African Slavery In The Caribbean History Assignment

1108 words - 5 pages

The British and French Caribbean – Patrick Wilson-Boyd
From 1662 to 1833, slavery was a huge economic growth for the British and French Caribbean. Throughout this period, more and more Africans were being brought all around the British Empire, and by the early 18th century 80% of the Caribbean population was black. The slaves were used on plantations throughout the Caribbean, consequently, the plantation economy relied on the labour of slaves. Due to the major growth of the slaves, new perspectives arose from the middle class. While, slave owners believed that slavery was ethical and essential to the economy, there were many people in the middle class along with slaves who believed slavery was unethical.
The slave owners believed that slavery was ethical and without it the British economy would collapse. Slave workers had long contributed to the wealth of the British Empire, this created ideas that without slavery the economy would be destroyed. However, it was not only the slave owners who believed slavery was ethical. Many citizens without any connection to slaves, believed that slavery was ethical. James Walvin a professor at University of York wrote in his book called The Slave Trade, “few complained that ship loads of Africans were brought and battered for, shipped and traded like any other commercial commodity (Walvin, 2011).” People didn't see it as a harmful system and they carried on with their ordinary life, with slaves or without. This shows that most people not disturbed by slavery considered it was a common place. With minority of people trying to abolish slavery, the slave societies grew. However, as the slave population grew so did the ideas of abolishing slavery, the slave owners tried to defend their economy. In 1746, an economist called Malachi Postlethwaite said, “If we have no Negros, we can have no sugar, tobacco, rum etc. Consequently, the public revenue, arising, from the importation of plantation produce will be wiped out. And hundreds of Britons make goods for the triangular trade will lose their jobs and go a begging (Slave Rebellions in the Caribbean, 2015).” Malachi believes that without slaves it is impossible to make products such as sugar. He emphasises that if the slaves were set free, the triangular trade would collapse and in doing so hundreds of people will become jobless. Furthermore, same concerns were expressed by slave owner, John Pinney. In the 1760’s, John Pinney a plantation owner in the island of Nevis said, “It is impossible for a Man to make sugar without the assistance of Negroes as to make bricks without straw (The plantation economy, 2018).” Pinney also emphasises that without slaves the sugar would not be made and the plantation would fail. As more slave owners agreed with what Pinney and Malachi were saying, Britain didn’t want to abolish slavery in fear that the economy would collapse. Pinney uses bricks and straws as an example, not just to show the bricks need the straw...


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