Indentured Servants And The Sugar Revolution Essay

1396 Words Feb 13th, 2016 null Page
When looking at the history of labour in various Caribbean islands there is a noticeable shift from the use of white indentured servants to the use of African slaves. The reasons for using indentured servants, the changes that occurred in relation to indentured servants and the Sugar Revolution all contributed to the shift in the type of labour used in the Caribbean between the sixteenth and nineteenth century. When examining all of these elements, along with smaller factors, it becomes clear as to why the English colonizers would shift to a different, but better, workforce.
When looking at the history of labour in the Caribbean it is important to begin by examining the types of people who were first used in the process of colonization and why they were used. One of the first instances of forced labour in the Caribbean began when James II of England sold 30 000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the settlers in the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required that all Irish political prisoners be sent to the West Indies and sold to the English settlers. Because African slaves were expensive during the late 1600s, settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce “mulatto” slaves which were worth more when sold than the Irish slaves. By 1681 interbreeding, as described above, became so widespread and common that legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.”…

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