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Week 1: THE ARAWAKS (Theme One)
Bahamian History Bk.I by
Bain, G. Macmillan,1983
2.Caribbean story Bk. I and II
By Claypole, W Longman (new edition) 1987
3. Development to Decolonization by Greenwood R, Macmillan, 1987
4.Caribbean people Bk.I by Lennox Honeychurch. Nelson, 1979

The Migration of the Indians to the New World.
It is believed that the people who Columbus saw when he came to the New World were nomadic hunters from central and East Asia who followed the buffalo and deer. When the herds moved, people moved after them because they were dependent on the animals for food. It is therefore suspected that the herds led the people out of Asia by the north-east, across the Bering Strait and into North America. They crossed the sea by an ice –bridge when it was frozen over during the last Ice-Age. They did not know that they were crossing water from one continent to another.
Map 1 Amerindians migration from central Asia into North America. The Amerindians settled throughout North America and were the ancestors of the many Red Indian tribes we know today, as well as the Eskimos in the far north. In general, they were nomadic but some followed settled agricultural pursuits and developed civilizations of their own like the Mayas in South America (check internet reference for profile on this group, focus on level of development, structure of society, religion). The migration continued south through Central America into South America from where the Arawaks and Caribs migrated to the West Indies.
The Arawaks and the Caribs can be traced by their languages to two different cradle lands in South America where the Indians speak related languages. The ancestors of the Arawaks probably came from somewhere on the borderland between Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. They migrated north-east to Venezuela and then on to the West Indies. The cradle land of the Caribs was further south than that of the Arawaks. They migrated across Brazil to the interior of Guyana, then north to the coast of Venezuela and so to the West Indies, possibly about 2,000 years ago.
Map 2 Probable Arawak and Carib cradle lands.

The Arawaks
The Arawaks came to the islands before the Caribs and journeyed through the Lesser Antilles until they reached The Bahamas. Some stayed, while others penetrated the large islands of the Greater Antilles. When the Spaniards came, the Arawaks were only found in The Bahamas, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica.
In the West Indies the Arawaks were divided into two main tribes, the Lucayos in The Bahamas and the Tainos in Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica. Tainos comes from the Arawak word Taino meaning peace. The Lucayos were also peaceful and Columbus found them practically without weapons. Puerto Rican Arawaks were called Borinquens and were a more warlike tribe.
The Caribs came later and as they moved up through the islands, they pushed out the Arawaks, establishing themselves in eastern Puerto Rico, parts of Hispaniola and even reaching Cuba. The Arawaks in Trinidad resisted the Caribs, which explains why they appeared more warlike to the Spaniards whose arrival prevented the Caribs driving the Arawaks out of more islands. The Caribs were already well established in eastern Puerto Rico and under Caonabo and probably reached the shores of Cuba.
Appearance and Color
Columbus and other Spaniards gave good descriptions of the Arawaks. They were of short to middle height, well-shaped, but slightly built, except in Hispaniola where they were plump. It seems that they were physically weak compared with Europeans and Africans. According to Columbus, their skin color was olive, which is smooth and brown. The Spanish considered the Arawaks to be naturally good looking but distorted their features by artificial means. Their heads were flattened at the forehead by the use of boards or bandages when they were babies. This made the skull slope up to a peak which the Arawaks thought was a mark of beauty. It may also have been done to give greater resistance to a blow on the head. The Arawaks had broad noses and their nostrils probably flared wide. Their hair was black and straight, but coarse and was usually worn long. In Guanahani (San Salvador), the first island that Columbus visited, the Arawaks were completely naked. In Hispaniola and Cuba, the married women wore a piece of cotton over their pubic area. Sometimes in Jamaica and Cuba, the woven cloth was not used as clothing, but for cotton bands around the arms and legs.
Painting the body in black, white and other colors was a common custom, especially in Hispaniola. In Guanahani, Columbus noticed that they painted their faces, eyes and noses and the bare parts of their heads. Painting the body had three purposes, these include using paint as insect repellant, painting for festivities and ceremonial occasion and as a sign of beauty. Sometimes the Arawaks had gold in their noses as plugs or hanging ornaments. The Cacique (Chief) had more ornaments than the others.
Subsistence Living
The Arawaks hunted and grew just enough food for themselves and their families (subsistence farming). There was no storing or trading of food. They did not lack protein, but compared with the Caribs, placed less reliance on high protein foods and balanced their diet with more vegetables. They caught and ate various types of fish, shellfish, turtle and the manatee (sea cow). That is why most villages were found close to the coast where they can harvest seafood easily. Shells and bones of all these creatures have been dug up in Arawak settlements here in The Bahamas and elsewhere in the Caribbean where they were found. Fishing was done by nets made of fibers, bones, hooks and harpoons. They used an ingenious method of catching the turtle. A remora (sucker-fish) was caught and tied on a long line to a canoe. The remora would dive for the turtle and attach itself to the back with its suckers. The turtle would then be pulled into the canoe by the fishermen.
