By 1700 a subtle web of global connections tied the two Indies together. Due to traditional academic divisions, these dependencies have all too often been ignored by the two separate strands of colonial historians: the Atlantic (Afro-) American specialists and those specializing in the greater Indian Ocean. The growth of the EIC’s commerce was part of a rapid increase in English trade both in Europe and within England’s Atlantic empire. The EIC was a component of this network of trade, which Westminster, through a host of laws and prohibitions, tried to develop into a neatly closed system excluding both foreign outsiders and outsiders who did not belong to the merchant elite of London. The English Navigation Acts indubitably constituted (after the Spanish asiento) the most complex system of mercantilist restrictions on trade and shipping. Not only were these strictures intended to prevent the Dutch from encroaching on English trade, they were focused on keeping the West Indian and the East Indian trades apart as well.1