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This chapter details the actions of Spanish administrators on the ground in Santo Domingo, as they struggled for a way to incorporate it with its plantation neighbors and, more urgently, make it profitable. Official disdain for subsistence agriculture—and the sum of Spanish efforts to craft a more orderly populace, subject to the will of the colonial state and integrated into market economies—clashed with the will of most of the island residents. Their plans for colonization and indenture demonstrated how easily such labor control coexisted with projects of second slavery. With the United States distracted by Civil War fighting, Caribbean administrators eyed the global market for cotton and other products eagerly. In these projects, Spanish administrators had willing collaborators in the Dominican capital. All of the administrators hoped a new era of Dominican prosperity was at hand.

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