History SBA Conditions Leading Up To The 1937 Riots

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Conditions Leading up to the 1937 Riots
There were many different factors which influenced the conditions in not only Barbados but across the British Caribbean which eventually led to uprisings in the various territories but namely Barbados. These factors can be broken down into 3 categories of Economic, Social and Political.
Economic Factors
Leading up to the riots Barbados’ economy was in a dreadful state due to many different factors, both internal and external. One of the more substantial external factors was The Great Depression of the 1930’s which originated in the United States of America but affected all the countries of the world. On October 29, 1929 the American stock market crashed and officially started The Great Depression.
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Wages had some devastating effects such as malnutrition, high mortality rates and poverty. Unemployment, much like wages, was a major factor which added to the unrest of the public leading up to the riots. One of the causes for some of the unemployment was the establishment of many large modern sugar factories. These factories not only replaced windmills but with their increased efficiency reduced the harvesting period from 5 to 3 months. The period between harvesting and the start of the new season was referred to as hard time because it was very hard to find employment to be able to support one’s family. With these modern factories came revised methods of agriculture which meant there was less need for workers and resulted in some workers being laid off, only adding to the many unemployed people in Barbados. Unemployment left many families and individuals in a state of despair which led to lawlessness and in some instances crime.
Social factors Poverty was one of the most substantial contributors to the hardships endured leading up to the riots. Much like the next domino in line, with low wages and unemployment came poverty which affected many families in Barbados in many different ways. In an attempt to escape poverty people moved to the parish of St. Michael in droves to the point where half of Barbados’ population was concentrated there. This move still did not ease their burden because there were no more

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