The Caribbean Slave Revolution In The Caribbean

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The history of the expansion of sugarcane plantations by the Europeans to the Caribbean islands between the 17th and 18th century was not always a sweet one. The beginnings of sugarcane production in the Caribbean began in Barbados in the 17th century when it was brought over by the Dutch from Brazil due to the high demand for sugar in Europe. Furthermore, the Dutch, British and Spanish colonies continued to expand sugar production over to various other Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, Antigua, Bahamas and Haiti. Consequently, large numbers of West African slaves were sent to these islands via the transatlantic slave trade to serve as manual labourers in the production of sugar. However, these slaves were subjected to harsh treatment and…show more content…
With the advent of Europeans expanding the sugar plantations to the Caribbean islands, their dominant influence consequently created social stratification within the Caribbean society through the implementation of slave codes (laws), the division in class and the consequential creation of an Afro-Caribbean slave culture. In this way, we are able to see how the encounters and exchanges of sugar and slaves in the Caribbean between Europeans and Africans came to form the Caribbean society within the 17th and 18th century.

Caribbean slave society consisted of a small minority of white Europeans who held unprecedented rule, with the majority of the population belonging to the African slaves. In the 1700s, there were almost 1,150,000 African slaves in the Caribbean. As a result, the Europeans needed to create and implement slave codes as a way to control the slave population and also inhibit their progression. The first slave codes were created in Barbados in the sixteenth century. Many of these laws were based upon the laws in Europe that controlled the use of slaves over there. To begin, slave registration laws were mandatory for slave owners to
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It is a representation of how they managed to turn something so horrible into something of invaluable measure. Afro-Caribbean culture in the 17th and 18th century was a manifestation of the mix of social oppression with a free, unchained spirit. Many slaves who came from Africa came with “country marks” on their bodies, which were essentially marks on their skin to identify which tribe they belonged too. This practice subsisted for some time but started to diminish in the mid 1800s. Furthermore, during slavery, slave masters deliberately forbade schooling for slaves in fear that if they were too educated, they would rebel. They were unable to read and write in English. Only 6.4% of slaves in the Caribbean were literate in English, thus creating a psychosocial difference amongst the population. As a result, slaves created their own methods of communicating with each other. Creole was a highly used form of pidgin English that was created amongst the new Afro-Caribbean society. Furthermore, Christianity was usually employed through forced conversion amongst the slaves. However, the religious practice of obeah was developed. Obeah is a spiritual practice that aims to heal individuals of misfortune. The obeah rituals are reminiscent of trance dancing practices in West Africa, with influences of the violence enforced on
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