Caribbean History: THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF INDENTURESHIP ON THE BRITISH CARIBBEAN BETWEEN THE PERIOD OF 1838 AND 1921

1629 Words Dec 9th, 2013 7 Pages
THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF INDENTURESHIP ON THE BRITISH CARIBBEAN BETWEEN THE PERIOD OF 1838 AND 1921
According to readings in the Caribbean Studies, indentureship is a contract labor system in which the workers were waged to work in the Caribbean. These indentured workers had to sign a contract for their employer ensuring that they will work for them for a period of time usually 3-5 years. They were punished if the contract was breached and received three benefits at the end of their contract. Indentured Labor, however, would wage in accommodation payment of passage and food. Consequently and surprisingly, there is and still are many positive and negative effects arising out of the introduction of indentured labor in the
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Consequently, not all migration schemes for indentured labor turned out to be feasible. Due to a decline in the white population, the planters sought European immigrants to increase the size of the white population. It was hoped that Europeans would set an example of industry to ex-slaves, and as well, eventually develop into a middle class. The European population who migrated to the Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, Trinidad, British Guiana and St Kitts were mainly the prisoners of Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany. This migration presented major problems for the planters. Europeans were unsatisfactory as most died when they arrived. They died from tropical diseases because the Caribbean’s weather and climate are fundamentally different from that of Europe and its environs. They died of Heart's stroke and some Europeans even drank themselves to death. They also refused to work on the plantations with blacks created segregation and conflict on the plantation. Many demanded to be sent home or migrated to the United States. Planters also failed to supply proper food, shelter and medical facilities which was all the more a reason for them to leave. This severely damaged the economy and production of certain industries. They also resorted to Chinese indentureship. The first Chinese immigrants to the Caribbean arrived in Trinidad in 1806 from Malaya. They were to be indentured for five years, with a

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