• Merchants, officials, & professionals (lawyers & doctors) – below plantation owners. • Bottom rank poor whites like “red legs” Barbados – small farmers, servants, day laborers but still privileged position over blacks/Amerinds. Society of Caribbean Colonies – Amerinds & Blacks: • Intermediate level - free persons color & many mixed race (mulatto) – free for centuries & some successful slave owners, merchants, & professionals. • Free nonwhites mostly female & lived urban areas 17th &18th. • Discriminated against yet higher status black (unlike in N. America) & had to compete for jobs with artisan whites. 8
• Laws comportment, dress, & residence, denied nonwhites right practice professions or limited material legacy. Slave Conditions Sugar Plantations: • Work mills & boiling house unpleasant, exhausting, & dangerous w/ accidents common – some slaves hands were ground off. • 17 th century - small cramped cabins inferior wood & covered plantain leaves; some allowed keep gardens w/ yams & maize/tend chicken. • 18th Amelioration Act of 1798 improved conditions slaves - forced plantation owners provide clothes, food, medical treatment, slaves could not work more than 14 hrs, & prohibited cruel punishment; slaves developed strong slave cultures. Slave Community in the Caribbean: • 85% population slaves & outnumbered whites so strong African influences 17th to present day – Creole dialects/ retention tribal culture. • Music African influences - big drum dance of Grenada & gourd instruments; African food added Caribbean diet – introduced okra, callaloo, sweet potatoes, fish cakes, saltfish, ackee, spicy pork dishes (jerk) & mangos. • Absentee plantation ownership led to unique slave culture – own villages/communities spoke languages/ communicated. Slave Rebellions in Americas: • N. America slave rebellions rare, but more common S. America & Caribbean. • Factors absentee owners, more slaves Caribbean plantations, & rainforests/mountains hide so led to more slave rebellions. • Most often rebellions put down by European firearms & escape was difficult since runaways recognizable dark skin. Examples of Slave Rebellions in the Caribbean: 9
• 7 major rebellions British Jamaica 1673 to 1686, & Antigua, Nevis, & Virgin Islands. • 1733, Amina rebellion on St John in Danish Virgin Islands, African insurgents took island 6 months before defeated. • More slave rebellions Jamaica, Britain's largest colony, than other colonies in Caribbean combined. • Most famous of Jamaican rebellions 1760 led Tacky w/ help witch doctors Easter Sunday, setting fire sugar estates - lasted over yr before put down by British colonial forces & 300 Africans & 60 whites killed. Maroon Communities in The Caribbean: • When slaves escaped Americas hid swampy areas, mountain regions, or rainforests where communities former slaves/ Amerinds. • Lived by farming /hunting & practiced African customs/rituals or created new cultures (Gullah).
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- History, Atlantic Slave Trade, Americas, African slaves