mis conclusiones. Cet article étudie la conspiration d'esclaves du jour des Rois à Porto Rico en 1812, à partir des rapports des autorités coloniales et des déclarations des personnes impliquées. Mes principaux objectifs : d'abord, souligner que dans la formation de ce complot les facteurs externes ont été décisifs, à savoir le couronnement du noir Henri Christophe dans le nord d'Haïti, et le débat abolitionniste des Cortes de Cádiz, qui ont été connus dans les Antilles hispaniques au moyen du boucheà-oreille ; ensuite, démontrer que le complot qui me concerne ainsi que celle de Aponte à Cuba et l'intrigue noire à Santo Domingo, qui ont eu lieu en 1812, n'ont pas été trois phénomènes isolés, mais trois échos différents de la même vague d'instabilité qui a secoué les Antilles espagnoles à cette époque. Pour cela, j'ai articulé mes remarques en cinq parties : dans la première, j'analyse le contexte immédiat de la conspiration ; puis, je décris les facteurs externes qui l'ont favorisé, en récupérant le témoignage des esclaves impliqués dans les troubles initiaux ; dans la troisième, j'étudie le développement du complot pour ensuite énumérer les peines de ceux qui sont impliqués ; et enfin, je présente mes conclusions.
In the article we carry out an analysis on the participation of the children and the Cuban families in the first war of independence from 1868 to 1878. We argue with examples their permanency in the insurgent lines during the whole war like part of the family of the revolutionaries. We value the situation of these. We argue that the children together with the families conformed a very important base of the resistance of the Cuban revolutionaries. En el artículo realizamos un análisis sobre la participación de los niños y las familias cubanas en la primera guerra de independencia de 1868 a 1878. Argumentamos con ejemplos su permanencia en las filas insurrectas durante toda la guerra como parte de la familia de los revolucionarios. Valoramos la situación de éstos. Argumentamos que los niños junto con las familias conformaron una base muy importante de la resistencia de los independentistas cubanos. Dans l'article nous présentons une analyse sur la participation des enfants et des familles cubaines dans la première guerre d'indépendance de 1868 à 1878. Notre argument s'inspire des exemples de sa permanence parmi les insurgés durant toute la guerre comme une partie de la famille des révolutionnaires. Tout en évaluant la situation de ces derniers, nous expliquons comment les enfants et leurs familles forment une base très importante de la résistance des indépendantistes cubains.
The aim of this document is analyzing the commercial activities in the Colombian province of Guajira as well as the institutional and natural limits that the merchants endured between 1870-1930. This study suggests that a cross-border economy had been developed in the region characterized by the lack of institutional presence, a large indigenous population, an inhospitable area for colonization and active trade with neighbour countries and territories such as Venezuela, Curacao, Jamaica and other islands. The employers and the regional leaders linked to extractive activities such as salt, pearls, dyewood as well as with the trade could not create the ideal institutions or entrepreneurial context for the Guajira economy to consolidate as a productive network based on an endogenous production with competitive companies and a labour-market adjusted to national legislation. Resumen: El objetivo del presente documento es analizar las actividades comer-ciales en el territorio de La Guajira colombiana, así como las limitaciones institucionales y naturales a que se vieron sometidos sus comerciantes entre las décadas de 1870 y 1930. El estudio plantea que en La Guajira se desarrolló una economía de frontera, caracterizada por la escasa presencia institucional, amplia presencia de población indígena, zonas inhóspitas para la colonización y activo comercio con países y territorios vecinos como Venezuela, Curazao, Jamaica y otras islas. Los empresarios y dirigentes regionales vinculados a las actividades extractivas como sal, perlas, palo de tinte, así como al comercio, no pudieron crear las instituciones ni el ambiente empresarial propicio para que en la economía guajira se consolidara un tejido productivo basado en la producción endógena, con empresas competitivas y un mercado de trabajo ajustado a la legislación nacional. Résumé: L’objectif du présent document est d’analyser les activités commerciales dans le territoire de La Guajira colombienne, ainsi que les limitations institutionnelles et naturelles auxquelles ont été soumis leurs commerçants dans les décennies 1870-1930. L’étude formule l’hypothèse selon laquelle, dans la région de la Guajira, on a développé une économie de frontière, caractérisée par la faible présence institutionnelle, une vaste présence de population indigène, des zones inhospitalières et difficile d’accès et un commerce actif avec des pays et des territoires voisins comme le Venezuela, l’île de Curaçao, la Jamaïque et d’autres îles. Les chefs d’entreprise et les dirigeants régionaux associés aux activités d’extraction du sel, des perles, du bois de Campêche ainsi que le commerce, n’ont pas pu créer des institutions ni une atmosphère commerciale favorisant production endogène, avec des entreprises compétitives et un marché du travail adapté à la législation nationale.
