MODULE 1 Defining the Caribbean WHAT IS A REGION? A large, continuous segment of a surface of the earth An area of significant uniformity of content An area or division of a country or the
world having definable characteristics but not always fixed boundaries A specified administrative district or territory CHARACTERISTICS OF REGIONS
Location: often expressed in a regional name- Caribbean, Middle-East, Balkans etc. Spatial extent recognized by territories around Boundaries (though broad zones of transition exist as the dominance of the defining regional features diminishes outward from the core to the periphery) May be formal(climate zones) or functional(a metropolitan area) Are hierarchically arranged WHAT EXACTLY COMPRISES THE
CARIBBEAN REGION? (GEOGRAPHY) Geography is the most popular defining characteristic: - 60to 90W long and 5to 25N lat. - islands bordering the Caribbean Sea - similar climate, flora and fauna GEOGRAPHY CONTD Greater Antilles: Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and
Dominican Republic), Jamaica, Puerto Rico Lesser Antilles: Windward islands: Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique Leeward islands: Antigua and Barbuda, St. KittsNevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Virgin islands Netherland Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (ABC"islands); Saint Marten, Saba, St. Eustatius Mainland Territories: Guyana, Belize, Suriname, Cayenne (French Guyana) Others: Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Cayman Islands, Bahama Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands DISADVANTAGES OF THIS
DEFINITION Bermuda , the Bahamas and Barbados lie outside of latitudinal boundaries and the Caribbean sea respectively. Guyana does not experience a tropical marine climate but more of a continental climate with two wet seasons Belize, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana are not islands but continental countries
Moreover countries which fit the geographical description of Caribbean are not traditionally referred to as such: Mexico, Venezuela and even Cuba at times. DEFINING THE CARIBBEAN REGION GEOLOGY This definition has become more relevant in recent years due to an increase in seismic activity.
Most countries in the Caribbean are located on the Caribbean Plate. In addition, several islands are volcanic in nature and have to treat with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other phenomena caused by seismic activity. THE CARIBBEAN PLATE DISADVANTAGES OF THIS DEFINITION
Not all countries are located on this plate, for example, Bahamas, Guyana and part of Cuba Not all countries located on this plate are identified as Caribbean, for example, Panama, Nicaragua and Colombia The western edge of the plate terminates in the Pacific Ocean Limestone islands such as Barbados, The Bahamas and Cayman islands have a completely different geology from volcanic islands. DEFINING THE CARIBBEAN
REGION - HISTORY Occupation by indigenous people of a common/similar ethnic group European exploration, settlement and resulting genocide against the indigenes African slavery and Indian indentureship Colonialism
Development of the plantation economy and society History of varied legacies of Britain, France, Holland, Spain and Denmark resulting from territories changing hands. MAP OF THE HISTORICAL CARIBBEAN RED - ENGLISH , YELLOW - SPANISH ,
BLUE - FRENCH , GREEN - DUTCH DISADVANTAGES OF THIS DEFINITION Latin America, India and parts of Africa can also claim a similar history but the varied settlers in this small region can be the deciding factor that created our unique cultural milieu.
