In 1762, British forces mobilized more than 230 ships and 26,000 soldiers, sailors, and enslaved Africans to attack Havana, one of the wealthiest and most populous ports in the Americas. They met fierce resistance. Spanish soldiers and local militias in Cuba, along with enslaved Africans who were promised freedom, held off the enemy for six suspenseful weeks. In the end, the British prevailed, but more lives were lost in the invasion and subsequent eleven-month British occupation of Havana than during the entire Seven Years' War in North America.The Occupation of Havana offers a nuanced and poignantly human account of the British capture and Spanish recovery of this coveted Caribbean city. The book explores both the interconnected histories of the British and Spanish empires and the crucial role played by free people of color and the enslaved in the creation and defense of Havana. Tragically, these men and women would watch their promise of freedom and greater rights vanish in the face of massive slave importation and increased sugar production upon Cuba's return to Spanish rule. By linking imperial negotiations with events in Cuba and their consequences, Elena Schneider sheds new light on the relationship between slavery and empire at the dawn of the Age of Revolutions.
|Publisher:||Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press|
|Series:||Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Elena A. Schneider is assistant professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley.
What People are Saying About This
A gripping history of the British siege and occupation of Havana. Part military history, part social history, this book brilliantly reveals the origins, course, and lasting impacts (in Cuba, Britain, Spain, and the United States) of this monumental, yet remarkably understudied, event in Atlantic history. Beautifully written, The Occupation of Havana will last for generations.Ada Ferrer, New York University
The Occupation of Havana unravels national and imperial narratives about eighteenth-century British and Spanish struggles over the 'key to the Indies.' In their place, Elena Schneider offers a cross-cutting analysis that demonstrates how overlapping imperial connections and frictions shaped Caribbean lives well beyond war and commerce. Meticulously researched, this book is full of surprises.David Sartorius, University of Maryland