This article explores the work and life of the woodcutters and charcoal-makers of Piñones (Loíza) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Villagers from the centuries-old black communities of Piñones worked next to canefields belonging to sugar centrals that were also titled owners of parts of the forest. From the 1870s until the 1920s, Piñones woodcutters extracted “black wood” from trunks of úcar (Bucida buceras, black-olive or bulletwood) buried in the mucky forest floor; cut trees for lumber, fence posts and firewood; and elaborated charcoal. In a second period, from the 1930s to 1950, firewood and charcoalmaking gained importance, as did labor in the nearby cane-fields, in what was one of the newest and most productive sugarcane regions in the country. The perspective presented here departs from the mainly racial and cultural approaches that prevail in historical works on black Puerto Ricans, as it also departs from better-known contexts of Afro-Puerto Rican history such as sugar plantations and urban space. Rather, the article focuses on material life and productive activity in the mangrove forest, viewed in its ecological and historical complexity. The variety and significance of the piñoneros’ productive activity, and its transformations, underscores the significance and historicity of the labor-ecology relation and highlights, in the emblematic territory of Loíza, little- known dimensions of afropuertorriqueñidad. Resumen: Este artículo explora los trabajos y la vida de los cortadores y carboneros del bosque de Piñones (Loíza), a fines del siglo diecinueve y principios del veinte. Moradores de las centenarias comunidades negras de Piñones realizaban labores forestales codo a codo con cañaverales de centrales azucareras que eran dueñas titulares de parte del manglar. Desde los años 1870 hasta los 1920, cortadores de Piñones extrajeron “madera negra” de troncos de úcar (Bucida buceras) sepultados en el suelo fangoso del manglar; cortaban árboles para madera de construcción, postes de cerca y leña; y elaboraban carbón vegetal. En una segunda época, de los 1930 a 1950, cobró importancia el corte de leña y la fabricación de carbón, al igual que el trabajo en los cañaverales cercanos, en lo que era una de las más nuevas y productivas regiones azucareras del país. La perspectiva aquí presentada se aparta de los enfoques principalmente raciales y culturales que predominan en los trabajos históricos sobre los puertorriqueños negros, como también se aparta de contextos más conocidos de la historia afropuertorriqueña como las plantaciones azucareras y el espacio urbano. En el artículo se enfoca, en cambio, la vida material y la actividad productiva en el bosque manglar, visto como espacio complejo en su ecología y en su historia. La variedad y relieve de las actividades productivas de los piñoneros, y sus transformaciones, subraya la importancia e historicidad de la relación trabajo-ecología y destaca, en el territorio emblemático de Loíza, unas dimensiones poco conocidas de la afropuertorriqueñidad. Résumé: Cet article explore le travail et la vie des coupeurs de canne et des charbonniers de la Forêt de Piñones (Loíza) à la fin du XIXe siècle et début de XXe siècle. Les habitants des communautés centenaires noires de Piñones réalisaient des travaux forestiers à coté des plantations de canne à sucre, dont les propriétaires étaient titulaires d’une partie des mangroves. De 1870 jusqu’en 1920, les coupeurs de cannes extrayaient le « bois noir » du tronc de l’arbre úcar enraciné dans le sol boueux de la mangrove, ils coupaient des arbres pour préparer des bois de construction, des clôtures en bois, et ils produisaient le charbon végétal. Lors d’une deuxième période, de 1930 à 1950, Piñones devenait une des régions de canne à sucre les plus récentes et productives du pays grâce à la coupe du bois, à la production du charbon ainsi qu’au travail dans les champs de cannes limitrophes. La perspective de cet article diffère des approches essentiellement culturelle et raciale qui prévalent dans la recherche historique sur les portoricains noirs, car elle écarte les contextes les plus familiers de l’histoire afro-portoricaine, tels que: les plantations de canne à sucre et l’espace urbain. Cependant, l’article se concentre, sur la vie matérielle et l’activité productive de la mangrove vue comme un espace complexe grâce à son écologie et son histoire. La diversité et l’essentielle des activités productives des habitants de Piñones et leur transformation, reflètent la valeur et l’historicité de la relation travail-écologie sur le territoire emblématique de Loiza des dimensions peu connues de la culture afro-portoricaine.
