Dr. Hill HIST 300SS
Sugar Societies in the West Indies
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the sugar islands played a very important role for the British government. They saw these colonies as an extremely beneficial mercantile society that could gross them a great deal of wealth. However, for the colonists living on these islands it was an intense struggle between enormous fortune and a premature death. Richard Dunn, author of Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713, decided to shed light on these seldom mentioned groups of settlers, who chose the Caribbean islands over mainland America. The first settlers of the islands being buccaneers, along with their short lifespan, coupled with the monoculture of the islands and a severe disparity between the rich and poor, created a distinct culture, in what Dunn describes as a “classically proportioned sugar society” (Dunn 165).
Dunn begins his book in 1624, with the English gaining a foothold on the tiny island of St. Christopher in the Caribbean. From that solitary outpost emerged a "cohesive and potent master class" of tobacco and sugar planters that spread throughout the Caribbean (46), especially in Barbados and Jamaica. Dunn refers to this society as a “classically proportioned sugar society” (165). What this means is that there were few very wealthy sugar planters who owned and managed large masses of slaves. Big planters, at their height, were
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He provides a skeleton, constructed in stages as a way of analyzing the Western Hemisphere between ca. 1492-1830.1. The Early Atlantic World, 2. The Later Atlantic World, and 3. The Colonial Revolutions. According to Bailyn the early Atlantic period was rife with extended periods of violence, brutality, and tainted with genocidal barbarians completely focused on conflict for marchlands and frontiers. Completely untamable and socially dysfunctional. Dating roughly from 1600 to 1750, the Later Atlantic world developed attributes of stability and progress. This could be identified by the installation of political institutions and national boundaries were acknowledged. Driven by the Spanish crown, a new invigorated economic network emerged. All these innovative connections allowed people of the America’s to integrate culture, ideas, politics and trade, both legal and illegal. These transatlantic linkages enhanced what Bailyn calls “Creole triumphalism”. Lastly, the Creole Revolutions were independence creole-led movements dating from the 1750’s to the early 19th century. These movements led to revolutionary ideas, and struggles for political, economical and social independence increased the awareness of the importance of the Atlantic
The sugar rush that took place in the form of the boom in slave driven sugar production during the early modern period of European history had a significant impact on social and economic issues of the day. Sugar was a delicacy at the time and Europeans were providing the demand that fueled the engine of sugar production. The viewpoints of planters and slaves demonstrate a complex dynamic that are almost complete opposites. The early modern economic and social systems of sugar production consisted of artistic influence in addition to new challenges and dangers, which ultimately led to slaves being robbed by planters of the right to make any change in their social or economic standing.
The book, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is about the mass incarceration of African Americans in the criminal justice system. It depicts individuals who were arrested on drug crimes. Because these individuals are labeled as criminals, it becomes difficult for them to find work, housing, and public assistance. (Alexander, 2010) The themes in this book include denial and ignorance, racism and violence, and drugs.
The Slave Ship was written by Marcus Rediker and it tells several accounts of the African slave trade as well as the world of the middle passage. The author discusses the nature of the slave ship and the African paths to the middle passage. Rediker also mentions the lives of historical figures (Olaudah Equiano, James Field Stanfield, and John Newton) and the roles that they had during the Atlantic slave trade. For the African captives, the sailors, and captains, the slave ship was seen as a wooden, floating, traveling dungeon and a place of terror and survival, which are also the overall main themes of the book.
In the early seventeenth Century, the big tide of immigrants began to flow from Europe to North America. In the beginning of the immigration, the initial number of people were only a few hundred of British, and gradually became a huge immigration of millions people. They were driven by a variety of powerful motives, and finally established a new civilization on the new land. In the 1607, the English founded their first settlement, Virginia (P36). The reason why English colonists chose Virginia is this place produces “an American plant” called tobacco (P37). Selling tobacco to European market, the colonists earned a big profit. As a result, they built a lot of plantations in Chesapeake.
Instead of becoming havens for the English poor and unemployed, or models of interracial harmony, the southern colonies of seventeenth-century North America were weakened by disease, wracked by recurring conflicts with Native Americans, and disrupted by profit-hungry planters’ exploitation of poor whites and blacks alike. Many of the tragedies of Spanish colonization and England’s conquest of Ireland were repeated in the American South and the British Caribbean. Just as the English established their first outpost on Chesapeake Bay with a set of goals and strategies in mind, so too the native Indians of that region pursued their own aims and interests. They
Puerto Rico’s early economic development under Spanish rule was characterized by the creation of settlements particularly in the interior of the island where the land was used for cattle rearing and farming. (Figueroa lecture Sept.'98) By the late 1550’s to early 1600’s the meager agricultural sector did not develop and therefore was not sustainable as there were not enough contact with international traders. (Scarano, 4) The sector was also stifled by the royal trade restriction that Spanish colonies could only trade with the mother land. Furthermore, most of the Crown’s attention was focused on the recently discovered gold and silver mines in Mexico and Peru. Puerto Rico at this stage became some what of a frontier society at the margins of the Spanish colonial empire. (Figueroa Sept.'98) While other Caribbean countries had experimented and had began to develop their mass sugar cultivation, Puerto Rico, for the most part, remained a racially mixed peasant society. (Scarano, 5) The influence of their neighboring islands was not far off, and the introduction of African slaves along with the development of the sugar industry literally changed the face of the Puerto Rican society.