DEFINING THE CARIBBEAN REGION - LANGUAGE The region can be actually divided into The French / Francophone Caribbean The English-speaking/Anglophone Caribbean
The Spanish/ Hispanophone Caribbean The Dutch/ Netherlands Caribbean LANGUAGE CONTD Each language region has connections with others of the same language: British West Indies primarily make up CARICOM Cuba is incorporated in MERCOSUR Territories also maintain their ties with their metropole countries Martinicans may complete their education in France DEFINING THE CARIBBEAN REGION - CULTURE
The socio-cultural environment is plural. There is no one Caribbean culture due to historical, linguistic, geographic and ethnic differences that define the regions inhabitants. Many territories have developed their own patois from standard languages One common phenomenon is the persistence of a stratified society where race, colour, wealth and education determine ones relative importance in
society. DEFINING THE CARIBBEAN REGION - POLITICS The Caribbean is the site of the largest number of non-independent /colonized states in the world. There are at least three kinds of government systems: 1. 2. 3. Independent states Associated states Colonial dependencies This contributes profoundly to the diversity of
economic and political structures as well as the social and cultural development status of the different states MAP OF THE POLITICAL CARIBBEAN BROWN INDEPENDENT RED - ASSOCIATE BLUE - COLONIAL POLITICS CONTD Independent states include Antigua Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago
Associated states include St Martin, Curaao and Puerto Rico Colonial dependencies include French Guiana(Cayenne), Guadeloupe and Martinique CIRUCUM - CARIBBEAN Circum (meaning round) Caribbean is an all encompassing term which is used by
some to define the sub region of the Western Hemisphere encompassed by Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia and the United States and the Caribbean Sea THE WIDER CARIBBEAN In recent years there have been movements to demarcate a wider Caribbean region and this is reflected in the establishment of institutions such as the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) which boasts of members such as France, Mexico and Nicaragua. CARICOM have recently included Dutchspeaking Suriname and French/Creole speaking Haiti These have largely been economic
responses to globalization. DIASPORIC CARIBBEAN Literally the scattering of a population, was originally applied to the Jews following the Roman conquest of Palestine and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The term is now applied widely to other ethnic groups that have been scattered such
as the African diaspora. The Caribbean diaspora would include nationals and their offspring who have settled in the US and UK especially but have retained a strong connection to the region. Reading Caribbean Diaspora pdf pgs 7 - 13 DIASPORA The crux of this definition lies in the self identification of individuals as Caribbean nationals or West Indian, even if they are
second or third generation descendants who themselves have never lived in the region. This connectedness is manifested in their cultural identification, remittances contributions to families back home, and even their political opinions. Some famous people of the Caribbean diaspora include, Colin Powell, Eric Holder and Sidney Poitier. CARIBBEAN IDENTITY
Many still hold on to a national rather that regional identity. Others still classify themselves according to a social/ethnic group: Rastafarians of Jamaica, Whites of Cuba, the Amerindians of Dominica or the Indians of Trinidad. Through the processes of assimilation, syncretism and hybridization a new balance is struck between the old and the new even though some argue that the WHAT IS A SOCIETY? 1. 2.
3. 4. A collection of people living in the same geographic area over a period of time, for example the Cuban community in Miami Used to describe the lifestyles of the elite or high society, for example Country Club A term used to indicate groups of people who share a common interest such as The National Geographic Society A conceptual framework in which roles are assigned to members. This acts as a guide to behaviour. Civil society will not tolerate child labour
SOCIETY CONTD Social institutions are the framework of a society and serve as the most overarching ways in which important aspects of life are organized. These are not tangible, for example, family, education, and religion Social organizations refer to the tangible manifestations of the ideas and beliefs of our social institutions. For the institution of education, organizations will include primary and secondary schools, PTAs and trade unions.
SOCIETY CONTD Definitions often stress collectivity and interaction amongst members: a social system. Society functions because of the roles assigned to institutions, organizations and persons and the adherence to these roles. A role is a set of ideas/expectations associated with a certain status or
position FUNCTIONALIST'S VIEW OF SOCIETY Society is seen as a balance of the interaction between all social institutions to satisfy the collective will of the people. Undesirable behaviour is curbed by values, laws, norms and sanctions.
