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Adjustments to Emancipation

  • J. R. Ward
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Economic and Social History book series (SESH)

Abstract

Slavery was ended throughout the Caribbean during the nineteenth century, at different times in the different territories.4 In Haiti and the Dominican Republic the change was achieved by local action; otherwise it was managed more or less by the colonial power, usually with some compensation to former slave owners by the use of monetary payments and periods of regulated labour, such as ‘apprenticeship’ in the British West Indies (1834–8), or the patronato in Cuba (1880–6) [58: 129–61; 69]. As the main function of slavery had been to support sugar planting, the most convenient measure of the results of emancipation is the subsequent history of sugar production, and from the information on this point summarised in Table III it will be seen that there were considerable local variations. In Haiti sugar planting was soon virtually eliminated; elsewhere there was a more gradual but persistent decline, or a recovery (sometimes only temporary) after early post-emancipation difficulties, while in a few cases output grew without serious interruption.

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Select Bibliography

(i) General

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(ii) British West Indies

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Copyright information

© The Economic History Society 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghUK

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