Caribbean Riots In The 1930's

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During the 1930s, the Caribbean encompassed a series of riots in the British major islands that influenced the 1930s riots which began in 1935 and lasted until 1938 according to Hyman, Debbion (2013:3). The territories affected were St.Kitts, Jamaica, Trinidad, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Barbados and British Guiana. These difficulties of the 1930's arose mainly from the inadequate provision for the social, economic and political advancement of the working population. Doumerc, Eric (2003:43) quote from the Oxford dictionary, a riot is "a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd". The riots affected the sugar industry, oil refining, and port activities. As a result of the widespread nature of the disturbances, the British Government dispatched…show more content…
Due to high levels of unemployment and underemployment, there was population growth and with this came a significant downward trend in mortality rates as health conditions improved according to Nick Manning, James Midgley (2006:108-109).The most obvious feature of the social structure which persisted from slavery was the stratification of the society on the basis of race and color. There was a lack of mediating structures and no attempt was made by the white middle class to enlarge the franchise as this would weaken their power and influence. The cost of living went up and there was a sudden upsurge in 1937-1938 that led to strikes in Jamaica. Emigration outlets were closed and this created a frustrating sense of being shut inland of being denied opportunity and choice. Furthermore, the causes of the social conditions that influenced the 1930's riot were very inadequate pertaining to social services such as education and health care. Therefore, the social factors were one of the inequalities that led to the 1930s riots in the…show more content…
In all colonies, suffrage was very restrictive and London continued to dominate territorial governance. As illustrated by Tony Martin (1983:143-144), in the 1930s, although legislatures existed in these colonies, few if any workers enjoyed the right to vote in elections. The franchise was available only to persons who possessed property owning or income qualifications which limited the size of the electorate to approximately ten percent of the adult populations. The colonial constitutions provided that effective political control remained in the hands of Governors appointed by the British Government. Prior to 1932 the only colonies in the region in which it had been lawful to form a trade union had been Jamaica and Guyana, but the legislation did not permit peaceful picketing of employers' premises and the Jamaican legislation did not protect trade unionists from actions for breach of contract in the event of strikes, Richard Hart (2002). In 1932, on the advice of Secretary of State Lord Passfield formerly Sidney Webb, legislation similar to the Jamaican statute was enacted in Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, and St Lucia, but trade unions continued to be illegal in the remaining British colonies in the region. The free blacks wanted representation in order to fight against those terrible conditions. According to Tony Martin (1983:143), the 1920s and 1930s was a period of rising Caribbean

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