Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cross on Colonial Laws in South and Central America

Jane Ellen Cross, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, has posted South and Central America: British, Dutch and French Colonial Laws, which originally appeared as an entry in the Encyclopedia of Legal History (Oxford University Press, 2008). Here's the abstract:
British Honduras, British Guiana, Dutch Guiana and French Guiana. Colonial settlement in Belize (British Honduras), Guyana (British Guiana), Guyane (French Guiana) and Suriname (Dutch Guiana) began with incursions into Spanish territory. Spanish discovery of Guiana occurred in 1499, after Christopher Columbus' third voyage to the America in 1498, and Spain laid claim to all of Guiana and Central America. Nonetheless, Dutch trade in Guiana began shortly after Netherland gained independence from Spain in the late 1500's. Spain sanctioned Dutch trade in the region and Dutch settlements emerged in the early 1600's. By 1665, immigrants from the Netherlands, Great Britain and France had established settlements in various areas of Guiana. About the same time, in Central America, English and Scottish buccaneers and logwood and mahogany cutters were also making incursions into Spanish territory. No one country was able to occupy more than a few areas scattered throughout the infiltrated regions.