Native society and the European occupation of the Caribbean islands and coastal Tierra Firme, 1492–1650
The Caribbean, which here is taken as equivalent to the old Spanish administrative region of the Audiencia de Santo Domingo, including the littoral region known as Tierra Firme, was the initial scene of the encounter between Europe and the Americas. As such its native populations were the first to negotiate the new political and economic realities which the Europeans imposed, as well as to endure the ecological and demographic consequences of that arrival.
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