The causes of this will be further elucidated by the documents below, as will the responses from both people and governments. There were various reasons for the smuggling that occurred in the late 18th century. The author Of Document 2, for example, states that English merchants were outdone by the low prices of French products. He continues to say that “The English merchants begged me to put a stop to this infamous trade, because it hurt their ability to make money and get ahead. This reveals that illegally obtained products sold very well, and loud be sold for less than products legally obtained and sold by British merchants. By selling products smuggled from France, merchants could attract more business and increase their overall profit margin. Furthermore, French Caribbean Islands had fewer “government expenses,” an important fact presented in Document 5 which explains why French smugglers were able to drop their prices so low.
Another reason that people turned to smuggling was because of the inconvenient requirements of being a legal merchant at the time. Document 1 reminds us that master of English ships loud have to report to the governor and pay for permission for the goods they would take with them upon arrival at Spanish ports. This information revels that not only did merchants have to deal with competition from French smugglers, but also petty, government-required expenditures.
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As can be seen by the above information, there were multiple valid reasons for the influx of smuggling during the late 18th century, and once it began, the smuggling itself became cause for more to overlook the law in favor of economic benefit. One additional document that would have been helpful in analyzing the asses of these unlawful exchanges would be a first-hand account of a sailor which could explain how, specifically, new trading laws hindered legal trade, and why the smuggling of goods was very convenient for those who chose to engage in it.
In regard to the smuggling of goods from island to island, the reactions of citizens were quite varied. For example, in document 3 the author complains about the troubles that the detaining of smuggled slaves caused. “Property this precarious can have no real value,” he states. Since slaves were smuggled by merchants, they began to lose their merit as a form f agricultural labor, due to their lack of loyalty to their positions, and especially because of the practice of smuggling slaves for profit, overall making them very unreliable.
This is also the topic of Document 7, which similarly addresses the issue of a slave smuggler, Bartholomew Redmond in particular. “He has done so without the consent of either the slaves, or more importantly, their owners. ” This quote exposes the apathy smugglers had for the slaves which they stole. Analysis of both the aforementioned documents brings to light that those who owned slaves were particularly negatively effected by smugglers, and their actions caused many law abiding citizens to write disgruntled letters, as demonstrated by Documents 3&5.
Contrary to citizens averse to this illegal trade, other citizens embraced it as a route of gaining wealth by supplying a common demand. In the case of the women described in Document 8, their smuggling of Caribbean rum by means of fastening leather bags to their petticoats gave them a “grotesque” appearance. Despite the fact that these women would likely be conceived as disturbing or unnatural by those around them, their task of supplying the emend for rum was clearly more important in their point of view. Another move by citizens in favor of the illegal trade was against Mr..
John Blair, in retort to his informing the King of England about “unlawful importation Of goods. ” The rioting citizens tarred and feathered Blair and continued to beat on him. The documents writer also mentions an E 100 reward for information on the mob. Though many citizens participated in or supported these unlawful acts, the OHIO reward tells us that there were still many opposes to the illegal trade and acts committed in favor of it; many British people still lived that acts such as Flair’s abuse were immoral, no matter what the circumstance.
Whether the actions taken by citizens in response to the late 18th century smuggling operations were to join in, to support their actions, or to refuse them entirely, it caused an undeniable change that split the opinions of the pubic and caused much overall chaos in the established systems Of France, England, and Spain. Contrary to the controversy caused among the citizen population, government officials had almost unanimous disdain for such practices.
One example of this is in Document 4, which reveals a series of regulations to be followed in order to hinder the progress of smugglers. Some examples include flying national flags, requiring government permissions, and allowing no foreign ships at night under normal circumstances. Laws such as these prove that the government had been angered by the illegal trade that had already gone unpunished, as proved by the document’s date of 1786 as opposed to the seventeen sixties and seventies for most other documents.
The purpose of these regulations was to UT a complete end to smuggling of goods Beethoven French, British, and Spanish islands. Though not entirely successful, statements such as “Crews of any Ship acting contrary to these rules and regulations will have their ship seized and will be prosecuted to the law’s fullest extent” show that the government took the laws they passed very seriously and designed the laws specifically to keep interactions and exchanges between islands legal.
Similarly, returning to Document 6 reveals that it was a proclamation from a British lieutenant governor, and his referencing the riot as “most daring and outrageous” Further illustrates that the government found the illegal and immoral actions taken by citizens in the late 1 8th century to be absolutely appalling, and would employ various means of slowing, stopping, or punishing those responsible for these acts of insubordination.
The laws passed by British, Spanish, and French administrations strictly regulated trade between islands of opposing imperial ownership. These regulations were one of the main causes for the overall increase in smuggling between those islands in the 18th century, a trade which many merchants favored, but which awful citizens and officials sought an end to.