Eighteenth century; colonial society; built environment
St. Augustine in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was a prosperous, multi-ethnic community that boasted trade connections throughout the Atlantic world. Shipping records demonstrate that St. Augustine had access to a wide variety of goods, giving residents choices in what they purchased, and allowing them to utilize their material possessions to display and reinforce their status. Likewise, their choice of residential design and location allowed them to make statements in regards to their place in the social order. St. Augustine was a unique city in the Spanish Empire; the realities of frontier living meant that inter-ethnic connection were common and often necessary for survival and social advancement. Inhabitants enjoyed a high degree of social mobility based on wealth rather than ethnicity or place of origin. Through entrepreneurship and hard work, many St. Augustinians took advantage of the city*s newfound prosperity and fluid social structure to better their economic and societal position. In sum, St. Augustine in the Second Spanish Period (1783-1821) was not a city in decay as the traditional historiography holds; rather, it was a vibrant community characterized by a frontier cosmopolitanism where genteel aspirations and local realities mixed to define the social order.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
History; Public History
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Velasquez, Daniel, "Persons, Houses, and Material Possessions: Second Spanish Period St. Augustine Society" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1256.