The Indentured Labour System

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An empire may be defined as the ruling of a defeated nation, by a conquering power , who exploits the population for the advancement of the empires mother land . This defeated population then becomes known as imperial subjects, who are depicted as distinctly different and exploitable. It may be said that empires, enrich themselves at the expense of others and are therefore driven by a system of mercantilism. Furthermore, it may be said that an empire, is a political order that rules over a significant population and is characterised by flexible borders . According to P J Marshall, the British Empire may be seen as a contradiction due to the fact that the empire restricted choices and created opportunities for the imperial subjects. This essay…show more content…
The recruitment of indentured workers came as a result of the obligations that were imposed upon the population due to the foreign cash economy. Individuals were often attracted by the wages that were being offered and were prompted the shrinking of economic sectors and rise in taxation, that came as a result of imperial rule within their home lands. The purpose of indentured labour was to provide the white colonial settlers with ‘free’ labour on coffee, cotton, sugar and rubber plantations in regions such as Fiji, Mauritius, the West Indies as well as…show more content…
The colonial powers therefore began a process “africanisation” in which educated Africans were given a say in public affairs, creating support for the new democratic institutions therefore expanding opportunities for participation.1
However this was not the case in South African. In 1947, the National Party was voted into power, and implemented Apartheid, introducing white supremacy. This meant that the process of africanisation was not longer possible as the colonial distinctions regarding race, gender and class determined an individual’s participation within the empire.1
During the eighteenth century, there was a broad cycle of rebellion within the Atlantic world against confinement within the empire, workplaces and ships, as well as a search for independence . The ascending of the ruling and governing class, provided the British empire with the necessary numbers of educated and trained individuals who were able to govern, administer and control. Education brought about the state of mind that was necessary in order to continue imperialism. However a break came within the empire, due to the rise in power of the mass population and the education and educational facilities that became available to the middle and working class. Therefore, the governing class lost control and entered into a period of struggle for political
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