Caribbean Imperialism Analysis

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Europe’s insatiable capitalist quest led to its conquest of many parts of the world, including the Caribbean island and mainland states. The process started with the ‘discovery’ of the West Indies in the late 15th Century by Christopher Columbus, and continued through the Triangular or Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The need for land for the extension of Europe’s value-added assets resulted in colonisation of the West Indies, while the need for labour to till the soil led to slavery. Colonisation and slavery, therefore, are agents of capitalism. Imperialism is considered the plateau or highest point of capitalism, for imperialism is the conquest of lands and peoples for the imperialist regime’s extension of power and influence.
History records
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Imperialists often profess to have an interest in the development of a people or state they intend to conquer. And sometimes there is indeed evidence of ‘development’, but the benefits to the imperialists are always disproportionately greater. The Region has its politico-economic genesis in the bowels of imperialism. The Region, consequently, has progressed or retrogressed within this very context of imperialism. Imperialism has condemned the Caribbean Region to ‘Third World’ status perpetually it seems. Economic activities such as trade in produce and skilled labour continue to benefit the West, because the consumption of the West dictates the production in the Region. In return, the Caribbean Region depends on Europe and North America in particular for goods as well as capital in the form of technology, machinery, foreign direct investments and loans. This dependency syndrome provides a firm foundation for an unequitable trade arrangement between the Region and the West. Furthermore, the Region is always indebted to the West, and certain financial institutions – the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) chiefly. These institutions strategically help to enforce and continue the hegemony of the…show more content…
The dependency on Europe and North America by the Region, therefore, is the evidence of the empire the West has built by imperialism, and perpetual profit or loss of imperialism for a state, depending on which side of the divide that state stands. Imperialism does not end. The imperial power merely changes. Active, conspicuous imperialism might be latent in some states of the Region, but it surely is not absent. Independence and freedom alone can guarantee an end to imperialism, but ‘independence’ and ‘freedom’ are relative conceptions. In fact, there can in essence be no real independence and no real freedom. In an era of globalisation and trade liberalisation, countries whose gross domestic products (GDPs) and economies benefit from industrialisation will continue to hold other countries that produce agricultural goods and provide skilled labour on a
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