Northern Caribbean UniversityCollege of Business and ManagementDepartment of Business and Hospitality Management

Northern Caribbean UniversityCollege of Business and ManagementDepartment of Business and Hospitality Management An Essay on the Indentured Slaves in the Caribbean Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the CourseHIST103: Caribbean PerspectiveSection: KBy:Name: Wayne GordonID: 20142010Lecturer: Mr FosterIt is a fact that with the passing of the Abolition Act in 1833, productivity was sure to decline due to the fact that system and conditions which slaves were working under was detrimental. Planters anticipated the abolition of the slavery system, therefore; a labour shortage would arise and the implementation of indentureship could be the resolution. As we go along, we will be examining the role of indentureship as well as the impact it had on the Caribbean. Also, in what ways does indentureship differentiates from the slavery system. First, let’s discuss indentureship which is said to be a system that was formed to replace the African slaves’ workforce. This system was similar to slavery in that it controls every aspect of your life, from spiritual to social and the servant is shipped to other colonies to provide service to their buyers bounded by a signed or forced contract for a period of years for their unfree labour. These indentured labourers were Chinese, Africans, Whites, Portuguese, Syrians, Lebanese and East Indians. The main purpose for the indentureship system was to keep the plantations operating while providing lump sum of profits for plantation owners. Therefore; the sole purpose of the indentured servants is provide agricultural labor in whatever crop their master was planting. When the Chinese arrived to the Caribbean under this system, sugar production was declining as well as the previous workforce so they were ordered to plant tea as an alternative. It was documented that approximately 18000 Chinese were migrated into the Caribbean through Cuba, Guyana (formerly known as British Guiana), Jamaica, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful in that Chinese were susceptible to illness which caused many of them to die and because it was so expensive to transport these workers, immigrants would leave plantations as soon as contract ended. Planters started to transport Africans as indentured servants which also resulted in failure as immigrants would not have wanted anything to do with the plantations, since they got the freedom that they long awaited from slavery. However, from the time period of 1835 to 1917, approximately 39,000 Africans were transported from West Africa and this would mean that the Caribbean is predominantly colonize by blacks and Africans would merge together.Consequently the whites started to fear that there were much more blacks than whites; for that reason, from Europe and North America around 5,000 and 2000 whites went to the Caribbean respectively. Also, approximately 41,000 Portuguese from Madeira were brought for this reason. But like the Chinese, the whites ventured into business opportunities as soon as their contract ends and this led the Blacks to believe they received better pays because of their race. As for the Syrians and Lebanese, less were documented as they most likely migrated in insignificant amounts. All of races listed above had to be coaxed in some form to migrate to the Caribbean as indentured labourers. Except for the Indians which they said to have certain push factors in their economy that led to migration and seen that there were a large number of them migrated. According to sources, the Indians came from Calcutta, Madras and Bombay and a total of 430,000 migrated to the Caribbean. Being that there is a decline in agriculture, industries, wages, the caste system and taxation India migrants were driven to go overseas. The emigrants also originated from the most crowded communities where crop failure could impede the village in terms of starvation. Therefore emigration from India depended more on the threat of starvation than on the attraction of higher wages in the colonies. The needs of the sugar industry brought the Indians to Trinidad and other colonies. As a late-developed plantation colony, Trinidad lacked labour and population at the time of the Emancipation of African slaves. Numerous amounts of Indian migrated to Trinidad’s and immigrant population formed nearly one-half of the total, and its impact was important. Migrants population continued to rise, imports and exports increased as well as market prices which was due to increased labour supply by Indians. By 1860, recovery in sugar production could be attributed most directly to the input of Indian labourOn the other hand, let’s take a look at how indentureship actually impacted the Caribbean. Indentureship impacted the Caribbean in that there were multiple races that have immigrated to different islands where they colonized the areas. These people would have brought their various cultures, knowledge, religion practices and lifestyle with them. As many of the indentured servants abandoned agriculture jobs, they branched off as soon as their contract ends into different jobs around the islands. The Portuguese had become largely urban-based, as shopkeepers or shop assistants. Most Chinese were also small shopkeepers, many in rural areas, with a few engaged in market-gardening or provision growing. As for the educated West Indians, they occupies professional, clerical and skilled working groups such as the teachers, public officers, nurses and druggists. If you view the demographics of some Caribbean islands, you will notice that off springs from these indentured workers are still present. This is why even to date there are a lot of Chinese citizens that now have dual citizenship in Jamaica due to starting stable businesses in this economy and moving their families to Jamaica to share the dividends.The mixing of religion, races and cultural practice also took place and as such the island would become more culturally diverse, with Africans, whites, Portuguese, Chinese, Indians and other minorities. Every different race had its own lifestyle and language which merged to form our different dialects. As for religion, new religions were introduced such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. However Buddhism religion did not have a major impact on the British Caribbean which was associated with the Chinese, Therefore most Chinese converted to Roman Catholicism.Another impact the indentured Indian contributed to was the introduction to rice growing industry as well as the cocoa industry, especially in Trinidad and British Guiana. Indians were also said to be the cause to reviving the sugar industry as well for planters.All of these impacts can be seen presently and were more positive than negative. For example, we can see that today in the Jamaican economic and some others, the Chinese controls a growing number of successful shops and local stores within the rural and urban area all around the island. Immigration and Indentureship, on the whole, helped races live and work together in order to create a more civilized society where all races can be treated as one. Indentured labour contract ran from 3-5 years and can be extended after from 5-10 years if wish. Both Indentured slaves and enslaved Africans were transported from their home land into Caribbean colonies but these two lengthy journeys were different to some extent. Enslaved African did not signed a contract to work as labourers and they were gruesomely transported under terrible compacted condition with no care. As for Indentured labourers, had the benefit of having ample crew onboard, sufficient medical personnel, cooks, sweepers, warm clothing, as well as two squares meals along with one adult to an adult bunk. Therefore enslaved Africans journey and overall experience is critically different from indentured workers journey to the Caribbean. Both labourers journey were similar in that they were performing agricultural labor and were working in fields planting and harvesting crops.In conclusion, the main purpose to implement Indenture labourers into the Caribbean was to substitute for the enslaved Africans who were near approaching their Emancipation. The system was coined in hopes of replacing enslaved Africans workforce, others races were transported such as Chinese, Whites, Portuguese, Syrians, Lebanese and East Indians. The Indians contributed to the revival of the sugarcane industry and the introduction of the rice industry. As for the impact in which these indentured labourers had is that they brought various cultures, knowledge, religion practices and lifestyles with them to the Caribbean. Indenture workers usually leave as soon as possible and the different races branches off into various fields leaving a few in the agricultural workforce. Indentureship can be said to have a more positive rather than negative effect on the Caribbean. All the races transported to the Caribbean helped to build our Caribbean heritage by working together to create a more civilized society where all races can be treated as one. The Jamaican Motto ‘Out of Many One People’ is a perfect example of the diversity experience in the Caribbean and can be seen throughout all the Caribbean. Work Cited Singh, S.-A. (2013). “THE EXPERIENCE OF INDIAN INDENTURE IN TRINIDAD: ARRIVAL AND SETTLEMENT”” in Cruse & Rhiney (Eds.)

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