Caribbean settlement shared European poetics of nationality. A number of scholars have cast Cromwell’s Western Design as a failure, but this study will reevaluate this endeavor to show its long-lasting impact on the formation of the British Empire. Empire under Cromwell was an extension of the domestic sphere more so than under any of his predecessors. The plantation schemes he devised for Jamaica remained the general practice through the Restoration (1660). In rehabilitating the image of Cromwell’s Western Design, I will work against the prevailing orthodoxy to show the centrality of the Caribbean, and especially Jamaica, to the formation of colony-metropole relations in the seventeenth century. This, in turn, anticipates the work of scholars of the modern period who have shown how colonial engagements shaped social life and government reform in nineteenth-century England. I argue that this methodology can be applied to the seventeenth century with the changing nature of colonization under Cromwell and the problems of identity in the Caribbean empire that forced re-examinations of "Englishness" and "Britishness" during this period.