By James E. McClellan III
How was once the nature of technology formed by means of the colonial event? In flip, how may perhaps we make feel of ways technology contributed to colonialism? Saint Domingue (now Haiti) used to be the world’s richest colony within the eighteenth century and residential to an energetic society of science—one of basically 3 on the earth, at the moment. during this deeply researched and pathbreaking learn of the colony, James E. McClellan III first raised his incisive questions about the connection among technological know-how and society that historians of the colonial event are nonetheless grappling with at the present time. lengthy thought of infrequent, the publication is now again in print in an English-language variation, observed via a brand new foreword by means of Vertus Saint-Louis, a local of Haiti and a widely-acknowledged professional on colonialism. often mentioned because the the most important place to begin in realizing the Haitian revolution, Colonialism and technology could be welcomed by means of scholars and students alike. “By deftly weaving jointly imperialism and technological know-how within the tale of French colonialism, [McClellan] . . . brings to gentle the background of a nearly forgotten colony.”—Journal of recent background “McClellan has produced a magnificent case research providing first-class surveys of Saint Domingue’s colonial heritage and its historical past of science.”—Isis
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Extra info for Colonialism and Science: Saint Domingue and the Old Regime
Colonists trapped parakeets and other exotic birds as pets, and they sometimes took rodent piloris and agoutis for food. Numerous feral cattle and pigs roamed the bush, wild from the early days of the Spanish. Hunting feral cattle proved important in the early development of the colony; men still hunted wild cattle and pigs in the eighteenth century, sometimes using dogs, and packs of wild dogs hunted on their own. Slaves in the Tiburon region hunted feral pet EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY SAINT DOMINGUE monkeys; wild (and domestic) cats acted as a check on rat and bird populations.
Other natural disasters struck Saint Domingue. 14 The storm of MATERIAL FACTORS FIG. 1. " Drawing by Ozanne, engraved by N . Ponce in Moreau de Saint-Mery (1791). August 16, 1788, for example, damaged or destroyed over a tenth of the houses in Port-au-Prince; four large ships sank in the harbor, and sharks ate six unfortunates. Other storms did comparable damage elsewhere in Saint Domingue on a regular basis. 15 Conversely, although basically wet, Saint Domingue suffered periodic droughts and attendant disasters for agriculture and humanity.
P. Fournier and Alfred Lacroix have produced valuable studies of French missionaries and scientists working overseas in the eighteenth century. And several investigations, notably those by Henri Stehle, have concerned themselves with the history of economic botany and importing useful plants into Saint Domingue and the Caribbean. Of course, Saint Domingue is not unknown to Anglo-American historians. Students of American history learn about Saint Domingue and the rum trade with the colonies and states of New England, about the role of the colony in the American Revolution, and about emigres who fled to America from Saint Domingue after 1793.