SOCIETY CONTD Primary socialization begins in the home. This involves learning gender roles, respect for elders and the value of sharing. Secondary socialization begins on entering school and continues throughout life. Attitudes and values are transmitted through the curriculum as well as also through informal/unplanned experiences (the hidden curriculum) MARXISTS VIEW OF
SOCIETY The society is dominated by one social institution- the economy Capitalist societies enable the wealthy while oppressing the poor Through the process of socialization, all the other institutions support this permanent structure which perpetuates these inequalities Examples can be seen in the perceived
difference in the delivery of justice for the rich versus the poor and even inequalities in opportunities for training and educational development for young people. DEFINING CULTURE That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art law, morals and custom(Tylor1871)
The way of life of a societys members (Linton 1945) The accumulated store of symbols, ideas and material products(Johnson 1995) All forms of organization, ways of interacting, artifacts producedvalues and norms( Browne et al CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE
Culture is learnt - through socialization Culture is shared members agree to terms Culture is transmitted to each new generation Culture is adaptive as society changes Culture is dynamic varies over time and space Culture is symbolic e.g. A national flag CULTURAL TERMINOLOGY
Material culture: artifacts, culinary skills, architecture, family rearing practices Non-Material culture: values, beliefs, ideas, norms Values: set of rankings conferred onto a myriad of social behaviour Norms: standards of behaviour that are culturally accepted UNITED NATIONS ON CULTURE
Culture is not static but is in a constant flux, driven by internal and external forces. These forces may be voluntary and accommodating or involuntary and the result of violent conflict or domination. - United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) CULTURAL ERASURE AND CULTURAL RETENTION
Cultural erasure refers to values, artifacts and practices that were once important to society but have died or are dying out (for example storytelling has been replaced by books, television, cinema and internet). Cultural retention deliberate practice of keeping traditions alive by a specific ethnic group when there is a concern for its survival( for example, Divali Nagar celebrations in Trinidad) CULTURAL RENEWAL
Cultural renewal refers to efforts salvage parts our past by fashioning new practices based on the old. They often stem from a feeling that there is much of value in what we have allowed to be lost (for example, in recent years the Orisha faith has been embraced by several followers and they enjoyed more mainstream acceptance than in the past) OTHER KEY CULTURAL CONCEPTS
Subculture : subset of a larger cultural group Counterculture: outright rejection of societal norms Enculturation: process through which we learn culture Interculturation: mutual exchange of cultural traits as a result of long term close contact Transculturation: Culture changes drastically into something new CONCEPTS
Assimilation: process of absorption by which an ethnic minority loses characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant group Acculturation: modification of culture as a result of contact with another group, usually initiated by a dominant group Multiculturalism: a body of thought in political philosophy about the proper way to respond to cultural and religious diversity Pluralism: many cultures coexisting within a
society while maintaining cultural differences CREOLISATION According to Edward Kamau Braithwaite (1971), this process described the juxtaposition of master and slave relations in a society where a dialectic relationship was forged between metropole norms, values and expectations and that of the enslaved/the colonised people within the complex plantation society of the New world. What resulted was an autochthonous culture that was neither European or African but one that
possessed elements of both along a CULTURAL DIVERSITY Overall, our cultural milieu in the Caribbean region has had both positive and negative effects: Unity similar history, politics Solidarity common socioeconomic struggles Identity cultural commonalities
Division social and political tensions in territories such as Guyana and Trinidad Ethnocentrism extreme response to assimilation and hybridization Xenophobia in the face of globalization and regionalism HISTORY AND CULTURE Each migrant group brought with them their culture, values and practices resulting in the diversity of culture in the
region Amerindians smoking of tobacco, the use of cassava and maize in meals, pepper pot, words : hammock, place names: Kaieteur Falls in Guyana. European Christianity, western style of dress, diet, governance institutions, sport, high culture, language and education systems. HISTORY AND CULTURE African Voodun, Islam, kente cloth, yam and coucou, expressions:
cunumunu, folklore (Anansi), influences that are seen in music and dancing genres in the West, family forms(matriarchal), bush medicine East Indian a variety of delicacies including doubles, phulourie, cooking with curries, Hinduism, Islam, musical traditions: tassa, chutney; arhitecture (temples, mosques), language: chunkay, aloo etc. Chinese foods are among the most notable contributions including vegetables like pak choy. Syrians and Lebanese a tradition of successful businesses as well as culinary
treats are among the contributions of this group In addition, each group has added to the ethnic diversity as intermingling results in individuals of every shade and hair texture, making the Caribbean one of the melting pots of the world. IMPACT OF HISTORICAL PROCESSES MIGRATION Waves of migration have affected fundamentally the shape and internal