The rapid growth and development of peasant industries in Guyana during the late 19th and early 20th centuries resulted from the freeing of colonial resources for non-plantation uses. In particular, once the restrictions barring the laboring population from owning and leasing land had been removed, workers (at least non-indentured ones) and other resources flowed into industries specializing in production of commodities for sale in both local and external markets. The sugar industry had been able to impose these restrictions only because the sectors (mostly peasant) which were being denied resources were politically impotent. It was not until the emergence and rapid growth of the gold industry, and its subsequent ability to wrest political concessions and, ultimately, formal power away from the planters that the sugar industry's solution to the problem of labor scarcity could be seriously challenged. -Author
This paper offers the history of the Banco Español de Puerto Rico from its creation in 1888 to its liquidation in 1913. The Banco Español was the sole note-issuing institution of the island until 1898, when Puerto Rico was transferred to the United States. The establishment of the Bank was plagued with difficulties and during its first decade of existence it met with diverse obstacles that hindered its financial development. However, it contributed to diversifying the underdeveloped banking structure of the colony, to bringing down the cost of credit, and to modernizing the island’s monetary system. The transfer of sovereignty was traumatic since the Bank lost its issue monopoly and had to adjust to US banking legislation. In 1905, its name was changed to Banco de Puerto Rico and its by-laws were reformed. The last years of the Bank’s life were prosperous and it once again made an important contribution to the island’s economy. All in all, the history of the institution is a mixture of errors and achievements, a history of setbacks and successes. Resumen: En este artículo se estudia la historia del Banco Español de Puerto Rico desde su creación en 1888 hasta su disolución en 1913. El Banco Español fue la única entidad financiera emisora en la isla hasta 1898, año en el que la soberanía sobre Puerto Rico pasó a los Estados Unidos. La creación del Banco estuvo plagada de dificultades y durante su primera década de existencia se encontró con toda clase de obstáculos que entorpecieron su desarrollo. No obstante, el Banco contribuyó a diversificar la estructura financiera de la colonia, a reducir el coste del crédito y a modernizar el sistema monetario de la isla. La transferencia de soberanía fue traumática para la institución: el Banco perdió el monopolio de emisión y tuvo que ajustarse a la legislación financiera de los Estados Unidos. En 1905 adoptó el nombre de Banco de Puerto Rico y se reformaron sus estatutos. El último periodo de su vida fue de notable prosperidad e hizo de nuevo una importante contribución al desarrollo económico de la isla. En conjunto, la historia del Banco es una mezcla de logros y errores, de avances y retrocesos. Résumé: Cet article étudie l’histoire de la Banque Espagnole de Porto Rico depuis sa création en 1888 jusqu’à sa dissolution en 1913. La Banque Espagnole a été la seule banque d’émission de l’île jusqu’en 1898, date à partir de laquelle la souveraineté de Porto Rico est passée sous le contrôle des États-Unis. La création de cette banque a été suivie de beaucoup de difficultés, et faisait face à toutes sortes d’obstacles qui ont entravé son développement tout au long de la première décennie de son existence. Cependant, la banque a permis de diversifier la structure financière de la colonie, réduire le coût du crédit et moderniser le système monétaire de l’île. Le fait par l’île de perdre sa souveraineté fut traumatisant pour l’institution : la Banque a perdu son monopole d’émission et elle a dû s’adapter à la législation financière des Etats-Unis. En 1905, elle a dû adopter le nom de Banque de Porto Rico et modifier son statut. Vers la fin de son existence, elle a connu un véritable succès et contribua ainsi au développement économique de l’île. Dans l’ensemble, l’histoire de la Banque est un mélange de succès et d’échecs, de progrès et de reculs.
