Chapter Two: A Changing World: The Atlantic World through the Eyes of Free People of Color
A Changing World: The Atlantic World through the Eyes of Free People of Color
Throughout the Atlantic World, the tumultuous generations between 1780 and 1850 experienced civil wars, political intrigue, and social change as the order of the day. The Industrial Revolution gained momentum, changing European and American economic emphasis from rural and agricultural to urban and manufacturing. Inspired self-proclaimed patriots fought for democratic ideals, toppled monarchies, and changed empires. Societies in ferment challenged cultural norms and reassessed racial and economic caste systems. The realignment opened doors for the expansion of new nations, new governments, and new ideologies. Social and political boundaries were redefined, which caused loyalties to shift in a changing environment.
Puerto Rico was not immune from these broad upheavals. Comprehension of specific world events is necessary to clearly understand the universe in which the people of Puerto Rico lived. This chapter provides a brief overview of explicit world rebellions and revolutions that had serious political and social implications that impacted the entire globe. Against this background, it explores important political documents that were relevant to free people of color in early nineteenth-century ← 13 | 14 → Puerto Rico. Placing Puerto Rico in a broader Atlantic, Caribbean, and colonial context will assist in exploring, more fully, the society and culture in which an unusually large population of free people of color survived and at times even thrived.
Revolutions, Rebellions, and Wars
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