An Aqueous Territory: Sailor Geographies and New Granada's Transimperial Greater Caribbean World
Conclusion: Of Alternative Geographies and Plausible Futures
2017. "Conclusion: Of Alternative Geographies and Plausible Futures", An Aqueous Territory: Sailor Geographies and New Granada's Transimperial Greater Caribbean World, Ernesto Bassi
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Actively seeking to rethink and transcend the geographic boundaries and periodization schemes that a nation-state-driven historical account solidifies, historians of the Atlantic world have developed tools to escape this methodological prison. Instead of thinking of the nation-state (and of political geographies) as a proper container for historical inquiry, scholars of the Atlantic (and other supranational regions) have increasingly allowed their subjects of study to spill out of their national or imperial containers. Similarly, giving its proper due to contingency as agent of historical change and opening space for nonstate actors to be at the center of historical analysis, Atlantic historians have begun to interpret the so-called Age of Revolutions as more than just a period of preordained transition from colonies to nation-states. This book has contributed to the effort to escape the prison of methodological nationalism by advancing an approach that privileges a geographic framework that provides an alternative way to organize and interpret the world. In addition, this book has also questioned the inevitability of the nation-state as a preordained way of organizing global space by showing that from the vantage point of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century New Granada’s Caribbean shores, it was possible to imagine futures that did not lead to the creation of the Colombian republic that ended up emerging in the aftermath of the Spanish American wars of independence. Using the alternative geography I call the transimperial Greater Caribbean, the subjects of this book envisioned plausible futures developed within this malleable, amorphously demarcated, transimperial geographic space.