Essay on Different Perspectives of The Caribbean

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Different Perspectives of The Caribbean

The history of the Caribbean is in a sense a very complicated matter. There is no easy way to go about describing the events that have created what the Caribbean is today. The complex situations that have formed the Caribbean can be seen from different points of views. The varying perceptions of the Caribbean will often contradict each other in numerous ways, while at the same time showing agreement in some areas. Thus, leaving someone with a rather tangled and confused impression of the Caribbean.

This is all becomes very apparent when closely examining works by Sidney Mintz, Antonio Benitez-Rojo, and Michelle Cliff. All three authors deal with the history of the Caribbean, but in very
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The most predominant topic in all three works was the issue and result of the plantation system. Because the pieces were written from people of different background, both ethnically, and educationally, there is a definite difference in opinion. In the articles by Mintz and Benitez-Rojo they both seem to share the same opinion on the result of the plantation system, while the opinion captured in the writing of Cliff paints a rather different picture.

In the article by Mintz he describes the plantation system as an asset to the mother country as well as to the Caribbean. He sees the plantation as a positive measure in the success of the Caribbean and European mother countries. This view is clearly expressed when Mintz states, "Small plantations worked with African slave labor were successfully producing sugar for European markets in the Greater Antilles with in less than fifty years of the Discovery" (Mintz 23). Mintz goes on to discuss the success of the sugar cane crop and how is flourished compared to the other cash crops tried in the Caribbean.

Benitez-Rojo forms a rather strong opinion on the subject of plantation. His initial view point is similar to Mintz. He sees the plantation system as somewhat of a historical success that has lead to the uniqueness of the islands today. For "if it had not occurred the islands of the region might today perhaps be miniature replicas-at least in demographic and ethnological
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