Essay about The Identity and History of the Caribbean

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The Identity and History of the Caribbean


The Caribbean is a vastly diverse area representing the effects of colonialism, slavery, and the combination of many cultures.

Since the arrival of Europeans the Caribbean islands have been going through constant change. The loss of native peoples and the introduction of the plantation system had immediate and permanent reprocussions on the islands. The Plantation system set up a society which consisted of a large, captive lower class and a powerful, wealthy upper class. As the plantation systems became successful labor was needed in order to progress. Slavery became the answer to the problem. Slavery played an important role in the how the economy changed the islands because there was a
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One big difference between the articles is that Mintz includes the plantations as part of one of the nine major factors which falls under capitalism of the Caribbean but Benitez-Rojo writes, "I think that one must agree with Mintz that the plantation seems indispensable to studying the societies of the area. In my opinion, nonetheless, the plantation could turn out to be an even more useful parameter; it could serve as a telescope for obswerving the changes and the continuities of the Caribbean galaxy through the lenses of multifold disciplines…" (38). Benitez-Rojo includes the history of the plantations and how the history affected the culture of the islands. For example, one of the subtitles is Hispaniola: the first plantations where he explains how the first plantations were started up, he writes, "Those who, for one reason or another, decided not to leave the colony began to think up enterprises that would allow them to subsist there… someone remembered the sugarcane that Columbus had brought to the island, and he began to get molasses and brown sugar using rudimentary machines" (40). As slavery was introduced to the system a creole culture emerge and the Africanization of culture.

An issue which was brought up due to Slavery is the…