The Gulf South Borderlands: Local and Circum-Caribbean Trade Networks and Collaboration on the Gulf Coast, 1701-1721

Author: ORCID icon
Levin, Jennifer, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Edelson, S. Max, AS-History, University of Virginia
Taylor, Alan, AS-History, University of Virginia

This paper explores the cautious collaboration that emerged between the colonial settlements of Mobile and Pensacola during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). While the rivalry between Spain and France led to the establishment of Pensacola (1698) and Mobile (1702), mutual contention against England brought the two settlements together during the War of the Spanish Succession. Located on opposite sides of Mobile Bay, the young settlements struggled during the conflict, as imperial attention was largely directed toward the European continent. As a result, Mobile and Pensacola formed a system of cautious collaboration to supplement supplies obtained from Native Americans. This aid took many forms, from requests for gunpowder and men to ward off English and Native American attacks, to livestock and maize to prevent starvation. Paradoxically, the settlements that French and Spanish officials believed would bolster their empire’s sovereignty over the Gulf survived only because of this collaboration, turning ostensible rivals into partners in a “good union.” Through historical and archaeological sources, the paper centers Mobile within the larger French and Spanish empires and networks of trade on the Gulf Coast.

MA (Master of Arts)
Gulf Coast, Mobile, Pensacola, War of the Spanish Succession
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