Race and labour, forced and free, in the formation and evolution of Caribbean social structures

Authored by: Colin Clarke

Routledge International Handbook of Diversity Studies

Print publication date:  November  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415813860
eBook ISBN: 9781315747224
Adobe ISBN: 9781317600695


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Most colonial Caribbean territories after 1650 had slaves, but African slavery was not the whole of the forced labour regime, since it was replaced by Indian indentured labour in the British West Indies after slave emancipation in 1838, when a new sugar frontier was opened in the Southeastern Caribbean, notably in Trinidad and British and Dutch Guiana. Independent Cuba received huge imports of free Spanish labour after 1902, as US capital was applied to virgin sugar land in the east of the island. The cultural history of the Caribbean is bound up with forced labour imports from Africa, India (and China) and free labour imports from Europe – and the cultures (or remnants of the cultures) they brought with them centuries ago – all under the aegis of white planter regimes.

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