European Imperialism In The Caribbean

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The effects of European colonization can still be seen today. It can be seen physically in the landscapes of the islands of the Caribbean, and mentally it is still present in some of the inhabitant’s minds. Political struggles should not be ignored as well as many islands have struggled since their independence. Today when many Europeans look back at the peak of their country’s empires they see the Caribbean as a contributing factor. While there is no question as to the wealth generated by the control of the Caribbean islands, one can ask how great these European colonizers were. There are many ways to measure accomplishment, if one measures it just by wealth then European colonization could be considered a success. However, if we were to …show more content…

And by the end of the War of Spanish Secession, piracy was soon outlawed in the Caribbean. What Rediker is showing is not only the European empires desire for more wealth, but also the ruling classes ability to control the working class to gain more wealth. Furthermore, he shows that as soon as the ruling class finds a more profitable way to make money, their attitudes would change regardless of the concerns of the working class. He also points out that “the sailors knew that these wars were fought, for the most part, over wealth, a substantial portion of which was based on the key commodities of the Atlantic trades in which he worked – gold, silver, fish, furs, servants and slaves, sugar, tobacco, and manufactures” (Rediker 21). Once privateering was outlawed, and combined with the downsizing of European navies, many sailors found themselves out of work. This led to the rise of piracy, and in my opinion directly challenged the notion that European empires were strong and powerful. Piracy could be viewed a war on the rich, where men who saw no other economic opportunity choose to steal from whom they used to work for. During the golden age of piracy between 1716 and 1726, according to Rediker around 2400 ships were captured. European countries could do little as their navies were reduced in size after the War of Spanish Secession. The capturing and sometimes burning of

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