History of Colonial Southeast Explored in USC Upstate Professor’s Book

October 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

Spartanburg, S.C. – London-based publisher Pickering & Chatto has published University of South Carolina Upstate History Professor Timothy Paul Grady’s latest work, Anglo-Spanish Rivalry in Colonial South-East America, 1650-1725 as the 14th volume in the publisher’s series, Empires in Perspective. The series takes a close look at the political, social, economic, scientific and cultural history of the British Empire as it reached around the globe to the Americas, India, Australia and Jamaica.

The series is edited by such notable historians of the British Empire as Caroline Elkins, the Hugo K. Foster Associate Professor of African Studies at Harvard University, Duncan Bell, University Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and Francisco Bethencourt, the Charles Boxer Professor of History in the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, King’s College London.

Grady’s book analyzes the relationship between the British and the Spanish empires during the period of power struggle and colonization in the American southeast from the Carolinas to Florida. The historical record of the relationship between the two powers in this region during this 75-year time period is underdeveloped, according to Grady, when compared to the competition for empire between the British and French during the same time frame.

Over the 75 year period covered in this volume, the British, from their stronghold in Charleston, and from settlements northward up the Atlantic coast, kept a wary eye on the Spanish. From their base of fortifications in St. Augustine, Fla. the Spanish laid claim to an area extending from the coastal Georgia islands to the Gulf of Mexico, and they too, were keenly aware of their northern neighbors’ activities. Prior studies of the British and the Spanish during this time period focus on either one or the other. This book, says Grady, illustrates the story from both perspectives at the same time.

The book’s first chapter sets the stage for the basis of the rivalry between the two powers, in “From Europe to Charleston: Anglo-Spanish Rivalries and the Beginning of the Colonial South-East.” A third element is added to the rivalry with the complex web of alliances between Indian tribes and the two powers, in the second chapter, “A Three-Sided Struggle: The Florida-Carolina Struggle and Indian Interactions through the 1680s.” The “calm before the storm” or a period of relative peace ensued for about a decade between the colonial powers and the Indians, as described in “An Uneasy Peace: Negotiations and Confrontations across the Carolina-Florida Frontier Through 1700.”

The book’s final two chapters, “Carolina’s Ascendancy: The English Invasion and Destruction of Spanish Florida’s Missions 1700-3,” and “Fading Power and One Last Gasp: The Waning of Spanish Influence and the Beginnings of English Ascendancy,” cover the 20 year period in which the colonists in Charleston led attacks against St. Augustine and the Indian missions of Apalachee, the ensuing fall out between the colonists and their Yamassee and Creek allies, and the larger implications these wars had on the relationship of the Indians to the English, Spanish and another player on the colonial stage, the French.

Paul Grady teaches courses in Colonial America, Early American Republic, Native America and Colonial Latin America in the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies at USC Upstate. He received his master’s degree from Virginia Tech and his PhD from the College of William & Mary. He can be reached at (864) 503-5731 or pgrady@uscupstate.edu for more information. Grady’s book is available through the publisher’s web site,  www.pickeringchatto.com.