Despite the 1970s historiographical shift towards a more critical interpretation of Puerto Rican social history, anarchism still lags behind in this academic effort. Except for the biographical works on the anarchist, feminist, and Spiritist Luisa Capetillo, anarchism has been represented as a mere footnote to Puerto Rican history. Only, a recent renewed interest in the topic, triggered by the visibilization of anarchist ideas and practices in the global protest movement, opens up new academic inquiries into the relation of anarchism and the national past. Kirwin Shaffer’s Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921, contributes in significant ways because it offers new interpretations on the different manifestations of the island’s radical culture. Shaffer’s elegant narrative eloquently brings to life a rigorous archival research not only from Puerto Rico but also from international archives in the Netherlands, Cuba, and the United Sates. Although it studies Puerto Rican anarchism, it also looks at the transnational networks in order to present a broader picture of anarchist organizing that includes the Caribbean Basin and beyond. The chapters are organized chronologically, which is helpful for those readers who might not be completely familiar with the complex history of the island at the cusp of the century. The first three chapters broadly review the origins of anarchism in the island and serve as a historical background for the rest of the book. In the fourth chapter Shaffer looks at the networks and alliances created among anarchists, freethinkers, and Spiritists; something that had not been done before and that opens the door for further studies. In the fifth chapter Shaffer studies the cultural manifestations of the left along with their interpretation of gender and the role of revolutionary violence played in their struggles. The last two chapters focus on the “Bayamón Bloc” and their activities after 1911, year in which the State tried to repress any radical activity on the island. The manifestation of anarchism serves as a cohesive element throughout the book as Shaffer looks into the labor movement and other subaltern sectors such as the Spiritists and the Freethinkers. Black Flag Boricuas offers theoretical chapters, such as the second, which talks about the radicals’ electoral politics and unionism, and the fifth chapter, which analyzes the anarchists’ construction of the theoretical elements that dictated their praxis, in order to give context to the rest of the book which focuses on more concrete manifestations such as the Centros de Estudios, newspapers, and radical groups in the lines of the “Bayamón Bloc.” Even though Shaffer offers a well-researched study of anarchism and its multiple manifestations in the island, there are aspects that need to be revised. The name itself, Black Flag Boricuas, contains an interpretation that some will find problematic. He argues, without any reference, “Those familiar with Caribbean and especially Puerto Rican history will know that the island’s pre-Columbian inhabitants referred to themselves as Boricuas” (p. 16). Actually, according to Jalil Sued Badillo, the term has indigenous roots but was not used as an identifier. It was coined in colonial history for the first time during the 1822 expedition led by Ducoudray Hollstein to establish “The Republic of Boricua.” Boricua was, in fact, an erroneous translation of Boriquén. The meaning of Boricua does not correspond to the Taínos nor does it recall past inhabitants of the island’s past. Instead, the term was constructed in the twentieth-century Puerto Rican Diaspora in New York in order to displace the derogatory nature of the term “jíbaro” and was later adopted by people living in the island. Apart from misleading terminology, there are problematic deficiencies in Puerto Rican historiography. For example, the author attributes the creation of the labor movement to Santiago Iglesias Pantín (pp. 19, 28-29, 37). This approach has been contested since 1930 by Andrés Rodríguez Vera’s book El Triunfo de la apostasía: Comentando el libro de Santiago Iglesias Pantín, and later critically developed by historian Gervasio García, along with Ángel G. Quintero Rivera, Amílcar Tirado, Ricardo Campos, Rubén Dávila Santiago, Rafael Bernabe, and a full range of scholars since...
