You are not logged in.


Welcome to the one and only Spiceislander Talkshop. Please register and make your first post in the New Members Forum. Just mention 'Grenada' in your first post and you will be upgraded to full access.

#1 May 16, 2022 2:37 pm


Post-Slavery Developments of Jamaica & Barbados

Please see the analysis at this link: … d-barbados

Here are some excerpts:

1. " . . . as historical sources will explain the success of Barbados is attributable to its institutional history and cultural profile. Historians like Trevor Burnard and Orlando Patterson contend that slavery in Barbados and Jamaica was excruciatingly brutal, but in a pathbreaking essay Patterson opines that because the landscape of Barbados limited the potential for the emergence of maroon communities slaves rationally calculated that revolutions were counter to their survival. The responses to slave insurrections were swift and brutal and in a small territory like Barbados there were few opportunities for alternative communities, so rather than being rebellious, slaves in Barbados found it more feasible to cooperate with the plantocracy.

Historian Barry Gaspar marvels at the fact that during the eighteenth-century Barbados failed to record insurrections to usurp the plantocracy. Rather than indicating the passivity of enslaved blacks, this suggests that the planter class could easily thwart conspiracies. Usually, slaves who were fearful of backlash would leak intelligence to planters, and the pace at which the state squashed uprisings often demotivated slaves from planning other revolts."

2. "In contrast to Barbados, Jamaica afforded more opportunities to erect maroon communities and unlike Barbados, Jamaica did not record a natural increase in the slave population so there was greater dependence on importing Africans who were disproportionately responsible for revolts. Therefore, due to the potent influence of African customs and wider options for rebellious slaves, black Jamaicans developed a creole Jamaican culture that often contradicted the cultural ideals of the planter class."


#2 May 16, 2022 8:00 pm

Wide Sargasso Sea

Re: Post-Slavery Developments of Jamaica & Barbados

I agree with this theory. But Barbados developed into a more literate slave colony than Jamaica. Jamaica had to replenish its slave population for they died under such harsh working conditions, etc. unlike Barbados where the slaves learned integrate more and cooperate with each other as they emerged as one nation.


#3 May 16, 2022 9:55 pm

New Historian

Re: Post-Slavery Developments of Jamaica & Barbados

This is a good one, and so complex. Anyone who says history is irrelevant is a fool, history makes us what we are. "so rather than being rebellious, slaves in Barbados found it more feasible to cooperate with the plantocracy." It also affected the mentality of the slaves, and by extension modern-day Bajans, who are known to be way more conservative than the rest of the Caribbean. While we were sing about Rasta revolution, Bimmers were singing to the Merrymen. A real little England fi true.

And don't get carried away with sentimental notions of the Jamaican Maroons, once they'd gotten their peace treaty with the whites, they actively hunted down and returned escaped slaves. But I can't judge them.

Another critical difference between Barbados and Jamaica in post-emancipation up to now: education. The sheer number of ex-slaves in Jamaica made it difficult for education to reach the entire population, which wasn't the case in Barbados. It shows today, with literacy and the general level of the workforce.

Finally, don't forget Bussa. His revolt was the only significant slave rebellion in Bim, and was quickly crushed with the customary brutality. What was interesting is what prompted Bussa and his fellow revolutionaries to act: events in the British parliament. "The revolts arose at a time when the British Parliament was working on schemes to ameliorate the conditions of slaves in the Caribbean. Preparation for this rebellion began soon after the House of Assembly discussed and rejected the Imperial Registry Bill in November 1815, which would have registered West Indian slaves. Historians believe that slaves interpreted some of the parliamentary proposals as preparatory to emancipation, and took action when emancipation did not take place."

In 1816, Bussa "led the slaves into battle at Bailey's Plantation on Tuesday, 16 April. He commanded some 400 rebels, men and women, most of whom were believed to be Creole, born in the islands. He was killed in battle, his forces continued the fight until they were defeated by superior firepower of the colonial militia. The rebellion failed but its influence was significant to the future of Barbados."

Every bajan schoolchild, including mine, learned about Bussa, his statue on the ABC Highway is certainly impactful:



#4 May 17, 2022 11:32 am


Re: Post-Slavery Developments of Jamaica & Barbados

a read gripe .
NOT too comfortable with Lipton Matthews assessment     ---- - seems half done.

Historian ,  knows  some history.  lol. .. widening the narrative.

What  came to attention  was the  'importation of the   'Igbos '
Know anything of the Igbos . NH travelor to Africa ?


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB