edited by Pedro Luengo and Gene Allen Smith
contributions by Ignacio J. López-Hernández, Pedro Luengo, Alfredo J. Morales, José Miguel Morales Folguera, Juan Miguel Muñoz Corbalán, Jesús María Ruiz Carrasco, Germán Segura García, Gene Allen Smith, Christopher K. Waters, Mónica Cejudo Collera, Pedro Cruz Freire, María Mercedes Fernández Martín, Manuel Gámez Casado, Aaron Graham, Francisco Javier Herrera García and Nuria Hinarejos Martín
University of Alabama Press, 2024
Paper: 978-0-8173-6152-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9522-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-2204-5
Library of Congress Classification UG422.F67 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 355.7098


A multidisciplinary examination of the role of military forts in the Caribbean during the age of European colonial expansion

A Fortified Sea illuminates the key role of military forts in the greater Caribbean during the long eighteenth century. The historical Caribbean, with its multiple contested boundaries at the periphery of European western expansion, typically has been analyzed as part of an empire. European powers, including Spain, the Netherlands, England, and Denmark, carved up the Caribbean Sea into a cultural patchwork. These varied cultural contexts were especially evident during regional and national conflicts throughout the eighteenth century and prompted the construction of more fortifications to protect imperial interests. The emergence of Anglo-American colonies during the eighteenth century and later the United States gradually altered previous geopolitical balances, redefining the cultural and geopolitical boundaries of the region.

This collection of essays incorporates several historiographical traditions—from Spanish to American—all portraying the borderland as a breakthrough contested cultural, social, economic, and military boundary. A multinational roster of contributors approaches topics through a war studies lens as well as architecturally and historically, enriching a usually monothematic view. As well, discussion of cultural management of the historical remains of forts shows local communities trying to preserve and interpret the role of forts in society.

Part I defines the training of military engineers in Spain. Part II engages with British defensive military plans and settlements in the Caribbean and shows how the British dealt with the rhetorical image of the empire. Part III clarifies the building processes of fortifications in Santiago de Cuba, Cartagena de Indias, Havana, and Veracruz, among other places. Copious period maps complement the prodigious research. The book will appeal to readers interested in the history of the Caribbean, military history, and European imperial expansion.

Mónica Cejudo Collera / Pedro Cruz Freire / María Mercedes Fernández Martín / Aaron Graham / Manuel Gámez Casado / Francisco Javier Herrera García / Nuria Hinarejos Martín / Pedro Luengo / Ignacio J. López-Hernández / José Miguel Morales Folguera / Alfredo J. Morales / Juan Miguel Muñoz Corbalán / Jesús Maria Ruiz Carrasco / Germán Segura García / Gene Allen Smith / Christopher K. Waters



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