Since its creation in 1888, the National Geographic Magazine has maintained a reputation of scientific objectivity among the general public. Nevertheless, researchers have stated that behind that image this publication has played an active and important role in promoting the geopolitical interests of the United States, as well as the world vision of the American society, and particularly of its power establishment. In the case of Puerto Rico, we can identify the different ways and examples in which the representation of the island—both in text and visually—is managed by the authors and editors of the magazine, in order to serve those interests and vision. On the other hand, this representation is by no means a static one, but has changed through time according to the evolution of the geopolitical interests of the metropolis. Resumen: Desde su creación en 1888, la revista de la National Geographic Society ha mantenido una imagen de objetividad científica ante el público en general. No obstante, diversos investigadores han señalado que detrás de dicha imagen la revista ha desempeñado un rol activo e importante en la promoción de los intereses geopolíticos de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, así como de la visión de mundo de la sociedad norteamericana, principalmente de sus esferas de poder. En el caso de Puerto Rico se pueden identificar los diversos ejemplos y maneras en que la representación de la Isla, tanto textual como visual, es manejada por los autores y editores de la revista, de tal forma de servir a dichos intereses y visión de mundo. Por otro lado, dicha representación no es estática, sino que ha ido variando a través del tiempo, acorde a la evolución de los intereses geopolíticos de la metrópoli. Résumé: Depuis sa creátion en 1888, la revue de l’organisation National Geographic Association preservé une image d’objectivité scientifique devant ses lecteurs en général. Cependant divers chercheurs on signalé que derrière cette image la revue a joué un rôle actif et très important dans la promotion des interêts géopolitiques des Etas Unis d’Amerique et la vision du monde des Américains, principalement à travers ses sphères de pouvoir. Dans le cas de Porto Rico, on peut identifier divers exemples et procédés au travers desquels l’image de l’île est contrôlée par les auteurs de la revue, aussi bien sur le plan textuel que visuel afin de servir la vision et les intérêts précites. Cependant ce type de répresentation n’est pas constante, car elle a fluctué à travers le temps selon l’évolution des intérêts geópolitiques de la métropole.
Estos dos nuevos libros de Samuel Silva Gotay provienen de los afanes de un académico que desde hace años ocupa un lugar de honor en los estudios latinoamericanos sobre religión y sociedad. En 1981 Silva Gotay publicó El pensamiento cristiano revolucionario en América Latina y el Caribe: Implicaciones de la teología de la liberación para la sociología de la religión, que tiene la distinción de haberse traducido al portugués y al alemán, y que muchos consideran el estudio matriz de los orígenes de la teología latinoamericana de liberación. En 1997 publicó Protestantismo y política en Puerto Rico, 1898–1930: Hacia una historia del protestantismo evangélico en Puerto Rico, texto clave para el análisis de los complejos enlaces entre la política diseñada en Washington de americanizar a los puertorriqueños y el avance de las misiones protestantes en la isla. Y en 2005 nos brindó Catolicismo y política en Puerto Rico bajo España y Estados Unidos, siglos XIX y XX. Esta trilogía literaria es lectura fundamental para la conversación académica sobre las complejas relaciones laberínticas entre política y religión en América Latina, el Caribe y Puerto Rico. Debo indicar, de inicio, que estos dos libros son, en realidad, una nueva edición de Catolicismo y política en Puerto Rico bajo España y Estados Unidos, revisada y dividida en dos volúmenes. El primero analiza las relaciones entre la Iglesia Católica y el turbulento siglo diecinueve con sus reclamos, heredados de la Ilustración, de modernidad, liberalismo y secularización, tanto en España como en Puerto Rico; el segundo estudia la espinosa relación entre el catolicismo y las políticas imperiales estadounidenses de americanizar a la isla, cedida como botín de guerra territorial a los Estados Unidos en el Tratado de París de diciembre de 1898. Silva Gotay asume en sus libros un riesgo considerable. Pocos escritores tienen la audacia de intervenir en un tema tan complejo y delicado como el de la religión y la política, asunto en el que las pasiones eclipsan con excesiva frecuencia la serenidad del pensamiento, especialmente en tiempos donde los fundamentalismos e integrismos confligen con intenso vigor. El riesgo es mayor en el caso de los textos que me atañe reseñar, ya que el autor en cuestión es de linaje protestante, de subjetividad religiosa cultivada en un ambiente anabautista que se ha caracterizado históricamente por sus escasas simpatías hacia Roma, lo que por lo visto no le impide adentrarse en corral ajeno para husmear tendencias, complicidades y aspiraciones. Estos libros se ubican en el contexto más amplio de los esfuerzos de Silva Gotay de promover investigaciones sobre religiosidad y sociedad en América Latina, el Caribe y Puerto Rico. Fue miembro destacado del grupo directivo de la Comisión de Estudios de Historia de la Iglesia en América Latina (CEHILA), con la cual colaboró en proyectos relativos al protestantismo y al Caribe. En tales funciones organizó un número considerable de simposios sobre la religiosidad en Puerto Rico. Recuerdo, por ejemplo, que Fernando Picó y este servidor compartimos un panel en el “Segundo Encuentro sobre Historia y Sociología de la Religión en Puerto Rico”, el 11 de marzo de 1988, en el Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Promovió, además, Silva Gotay la organización del Equipo de Historia y Sociología de la Religión en Puerto Rico, el cual auspició el “Encuentro Nacional de Historia y Sociología del Protestantismo en Puerto Rico”, en abril de 1995, también en el Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. La reacción a la convocatoria del Encuentro demostró la existencia de una cantidad considerable de investigaciones en proceso. Se registraron ponencias sobre asuntos claves, las cuales se ligaron en cinco ejes temáticos: (1) un coloquio inicial sobre pistas y sugerencias en el estudio de los protestantismos boricuas, (2) ideologías y teologías protestantes, (3) archivos para la...