dynamics of the Caribbean. Any discussion on the evolution of Caribbean societies must be seen against the background of migration. THE AMERINDIANS (PRECOLUMBIAN ERA) Over 10 000 years ago Asians travelled across the Bering Straits between Siberia and Alaska to settle in North, Central and South America. The Tainos moved up from Venezuela to Trinidad while the
Lucayos entered the region via Florida and Mexico. Later the Kalinagos chased and wiped out the Tainos, moving up the island chain from South America, interbreeding with the captured women. INDIGENOUS PEOPLE In the Central American region, the
Maya occupied the highlands and lowlands The Greater Antilles was occupied by the Tainos who preferred to settle near the coasts The Lesser Antilles was controlled by the Kalinagos Puerto Rico and Trinidad was shared by the Tainos and Kalinagos THE EUROPEANS
Another wave of migration came from Europe with the advent of Columbuss discovery of the New World The conquistadors, after participating in the genocide of the Aboriginals, they replaced that labour with white indentured workers After about 100 years of Spanish domination, of the Americas, the British, French and Dutch began to encroach on the empire by pillaging small neglected islands and settling there. Note: the famous pirates, buccaneers, privateers, proprietors came from this wave. EUROPEANS
After almost a century of domination of the New World, Spain began to be openly challenged by other European powers through litigations but more so, military force Some notable privateers included Englishmen John Hawkins and Francis Drake After the Treaty of London and the Truce of Antwerp Spain conceded that it could not maintain a monopoly in the Americas, thus the 17th century saw a dramatic change in the region with rapidly increasing colonization and mercantile efforts led by the English, Dutch
and to a lesser extent the French EUROPEANS The new arrivals saw this as an opportunity for social and economic mobility One of the best examples was the infamous buccaneer, Henry Morgan who was later appointed governor of Jamaica. THE AFRICANS
They were brought in to replace the depleted workforce in the sugar estates The capture and forced migration and subjugation of Africans in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries remains unprecedented in world history. The sheer numbers involved; its economic basis as a capitalist enterprise; the unspeakable brutality as well as the racial stereotyping that accompanied the Atlantic slave trade brought a totally new understanding of the term slavery even
though it existed in Africa and Europe before AFRICANS Portuguese first traded with the Spanish since they controlled large areas of the African coast after the Treaty of Tordesillas European governments established companies based on the trade of humans.
First the Europeans conducted their own raids but eventually they developed partnerships with African suppliers who wanted arms to fight tribal wars AFRICANS The Middle Passage referred to the dreadful 23 month journey across the Atlantic to the Americas where many people died from diseases and suffocation or suicide. When the Africans were sold, the ships carries a cargo of rum, sugar and molasses back to
Europe completing the infamous triangular trade. The slave trade is the single most important process impacting the Caribbean since it influenced the demographics and culture of the region and society developed around a hierarchical structure. INDENTURED INDIANS, CHINESE, PORTUGUESE, MIDDLE-EASTERNERS Trinidad and Guyana had only recently become slave societies when the slave trade was abolished and there was a
greater lack of labour to run the plantations hence by the time indentureship ended in 1917, approximately 239 000 Indians had gone to British Guiana, 144 000 to Trinidad and 36 000 to Jamaica. Indentured migrants added to the diversity and complexity of Caribbean society and culture. PICTURES OF MIGRANT GROUPS East Indian
indentures Chinese indentures THE INDENTURES The French brought Indians from
Pondicherry and today Kali practices persist in Guadeloupe The Dutch brought labourers from Java who today comprise 15% of Surinames population and are predominantly Muslim In Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana the majority of the Indian population are Hindu and their practices such as Divali (in T&T) is known to be second in scope and magnitude only to India. THE INDENTURES Chinese and Portuguese indentures
readily assimilated into the population, intermarrying with African women and becoming Christian. Syrians and Lebanese started enterprises such as textile trading and have become an elite group in Trinidad society with the successful expansion of their businesses and acquired wealth. MIGRATION IN THE 20TH CENTURY There seems to be a culture of migration in the Caribbean. People are always on the move. From
Central America to Europe to the United States and even intra-migration in the Caribbean, the West Indian Diaspora is arguably the one of the most dispersed groups in the world. This perpetuation of the migration culture seems to stem from the feeling that foreign is always better and this has affected the integration process as well as opportunities for cultural retention. MIGRATION This phenomenon has also impacted the society and culture of the metropole cities (e.g. New York and London)to which many West Indians have flocked,
creating West Indian/ Caribbean enclaves - a home away from home. MIGRATION There are also Diasporic communities within the region. Many Jamaicans for example have migrated to central America to countries such as Panama(Canal), Honduras and Costa Rica (banana plantations). Haitians have formed a significant community in Santo Domingo(sugar plantaions), Barbados has a growing Guyanese community and many small islanders such as Vincentians and Grenadians among others have assimilated into the melting pot of their prosperous neighbour, Trinidad and Tobago.
