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Competing for European Settlers

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Local Loyalties of Colonial Governments in Suriname and Jamaica, 1660–1680

image of Journal of Early American History

This article deals with the quest for settlers of the colonial governments in Dutch Suriname and English Jamaica in the 1660s and 1670s. The governors of both newly conquered colonies were eager to further develop the plantations and considered acquiring new colonists as essential. However, not many people were willing to move to the Caribbean and experienced colonists were particularly hard to recruit. This article compares the attempts of the governments of Suriname and Jamaica to attract colonists from other colonies. While a strong rivalry existed between colonies of different European countries, this article will demonstrate that competition between colonies of the same country was also intense. These colonial governments disregarded broader imperial interests when it was in their own colony’s interest, which demonstrates their relatively independent attitude and the local focus of their loyalty.

Affiliations: 1: University of Amsterdam,


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