This is an excellent business history of the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company (SPRSCO), a New York-based multinational corporation that established two of the largest and most successful sugar-producing complexes of the Americas, Guánica Centrale in Puerto Rico and Central La Romana in the Dominican Republic. With the exception of Oscar Zanetti’s book on the United Fruit Company in Cuba1 , this is the only in-depth study of a U.S.-owned sugar company in the twentieth-century Caribbean. Based on Puerto Rican historian Humberto García Muñiz’s doctoral dissertation, this is a transnational study that draws on an impressive variety of archives in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It is also comparative in that it analyzes the operations of a single company in two different settings: the protected market of colonial Puerto Rico and the ostensibly sovereign Dominican Republic that, during the period under consideration, experienced a US customs receivership and then US military occupation. Puerto Rico’s inclusion within the US tariff system created favorable conditions for the establishment of SPRSCO there and the expansion of Puerto Rican sugar production for the US internal market. In contrast, excluded from US protective tariffs and, for the most part, from US markets, the Dominican Republic sold to the world market. Yet the US played an important role in shaping the context within which both sugar economies evolved. Sugar and Power provides useful understanding of actors and conditions in the Puerto Rican and Dominican sugar industries in the late nineteenth century, before SPRSCO appeared on the scene. It then analyzes the factors of capital, management, technology, land and labor that permitted SPRSCO’s expansion in the Caribbean. The book is impressive for its meticulous piecing together of information on the firm’s funding and the biographies of the Board of Directors and managers. The author deciphers the financial, organizational and management networks that led to the incorporation of the Company in 1900 and its operations in Puerto Rico, beginning in 1901, and the Dominican Republic from 1910 on. García Muñiz stresses the importance of German capital in New York (and German sugar brokers in Puerto Rico) in financing SPRCO, and he explores the Company’s relation to the Sugar Trust of US refiners. He insists on the importance of a new class of professionals—chemical engineers, sugar chemists, fabrication superintendents, etc., trained at Louisiana State University—who, known as Louisiana “sugar tramps,” circulated throughout the Caribbean and whose technical know-how was essential to the US multinational and most other sugar companies. Finally he shows how white Barbadans, skilled in biological technology, developed genetically improved cane varieties that boosted the productivity of the centralizing, modernizing sugar cane operations of the early twentieth century. García Muñiz also traces why and how corporate and productive structures evolved over time in response to changes in sugar regulations, the technology of sugar production, world market conditions, and the First World War. After explaining conditions in the US that led to the formation of SPRSCO, the author traces the history of the Company in first Puerto Rico and then the DR. Established by SPRSCO in an area of plantations consolidated by Puerto Ricans in the nineteenth century, Guánica Centrale relied on the provision of sugar from colonos and a labor force of Puerto Rican migrants from the interior. Within a few years, Guánica—the largest sugar factory in Puerto Rico—outstripped its supply, so in 1910 SPRSCO determined to establish a new plantation in the DR, in the eastern province of Seibo, that would ship sugar to Puerto Rico for processing. Seibo was a frontier region of recent commercial agriculture (cacao, tobacco) into which new sugar interests from San Pedro de Macorís were expanding. The advent of the US company from Puerto Rico and its influence on the land policy of the US occupation government precipitated the rapid surveying and privatization of communal lands and peasant displacement. García Muñiz notes that the timing of plantation consolidation (earlier in Puerto Rico, later in the Dominican Republic) had specific social consequences. From 1913 to 1917, SPRCO’s Dominican...
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Reniel Rodríguez Ramos
  • Universidad de Puerto Rico, Utuado Campus
Jaime R. Pagán-Jiménez
  • Cultural Heritage & Plantscape Research
Michaeline A. Crichlow
  • Duke University
Patricia Northover
  • The University of the West Indies at Mona
Patrick Holladay
  • Troy University