The oil refineries of Aruba and Curaao have also attracted Caribbean nationals. DEVELOPMENT OF SYSTEMS OF PRODUCTION Spains colonization of the Americas was attributed to the lure of precious metals which was the standard of wealth at the time. Spains aim to become the most powerful country in Europe was the driving force behind their forced systems of production. The enduring legacy of cheap or forced labour became the platform upon which our development model will be built. Lloyd Best has since coined this model the plantation economy.
SLASH AND BURN Probably the earliest form of agriculture in the Caribbean was the slash and burn method adopted by the indigenous people to clear land for cultivation. It was sustainable at the time they practiced it since there was little population pressures on the land. The crude method of production was perpetuated by the freed Africans of Haiti after the Revolution and today is responsible for over 90% of their forests
being decimated. ENCOMIENDA The Spaniards exacted tributes in the form of gold, produce or personal service. In return the Spanish overlord was expected to Christianize them and teach them Spanish culture. In reality they were treated as slaves and many died form overwork, hunger, harsh punishment, suicide and European diseases. REPARTIMIENTO
Involved the rounding up of a percentage of the male population between the ages of 18-60 to be recruited to work for a Spaniard for a week of fortnight for wages. However this often did not happen as again the people were treated as slaves. WHITE INDENTURESHIP With the decimation of the aboriginal people and the lobbying of Las Casas, indentureship introduced an alternative system of labour. Labourers were contracted to work 5 -7 years usually
without pay. The settlers were responsible for the labourers well being. At the end of the contract he would receive a sum of money, a parcel of land or passage back home. Many poor whites and even prisoners were tricked into coming to the New World. Abuses were rife and soon it became very unpopular since conditions were harsh and the labourer often came out on the losing end. THE SUGAR REVOLUTION
The Sugar Revolution was so described because the change to sugar affected every element of these colonies: the economy, society, demography, law, politics and the landscape and environment. SLAVERY For more than three centuries slavery was to remain the principal system of unfree labour in many areas of the Americas. Approximately 9 million
Africans were brought to the Americas. The Middle Passage was wrought with horrors. For those who survived the journey, life on the plantation was a living hell. The institution was maintained through the use of fear and violence. RESISTANCE These took three main forms: 1. Passive resistance sabotage, malingering, pretending to be stupid or ill, suicide, infanticide, abortion 2. Marronage runaway slaves organized themselves into communities and often used guerilla tactics to defend their liberty. 3. Armed revolt was the highest form of slave
resistance. In spite of heroes such as Cuffy, (Guyana) and Morales(Cuba) the militia and other mechanisms were used to put down these rebellions and thus with the exception of the Haitian Revolution(1792-1804) they were largely unsuccessful. SLAVERY AS A TOTAL INSTITUTION All aspects of life were governed by slavery
Choosing Africans from different tribes, giving them European names, banning the practice of their religion language and customs and torturing to death for failure to comply with these rules helped to keep slavery alive. Society was structured so that lighterskinned individuals were played against darker ones by giving them privileges internalizing a resentment for being INDENTURESHIP
After emancipation the planters sought a reliable source of cheap labour as many of the ex-slaves refused to go back to the plantations. Though not fully slavery, Chinese and Indian indentures were treated poorly. They were poorly paid, their living conditions were crowded and unsanitary and they were flogged or charged for vagrancy if they were caught some distance form the plantation. Many died from poor nutrition and diseases and the suicide rate was high INDENTURESHIP CONTD
However, they were allowed to speak their language, keep their names, and practiced their religion and customs. They were also given land on completion of their contracts. The intent of bringing these indentures still was not achieved save for maintaining the status quo- as sugar continued to decline in the British Caribbean. Eventually the Indian and Chinese governments ceased the export of labour due to the treatment of their nationals by the British. THE PLANTATION AND CARIBBEAN
SOCIETY AND CULTURE The results of the advent of this capitalist system include: Prevalence of monocrop agriculture Marginalization of the peasantry due to hostility from the plantocracy Dependence on foreign capital and enterprise as main investors Dependence on foreign markets for our crops Forced labour systems from early settlement to the 20th century A taste for foreign goods Social stratification based on gradations of colour and race Lack of democratic tradition because of the long existence of slavery RESISTANCE/RESILIENCE
OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES Tainos running away, suicide, infanticide and sometimes armed resistance Kalinagos armed resistance In Belize the black Caribs fought relentlessly against the British and in Dominica the Caribs still occupy the north in the territory won by a treaty with the British
To this day they strive to connect with other first peoples of the world as they continue to re-create aspect of their RESISTANCE/RESILIENCE OF INDENTURES
Suicide Running away Refusal to work Entrepreneurship; co-operatives Cultural retention inter-marrying, joint household structures, religion and language Continued contact with India Forming of political associations to represent their interests Propagation of culture through sponsorship of shows, e.g., Mastana Bahar RESISTANCE/RESILIENCE
Passive and active resistance Cultural retention , e.g. drumming Marronage/maroonage Rewriting of history through the eyes of the former enslaved, e.g. Eric Williams' historical account of the economic-political reasons for the abolition of slavery Formation of co-operatives; free villages Ride of intellectual thought e.g. the negritude movement and reparations movement Legacy through music, religion, language,
food, medicine, art etc. PEASANTRY After emancipation, finding work was difficult especially outside of the plantation. Complete independence was often blocked by the high price of all unoccupied land which the state claimed was Crown Land. The Sugar Duties Equalization Act of 1846 put the price of land beyond the potential owner stating that the minimum size of land to be sold should be moved from 16 to 130 hectares.
PEASANTRY CONTD Missionaries assisted the former enslaved to set up villages, practices mixed cropping and pool resources into co-operatives to own land Peasants contributed much to the economy in the British Caribbean since they were pioneers of non-sugar agriculture INDENTURED LABOURERS
They added to the economy by planting rice, cocoa and ground provisions Many rural village served as support systems for many successful Indians The Indians experience of the free market and independent living helped them to survive better than the Africans immediately following emancipation as the latters existence before was in every aspect(food, clothing , shelter, health care) determined by their European masters
OTHER IMPORTANT CONCEPTS IN UNDERSTANDING CARIBBEAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE Social stratification a characteristic feature of Caribbean society is social stratification. Social status historically was/is based on race and skin colour. This was entrenched during the slavery period and persisted throughout the colonial period. This was a closed system in that even with the acquisition of wealth and/or education ones birth was the determining factor of ones position in society . These societies were often total institutions such as those seen in prisons, or military camps where all aspects of their daily lives and relationships are stipulated by
rules and established protocol. CONCEPTS Hybridization - Between 1838 and 1917 more than half million Asian indentures entered the region. In these colonies, the emergence of colour, race and class became more pronounced. Despite tensions fueled by the ruling class, the mixing of people and cultures continued with the infusion of new music, dress, language and cuisine into the Caribbean melting pot Hybridization could also be seen in the mixing of Christian and African religions such as Rastafarianism and Shouter Baptist.
CONCEPTS Soca music is an infusion of traditional calypso with East Indian music. Hybridization has given rise to racial admixtures such as mulattoes, douglas and a bewildering number of skin tones and features unique to the caribbean. CONCEPTS CONTINUED Cultural pluralism describes the
relationships in societies where there are two or more racial or ethnic groups who interact in certain ways and keep apart in certain ways. In Trinidad and Guyana this can be seen amongst the different races with reference to religion marriage and politics whereas in homogenous Jamaica this is striking amongst the classes with their maroon and Rastafarian communities. CONCEPTS Social mobility describes the process where social groups or individuals rise up or down the social strata. Social
mobility has dominated the lives of Caribbean people since slavery and indentureship. Again education, wealth and colour are considered indicators of class such that good connections especially marriage are seen through these indicators. CONCEPTS Karl Marx saw two classes: the bourgeoisie or capitalists and the proletariats or labourers. Max Weber however saw a middle class made up of the new intelligentsia or the
intellectual elite who may be landless but do not qualify as proletariat. Modern society has tried to promote a system of meritocracy where one can advance socially based on what one has achieved. In many cases one becomes mobile through the efforts of the previous generation. This is called intergenerational mobility. CONCEPTS Intragenerational mobility occurs when one from the same generation is able to move up the social ladder.
