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Worke Wee May Doe in the World" the Western Design and the Anglo-Spanish Struggle for the Caribbean, 1654-1655

Title: "The Worke Wee May Doe in the World" the Western Design and the Anglo-Spanish Struggle for the Caribbean, 1654-1655.
Name(s): Harrington, Matthew Craig, author
Childs, Matt D., professor directing thesis
Anderson, Rodney D., committee member
Strait, Paul, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In the spring and summer of 1655, Oliver Cromwell, as Lord Protector of England and with the authority of the Council of State, dispatched an English fleet under the command of Sea General William Penn and General Robert Venables to conquer and settle the target of their choosing among Spain's colonies in the Caribbean. A Spanish defending force of perhaps 400-600 men, mostly militia, repulsed a landing force of 9,000 men. Demoralized and defeated, the much-reduced force boarded their ships and sailed to the more weakly held island of Jamaica, where the Spanish who chose not to surrender faded into the interior to join their runaway slaves in a guerrilla campaign that would last five years before the English completed their conquest of the island. When Oliver Cromwell heard the news of the defeat at Hispaniola, observers in London reported that he shut himself in his room for an afternoon, before placing Penn and Venables in the Tower of London; but later recovered to call for godly Englishmen to settle the new colony of Jamaica. Few chose to answer, while most followed the example of the New England colonists, who felt they had enough trouble fulfilling God's mission in the North American wilderness, without sailing through a war zone to an uncertain future in disease and hunger-ridden Jamaica. Meanwhile, the war Cromwell felt he could avoid in Europe broke out with Spain, gaining him Dunkirk but costing money and men. This ambitious and spectacularly unsuccessful project to colonize the Spanish Caribbean has come to be known as the Western Design. The Western Design represents a key turning point in the history of the Caribbean and development of England's American colonial empire. Through an unprecedented use of state-commissioned force, England struck against a continental enemy across the Atlantic, and added what would become a valuable sugar island and buccaneering base to a growing American empire. The event has long been looked at by historians of Commonwealth England, both in exploring Cromwell's religious psychology, and in debating its foreign policy. However, with the growth of an Atlantic approach to history, new fields have opened within which the Western Design should be considered. One development has been the blurring of the formerly rigid historiographical distinctions of what constituted English, colonial American, and Caribbean history. A growing Atlantic empire including all three areas has begun to be explored, and events in one place have been examined as to how they affected events in the others. One example has been an analysis of the early seventeenth-century Caribbean as a target for Puritan colonization, much as New England has been viewed for decades and even centuries.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-4248 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2004.
Date of Defense: May 26, 2004.
Keywords: History England Colonies Spain Western Design Nava
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Matt D. Childs, Professor Directing Thesis; Rodney D. Anderson, Committee Member; Paul Strait, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Military history
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Harrington, M. C. (2004). "The Worke Wee May Doe in the World" the Western Design and the Anglo-Spanish Struggle for the Caribbean, 1654-1655. Retrieved from