Free Essay On Plantation Society

Plantation Society and Creole Society Essay example

793 WordsNov 4th, 20124 Pages

Plantation Society and Creole Society
There is a vast range of cultural diversity in the Caribbean today. In this paper, I would be discussing the similarities and differences found between the plantation society model and the Creole society model. The plantation model was developed in the late 1960’s. According to the book Mustapha (2009), the plantation system played a dominant role in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the Caribbean. George Beckford (1972) saw the plantation system as a total economic institution, where ‘the internal and external dimensions of the plantation system dominate the countries’ economic, social and political structure and their relation with the rest of the world’ (p.102). Within the…show more content…

the Europeans on the other hand interculterated, which is defined as the exchange of cultural traits between groups in society (Mustapha 2009, p.93) According to an article entitled ‘Caribbean Political Culture’, I understand that in both society models, different groups or cultures are placed in a superior/ inferior relationship to each other. In the Creole and plantation model, blacks were on the lowest ground on the social ladder. In my view I would say that they did not play in any part in decision making. Unlike the Creole society, the plantation society is considered structured and organization. Both societies played a dominant role in the social, political and cultural life of the Caribbean. In the plantation model, in regards to the social life, slaves had to communicate with the owners. After reading Mustapha (2009) (p.104), it appears that the plantation model was a unit of authority controlling every aspect of people’s lives which had no local technological advancement. These people were not able to make a decision on their own, which I find as taking away their rights which is injustice. This model focused too much on the institution, rather on the needs of the people. Everyone has feelings, but in this case, it was all inhumane

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The best overview of the history of plantation agriculture in the Atlantic world is Curtin 1990. Blackburn 1997 and Eltis 2000 also provide accessible and synthetic accounts of the rise of the plantation complex, through the prism of the development of the Atlantic slave system. Schwartz 2004 provides detailed and specialized accounts of the rise of the most important plantation production in the region, sugar, including the development by Europeans of plantations in Atlantic islands such as Madeira and the Canaries. Bieber 2007 brings together a number of important essays on the development of the plantation, with particular emphasis on the social consequences. Burnard 2015 offers a detailed analysis of the plantation in early British America, with a particularly good account of the system at its height in the most significant plantation colony in 18th-century British America—Jamaica. Berlin and Morgan 1991 addresses an important element of plantation history: the independent economic production engaged in by enslaved people, providing an excellent introduction to studies of how enslaved people managed their lives in relation to the plantation complex. Although plantations existed throughout the Americas, and in West Africa, the Caribbean region was shaped more profoundly than others by the rise and fall of the plantation complex. Beckles and Shepherd 2000 contains several important works on the history of the plantation in the Caribbean. Finally, the history of the plantation is intimately connected to the history of food, particularly sugar, coffee, rice, and chocolate. Best and Levitt 2009, a volume of essays by two leading Caribbean economic theorists, provides an economic perspective that considers the long-term effects of the Atlantic plantation economy, with particular reference to theories about how the plantation served to make tropical economies dependent on those of Europe and North America.

  • Beckles, Hilary McD., and Verene A. Shepherd, eds. Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic World. Oxford: James Currey, 2000.

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    Expanded from a book that was first published in 1991, this is a huge collection of essays and articles. There are examples of work by some of the leading historians of the Caribbean and coverage of the whole region, including the English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Danish West Indies.

  • Berlin, Ira, and Philip D. Morgan, eds. The Slaves’ Economy: Independent Production by Slaves in the Americas. London: Frank Cass, 1991.

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    This volume addresses the ways in which enslaved people produced and marketed various commodities, particularly food, usually on land provided to them by plantation owners. This element of plantation economies was often important for the sustenance of workers, as well as being central to African American societies and cultures.

  • Best, Lloyd, and Kari Polanyi Levitt. Essays on the Theory of Plantation Economy: A Historical and Institutional Approach to Caribbean Economic Development. Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2009.

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    A collection of essays, some dating from the 1970s, by Best and Levitt, two leading Caribbean economic theorists, considering the long history of the plantation complex in the Caribbean and its early-21st-century economic legacies.

  • Bieber, Judy. Plantation Societies in the Era of European Expansion. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

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    Part of a series about European impacts on world history. Contains reprints of important essays by leading scholars and covers a wide range of early modern plantation systems. It is an excellent introduction to the variety of work on different types of plantations in the period before 1800, emphasizing the significance of unfree labor and violent coercion to the development of plantation regimes.

  • Blackburn, Robin. The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492–1800. London: Verso, 1997.

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    A wide-ranging survey of research on the emergence of slavery, which also provides an account of the rise of the plantation. Emphasizes private enterprise and entrepreneurship in the emergence of the slave-plantation system and provides a very useful account of the rise of the plantation across the Americas, including in locations for which there are few comparable synoptic studies, such as the French Caribbean.

  • Burnard, Trevor. Planters, Merchants, and Slaves: Plantation Societies in British America, 1650–1820. American Beginnings, 1500–1900 23. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

    DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226286242.001.0001E-mail Citation »

    Offers a broad analysis of the rise of the plantation complex in British America, emphasizing the importance of sugar colonies in the Caribbean—especially Jamaica. Traces the rise of the planter class and construction of the plantation economy at the heart of the 18th-century empire and discusses the impact of the American Revolution on the plantation zones of the British Atlantic.

  • Curtin, Philip D. The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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    A readable collection of essays by one of the best-known historians of the Atlantic slave-plantation complex. Covers the Old World origins of New World commercial agriculture and provides the best available overall introduction to the theme of the plantation in Atlantic history.

  • Eltis, David. The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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    Helps illustrate that early modern Atlantic plantations relied heavily on the slave trade. Covers only the period before the beginning of the 18th century and takes issue with the Marxian analysis of such scholars as Walter Rodney and Eric Williams (examples of whose work are reproduced in Beckles and Shepherd 2000).

  • Schwartz, Stuart B., ed. Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450–1680. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

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    A collection of specialized scholarly essays that provide a very useful account of the rise of sugar production in the Atlantic up to the emergence of large-scale plantation agriculture in the 17th century. Useful accounts of the ways in which sugar production moved from Europe to the Americas and the development of production in early modern Portuguese and Spanish colonies.

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