Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700 | Things Caribbean Added Daily

Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700

September 11, 2016 - Comment

English colonial expansion in the Caribbean was more than a matter of migration and trade. It was also a source of social and cultural change within England. Finding evidence of cultural exchange between England and the Caribbean as early as the seventeenth century, Susan Dwyer Amussen uncovers the learned practice of slaveholding. As English colonists

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English colonial expansion in the Caribbean was more than a matter of migration and trade. It was also a source of social and cultural change within England. Finding evidence of cultural exchange between England and the Caribbean as early as the seventeenth century, Susan Dwyer Amussen uncovers the learned practice of slaveholding.

As English colonists in the Caribbean quickly became large-scale slaveholders, they established new organizations of labor, new uses of authority, new laws, and new modes of violence, punishment, and repression in order to manage slaves. Concentrating on Barbados and Jamaica, England’s two most important colonies, Amussen looks at cultural exports that affected the development of race, gender, labor, and class as categories of legal and social identity in England. Concepts of law and punishment in the Caribbean provided a model for expanded definitions of crime in England; the organization of sugar factories served as a model for early industrialization; and the construction of the “white woman” in the Caribbean contributed to changing notions of “ladyhood” in England. As Amussen demonstrates, the cultural changes necessary for settling the Caribbean became an important, though uncounted, colonial export.

Comments

hmf22 says:

thought-provoking study of how Caribbean colonization affected English society This is a short book with an ambitious goal: to show how establishing a slavery-based colonial society in the Caribbean transformed English society. As Amussen explains in the introduction, she was inspired to write the book by someone’s question about how Caribbean planters’ rape of slave women affected attitudes towards sexual violence back in England. Ultimately, she concluded that “Each of the major transformations in the seventeenth-century Caribbean–in the organization of work, law,…

robert k. lidyard jr. says:

Four Stars as described

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