Stretching from the Bahamas to the northern coast of South America the Caribbean, as we know it today, began as a disparate collection of European colonies. Territories changed hands often as imperial powers fought for military dominance and wealth.

This hand-coloured map shows the areas controlled by Spain, England, France and Holland in the mid-18th century. It also indicates the routes and ports used by ships throughout the region, and features images of Europeans trading with indigenous peoples. This work is by Robert Morden who was one of the first commercially successful mapmakers, known in particular for some of the earliest maps of the Americas.