During the mid-seventeenth century, the West Indies became the ‘great magnet’ for English transatlantic migration, receiving “over two-thirds of the English emigrants to the Americas between 1640 and 1660”, owing to its good prospects and a “pursuit of profit.” However, stagnation of the economy, owing to amongst other things a superior crop of tobacco in the Chesapeake, prompted the cultivation of sugar, the hard and dangerous work of which proved off-putting to English migrants, who “preferred the mainland colonies on the Atlantic seaboard that still offered land grants as freedom dues.” Whilst this witnessed increased migration to the Carolinas, the two regions became further entwined by West Indian reliance on black slave labour, which created a demographic imbalance in the colonies that warranted a strict slave code, which was indeed adopted as a precedent in the North American colony. The development of sugar cultivation, then, was responsible for far-reaching slave codes felt both in the West Indies and the Carolinas, whilst the lack of opportunity associated with sugar cultivation for young English emigrants prompted them to seek a more profitable life in, amongst other trans-Atlantic colonies, the Carolinas.
In 1640, the British Caribbean island of Barbados was inhabited by a community of plantation farmers producing a variety of commodities (including tobacco, cotton, ginger, and indigo) and employing a workforce of predominately white indentured servants. By the 1660’s, the island’s commodity production had been nearly entirely switched over to the production of sugar, and the labor force converted to one mostly comprised of African slaves. This was one of the first instances of a large-scale black slave labor force in the British Americas and it was not until the 18th century that the mainland colonies followed Barbados’ lead. The two voyages for this essay, the British ships Elizabeth (1663) and Freke (1730) , will serve as an illustration of the slave market in Barbados during the prime of the sugar industry on the island. This essay will also compare the similarities and differences of the aforementioned voyages and discuss their respective journeys.
By the year 1775, the British Empire possessed far more land and people in the America’s than either of the world’s other dominant powers, the French and the Dutch, combined. From the colonies of the America’s, Barbados included, the English imported sugar, tobacco, and other luxurious goods. According to Greenfield, “The profits from sugar at the time were staggering.” For example, according to Professor Kenneth Morgan, “In 1686 alone, the British colonies in the Americas shipped goods worth over one million pounds to London.” He goes on to say, “By 1797-8, North America and the West Indies received 57 percent of British exports, and supplied 32 percent of imports.” These numbers help to demonstrate just how vast the British Empire was and also help us understand how important colonies such as Barbados were to the English
From 1770 the slave trade and slavery was in for the unexpected due to the fact that the slave trade died slowly and miserably in Great Britain. During this transition, “the sugar revolution brought with it a series of interrelated transformations that had fundamental implications for all aspects of the economy.” Although the British colony took the lead to abolish the Atlantic slave trade, the need to see an economic rise amongst various colonies led people to oppose the slave trade. These same people argued that the Atlantic slave trade would imply that slave owners would have to change working conditions and come to terms with the fact that, the population did not need to depend on the slave trade for replenishment of a naturally producing population. Professor Kenneth Morgan expresses the same idea. However, he does make a point when he states, “Black slavery flourished because it was difficult to employ white workers in semi-tropical, agricultural labour. And slave trade appeared to be so much a part of the peopling and maritime of the British Empire.” The slave trade in the Britain colony was considered necessary because it meant being able to maintain sugar plantains in the Caribbean. In the British colony, certain groups existed around this era, one of which strongly practiced Christianity and were against the
On the twenty-sixth of February 2014 our drama class travelled to The Fortune Theatre situated in London to see the exhilarating adaptation of the thriller fiction novel The Woman In Black written by Susan Hill that was adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt. The drama arose from many sources and routes – particularly the production that was involved.
This week in English, I learned about Mary Rowlandson’s “The Soveraignity of Goodness of God, Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed; Being a Narrative of The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” and the full text of Aphra Behn’s “Orooko, or The Royal Slave.” I also learned about racial differences juxtaposed with the sexes and slavery. Though women are seen as subordinate and oppressed during those days, it all changed when they imported free labor to build their economy as a new country. When their became a new class of people, who were considered property, the English settlers gained even more power than they could have expected. It was considered a sign of wealth if you had many slaves and could afford
Twelve Years a Slave is a 1853 narrative memoir written by Solomon Northup and later adapted into the 2013 film, 12 Years a Slave. This compelling narrative contains two major themes: race and slavery. Each of these concepts is historically relevant in creating a stereotype of African Americans as uneducated lower-class citizens. “Hundreds of blacks lost their freedom through the operation of kidnapping rings,” and in 1841 Northup fell victim to one. Northup had taken to the violin at a very young age, Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton are introduced to Northup and inquire about his talent. These men offer him a high-paying job playing in their circus; Northup readily agrees. Once in Washington and having gained his trust, the men take Northup to dinner and drug him. The next morning he wakes “sitting upon a low bench, made of rough boards, and without coat or hat,” his hands and ankles chained. This marks the end of Northup’s freedom and the beginning of Platte’s servitude. (Platte is the slave name he was given to deny him his true identity.) Northup’s servitude begins at William Ford’s plantation where he is closely watched by the overseer Tibeats. As Northup slowly earns Ford’s favor he inadvertently insults Tibeats’ pride. Extremely valuable to poor whites was class-power and pride and Tibeats does not shrink from Northup. When Tibeats tries to regain his pride by nearly hanging Northup, Northup fights back. This was a taboo in this time period; one could fight only
Workplaces around the world are seeking to cut costs, generate the most amount of revenue possible and create the optimal customer experience. The atrocities of working environment outside the United States may astound the average American but unbeknownst to them is how the factories and other assembly line jobs that reside within this country's borders are far from perfect as well. Throughout this essay I will discuss and analyze two viewpoints on the topic of the company Amazon and the way internal affairs are handled inside the company's walls. Issues on the way workers are treated are not just an problem with Amazon but also with many countries across the globe. The two theories I will be covering are firstly, the Marxian view and secondly,