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I'm just climbing out of the sewer of European history (in the innerboobs), 1594-1740 --at which point the several Great Wakenings, appending international war in the Americas, preoccupies well-worn, parochial knowledge of colonial history.
I took on the mission, when claims by descendants of the "Irish" persuasion to "white slavery" in the period came to my attention: 50,000 [CITATION NEEDED] sold down the river, so to speak, called the Atlantic, or "Oceana". Over the weekend I have become more familiar with competing historiography and oral tradition [eg. Uliad Cycle] in the period. It is a most contentious era in terms of international sectarian warfare and duplicity --which contemporary ahh certain "social historians" are unwilling or unable to synthesize thoughtfully.
Who knew that Sephardic Jews, for example, emigrating from Holland were as prominent a cohort of beneficiaries of torrid English civil wars as the Scots-Irish and English --Catholic and Puritan-- peerage slicing the "West Indies" into "patents"?
Two essays in particular, "Beyond the Seas: Eighteenth-Century Convict Transportation and the Widening Net of Penal Sanctions" and "Cromwellian Language of Empire" come to mind in this search for one explanation (there isn't one) of capital formation that weakly informs public discourse on "race" and iniquity today.
The first provides in excruciating detail the evolution of juridical reasoning for penal code and sentencing across "the three kingdoms" (which funnel the poor from waste lands to London, where merchants easily exploit price discovery and arbitrage opportunities with head rights tied to "transportation"). The second provides in excruciating detail the evolution of propaganda employed by the psychotic protector (and privy think tanks) to exploit alliances between Holland, France, and Spain to splice the western hemisphere; introducing mobile "new Jerusalem" hither and yon.
Amidst the many recurring cameo appearances by purportedly enlightened philosophers and "founding fathers" who endorse this or that policy in this or that phase of degenerate dynasties, my favorite note by the author is this persisting truth (seconded by Holland: "for amity with that people would make those two common wealths intire masters of the whole ocean").
A council meeting on the next day apparently discussed plans for a strike against Spain's American possessions, soon to be called 'the Western design'.19 Since the government had '16o sayle of shipps well appointed swimminge at sea', it seemed necessary to use them 'in some advantageous designe' rather than lay up valuable forces. Accordingly, with scant regard for past alliances or historic antagonisms, the discussion turned on whether to attack France or Spain. Spain seemed the more viable prize, as an enemy to the protestant nation and as the seemingly enfeebled guardian of rich treasure ripe for the picking. Thereby the design could be sold as 'more acceptable to the people of all sorts and the Parliament then any can be'.
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