Scars of the Caribbean Past Term Paper by Nicky

A review of the historiography of slavery in the Caribbean from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century (1624-1853).
# 151460 | 2,912 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 11, 2012 in History (Asian) , History (European) , European Studies (General)

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The paper explores the motivation for slavery in the French, Danish and British West Indies and the Caribbean as a whole. The paper addresses issues such as color, slave gender roles, slave resistance to white power, the economic motivations of the Europeans and the social factors that often informed the power relationship. The paper finds that slavery was often a struggle for power on both the part of slaves and owners; while Europeans were cruel and greedy in their interactions with those who were their slaves, the slaves also exerted a significant amount of both influence and power on their white owners.

Slavery in the British West Indies
Slavery in the Danish West Indies
Slavery in the French West Indies
Slavery in the Caribbean

From the Paper:

"One aspect of Chinese and Indian slavery is for example the internal diversity within the Coolie culture, mainly, according to the author, as a result of the diversity of situations to which these slaves were subjected . Yun also speaks about the power relations between Chinese slaves and their owners. This takes a particularly distinctive form for the Chinese, who were removed from their families and their homes with little hope of returning. This lack of hope was the basis of power for the Chinese Coolie slaves. They had little respect for their individual lives, but worked collectively when revolting against their masters. Form the slave owner point of view, the result of such revolts was part of the "cost of production" .
In return, slave owners maintained control by dividing the revolting work force by various means; either by physically removing the revolting few to different work stations, by execution, or subordinating them by punishment. According to Yun, the replacement of Chinese slaves was relatively easy and cheap enough to make it a viable as opposed to other means of control. The power of slaves as incurred by an individual lack of respect for their own lives was therefore effectively countermeasured by a similar lack of respect for human life by slave owners themselves. The power of the latter lay in their economic prowess and the ability to replace slaves whenever this was necessary.

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brown, Vincent. The Reaper's Garden: death and power in the world of Atlantic slavery. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.
  • Burnard, Trevor G. Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
  • Moitt, Bernard. Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635-1848. Blacks in the Diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.
  • Sandiford, Keith Albert. The Cultural Politics of Sugar: Caribbean Slavery and Narratives of Colonialism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Savage, John. "Black Magic and White Terror: Slave Poisoning and Colonial Society in Early 19th Century Martinique". Journal of Social History 40, no.3 (Spring 2007): 635-662.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Scars of the Caribbean Past (2012, June 11) Retrieved November 28, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Scars of the Caribbean Past" 11 June 2012. Web. 28 November. 2023. <>