Sea and Land: An Environmental History of the Caribbean
This book, co-authored by John McNeill, Philip J. Morgan, Matthew Mulcahy, and Stuart B. Schwartz, delves into the environment and ecology of the Caribbean, exploring issues concerning natural resources, conservation, epidemiology, and climate. It covers the pre-Columbian period to the mid-nineteenth century in-depth, with a coda on the modern era. Throughout it argues that the constant arrival, dispersal, and mingling of new plants and animals gave rise to a creole ecology. Particular attention is given to the emergence of Black slavery, sugarcane, and the plantation system, an unholy trinity that thoroughly transformed the region’s demographic and physical landscapes and made the Caribbean a vital site in the creation of the modern western world. Sea and Land aims to foster both a fuller appreciation of the extent to which environmental factors shaped historical developments in the Caribbean, and the extent to which human actions have transformed the biophysical environment of the region over time.