Focuses on the socio-economic position of free non-whites in 18th-c. Curaçao. The manumission rate was relatively high and consequently a large group of free non-whites was created. Blacks and mulattoes enjoyed religious freedom as well as considerable economic freedom. Their growing numbers and social and economic assertiveness alarmed the whites, who gradually admitted the most successful mulattoes in their circles.
Dutch Trade in the Caribbean, 1648-1795
The Dutch transit trade in the Caribbean revolved around Curaçao and St. Eustatius, small islands that did not have much in common with other colonies in the region. Sugar and tobacco production in St. Eustatius was never a prosperous enterprise and Curaçao proved to be unsuited for the cultivation of cash crops. But enterprising merchants turned these Dutch possessions into entrepôts,local counterparts of Amsterdam, from where a wide variety of European commodities was sent to foreign colonies in exchange for tropical produce. Although outlawed by French, English, and Spanish mercantilist policies, inter-imperial commerce became a booming business, providing the Dutch in the New World with a niche which was much more profitable than historians have realized. The Caribbean contraband trade thus helped the Dutch to survive the loss in the mid-seventeenth century of most of their territorial empire in the Western hemisphere.