In this book Jesse Cromwell dedicates great effort to understanding and diagnosing the society that gave rise to the contraband so characteristic of eighteenth-century colonial Venezuela. He presents a complex picture of a society supported by illegal, corrupt behaviors and a peculiar morality that connected Venezuelans and Europeans in the Caribbean in unsuspected, sustained, and creative ways.

Cromwell examines the long history of imperial disdain for Venezuela, marginalized by the great colonial projects that formed what today are Peru and Mexico, and those social spaces that affected Venezuela's consolidation. Cromwell is interested in understanding contraband as the response of a neglected, impoverished colony seeking to survive and how this culture of contraband was disrupted by the forceful presence of the Real Compañía Guipuzcoana de Caracas from 1728 to 1784. The most successful of its kind throughout the eighteenth century, this entity, known...

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