In the aftermath of their conquest of Jamaica in 1655, the English found themselves in possession of the “navell (as the Spanyards call it) of the Indies,” surrounded by the Spanish in all directions (quoted in p. 1). To be situated in the heart of the seventeenth-century Caribbean was also to be located in a thick entanglement of imperial, ethnic, religious, and economic borders. With the continual violation of these multiple and yet only partially overlapping boundaries, English and Spanish imperial officials alike sought to bring order to the chaos, in part by seeking to make clear determinations of who belonged where. In Boundaries of Belonging, April Lee Hatfield examines these shifting debates and discernments about who could be considered a proper member of English and Spanish bodies politic. Two overarching arguments are advanced in the book: “First, peoples’ perceived racial identities and religious affiliations often afforded them different...

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