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A map of the West Indies, c. 1590.

A map of the West Indies, c. 1590.
A map of the West Indies, c. 1590.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: PY3030
Description: The profits to be made from the trade in enslaved Africans and the production of plantation commodities, like sugar, coffee and tobacco, meant that the Caribbean quickly became a focus of rivalry between the leading European powers. In the reign of Elizabeth I, English ships harried their rivals, trying to disrupt Spanish trade and seize some of the wealth of the New World. England did not acquire its own islands in the Caribbean until the early 17th century.
Creator: Baptista Doetechum (engraver)
Date: 1599
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London
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