Tag Archives: West Indies History

A Pre- Emancipation History of the West Indies [ A Book Review]


West Indies History

It is probably the most concise discussion that I have read on the West Indies, from European exploration to the end of slavery. I am definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in West Indian early history. Even if you have never read on the topics but suddenly feel like it, you have a good book here.  It is a History Nonfiction, but it does not read like the diplomatic dry and sometimes difficult tone of some History text. It is a comfortable read, the definitions and explanations are simple, making it easy to understand.

Although, the author does not go into advanced details for topics such as The Mercantile System to help you write a 10, 000 thesis, he does offer enough information for a shorter essay. Enough to understand the underlying terms, preparing anyone for more technical terms in other research material. Furthermore, I appreciate the holistic treatment of the West Indies and not dwelling mostly/ only on the British colonies. Furthermore, it is not a case  study of each island except when examples are necessary but the examples did touch on the  Danish, Dutch, Spanish, British and French colonies.

The author’s style of including a conclusion after every section, helps you recall what you read and pulls out the key terms of that segment. There are also questions following each conclusion, fabulous tool to help the reader revise the content recently read. At the end of the book there are Examination Questions based on each section, such as questions on Discovery and Rivalry. In addition, the author included a list of short topics from the book and other suggested subjects not addressed in the book. The topics break the sections into more details to aid in further research and for revision.


19th Century Protest Movements in the West Indies

Protest Movement In The West Indies

Morant Bay Rebellion, 1865 Source: Caribbean History: Foundations Book 1

The 19th century protests were not solely rooted in the workers outrage or defence of the moral economy. It is correct to say that the moral economy was extremely important to the workers because of their belief in customary rights and allowances. However, throughout the 19th century one can see that the workers protested for various reasons. Therefore, one can posit the view that it was not only the moral economy which was the major cause of the protests. The workers frustration with the local government  showed and the plantocracy had no respect for their rights as workers, contributing to injustice. In addition, immigration was another issue which cause grievous sores to the workers in at least seven of the protests in the 19th century. Furthermore, the wage rate was undeniable one of the reasons the workers protested in the 19th century because it affected their social and economic condition. Another reason for the workers protest was land, which was closely linked to rent [two issues that resulted in conflict between the workers and the planters].

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