MOVEMENTS TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE POLITICAL ENFRANCHISEMENT This is essentially speaks of the freedom of an individual or group to determine how they want to govern their own affairs within their country. We shall look briefly at how different dependencies of Spain, France, Holland and Britain attained political enfranchisement SPANISH COLONIES
At the turn of the 20th century Cuba and Puerto Rico were agitating for their independence. In Cuba this resulted in a full-blown Spanish Cuban War. After an the blowing up of the USS Maine in Havana which was docked to protect Americans on the island, The US got involved and it became the Spanish American War. The US easily defeated the Spanish and became a protectorate of Cuba until 1959 when Fidel Castro and a band of rebels overthrew the President and declared the country communist. SPANISH COLONIES
The Puerto Ricans who had already achieved a measure of internal selfgovernment were handed over fully to the USA after the Spanish American War through the Treaty of Paris (1898). Though several representations over the years they have attained American citizenship status and self-government. However they are not allowed to vote in presidential elections and the Federal Government is in charge of their foreign affairs. FRENCH COLONIES The French took an imperialist approach
at the beginning of the 20th century. They proposed that their remaining territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana accede all cultural identity and become French citizens with the accompanying perks of access to the motherland and its protection. The colonies would still have internal self-government. The population of these territories agreed to this arrangement and thus they remain today. DUTCH ANTILLES
The Dutch had one mainland colony (now Suriname) and six island colonies: Aruba Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, St Eustatius and St. Maarten. After WWII, one of the recommendations of the newly formed United Nations was decolonisation. Internal self-government was instituted but most of the several constitutional arrangements with these territories involved the Dutch maintaining their external control BRITISH COLONIES
Political independence in the British colonies was a gradual process which began with the introduction of Crown Colony government in 1866 by England. This operated within the territory itself so that needs could be assessed on the ground. However the members of this government often represented the interests of the white minority though some improvements were made to infrastructure, schools and policing. BRITISH COLONIES
However the majority of the population were still not allowed to vote since qualifications to do so included ownership of property above a certain acreage and high incomes. Nationalists advocated for constitutional change for the process of political reform to be more democratic, especially in places like Trinidad and Jamaica In the 1930s this political enfranchisement movement manifested itself in the formation of political parties and trade unions amidst protests and unrests.
BRITISH COLONIES By 1944 Britain began to grant universal adult suffrage to her colonies, starting with Jamaica. This meant that every man and woman over the age of 21 had the right to vote. The local assemblies were reinstated after it was removed some years before so that there was greater local representation in government. Full ministerial and internal selfgovernment was instituted in the 1950s. The Premier was the one who commanded the majority of the seats in the assembly while the Crown appointed Governor was in charge of foreign affairs and defence.
BRITISH COLONIES By the 1960s, a number of British colonies became nations. This mean that all affairs, both internal and external came under the complete control of the party that wins the election. For Jamaica and T&T full independence came in 1962 and for Guyana and Barbados it was 1966. Some of the smaller territories such as Grenada, St. Vincent and Montserrat felt that they were not ready for independence so some of them accepted associated statehood at first.
Montserrat never became independent and remained a British colony to this day. ECONOMIC ENFRANCHISEMENT Economic enfranchisement is the condition whereby a country or nation achieves the right to determine how it will develop its system of production (Mohammed, 2007). The downturn in sugar prices caused the decline in the plantation economies; as a result the peasant farmers developed alternative crops (cocoa, banana, coffee, ginger arrowroot) for export and national consumption. The peasant system developed an economic basis for independence from the plantation and the colonial rule by: attempting to developed a diversified local economy freed slaves became self-sufficient
freed slaves became independent of the plantation and low wages offered by the plantation owners developed an export market