The Arawaks hunted small animals like the utia (a kind of coney), the agouti and the iguana whose meat they enjoyed. To help them hunt, they had small dogs called alcos which could not bark, but made a growling noise. These dogs were the Arawaks’ only domestic animals. They caught doves in nets and birds like parrots by slipping a noose over their heads. Their method of catching ducks showed a lot of cunning. First they floated gourds downstream until the ducks became used to seeing the gourds, and then the hunter himself would drift downstream with a gourd over his head breathing through a hole and seeing through eye-slits. When he came upon a bird, he would pull it under water by its legs and drown it.
The Arawaks ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, including pineapples, mammee apples, star apples, naseberries (dillies), guava and cashews. They cultivated maize by soaking the seeds in water and planting them in rows. Cassava, sweet potatoes, yautia and ground nuts were planted in large mounds of earth. They squeezed the poisonous juice out of the cassava before making the flour.
The Arawaks’ food was carefully prepared and they knew about stewing, baking and roasting. Iguana meat was stewed, cassava cakes were baked and fish was smoked. Seasoning with salt and pepper, especially pepper was common. They made a sauce called cassacreep from cassava juice, salt and pepper. The favorite dish of the Arawaks was pepper pot, a great stew or soup into which went meat, vegetables, nuts and pepper. This dish often served the whole family for several days.
The Arawaks could also make an intoxicating drink out of cassava and maize, but drunkenness was uncommon except on some ceremonial occasions.
Arawak Communities
Arawak communities were small, although a few had more than a thousand houses and could be classed as large villages. They usually chose sites on the top of hills as precaution against surprise attacks. They had two sorts of houses. The bohio was the chief’s house. In recognition of his status, his house was rectangular while the others were round. It was also larger. (Check from Amerindians to Africans by Greenwood & Hamber for description of house). The houses had little furniture, except for hammocks made from cotton in which they slept. Hammocks were particularly common in Jamaica and Cuba. There were a few highly polished clay pots for cooking and other food vessels. Sometimes stools or even tables were found, but these were very rare. Tools were small and made of stones. They were well shaped and highly polished. There was always a small statue of a zemi made of wood, stone or cotton, or a basket of bones serving as a zemi.
Picture of what an Arawak’s house looked like.
Political Organization
The cacique was the head of an Arawak society and below him were graded ranks down to the commoners. Cacique was a hereditary title which was passed down from father to son. In Jamaica they ruled large provinces, while in other islands they were little more than village headmen. It was unlikely that a cacique would have no heir as he was allowed many wives, although the Arawaks were monogamous by custom. If he died without a son, the title is passed to the eldest son of his eldest sister.
The Cacique was more of a ceremonial ruler than a law maker. He dealt with the distribution of land, the ordering of labor on the land and the planting and distribution of the crops. He made decisions of peace and war and was the leader in war but he made few laws and the keeping of law and order was a matter for the individual. For example, if someone stole property, it was up to the injured party to inflict punishment.
The cacique was also a religious leader who was greatly respected and given many privileges. His wives could wear longer skirts than other women (This is one way by which you could identify them when you enter a village), his house which was larger than the others was built for him. His canoe was also built for him by his tribesmen. He was given the best food and carried on a litter. He was buried in a marked cave or grave and some of his wives were buried with him. He had a special ceremonial stool called a duho which was carved out of wood or stone in the shape of an animal.
Picture of a Duho
The names of some famous Arawak caciques have come down to us. Guacaganari welcomed Columbus to Hispaniola in December, 1492 and ruled over the north-western part of the island. Guarionex ruled over Magua in the middle part of Hispaniola. He was sent back to Spain as a prisoner and died at sea. Anacaona was the Arawak wife of Caonabo, a Carib who ruled as cacique in Hispaniola. She was hanged by the Spaniards. In Cuba there was the famous Hateuy, who courageously resisted Valasquez in his conquest of Cuba. The Spaniards burnt him alive in 1511.
During their occupation of Hispaniola, the Spaniards learnt that religion played a very important part in the lives of the Arawaks. They believed in a sky-god and an earth –goddess and they made zemis to represent the forces controlled by these gods, like, rain, wind, hurricanes and fire, or like fertility in the case of the earth goddess’s zemi. They also worshipped their ancestors and made zemis for them, often out of the bones of these ancestors.
The Arawaks had a creation story which said that the first man escaped from a cave with the sun when the keeper of the cave forgot to close it. Another story said that they were turned into animals and plants because they looked at the sun, which was forbidden. Some of the Arawaks’ religious stories are very beautiful, for example, the one which explains the noises of frogs: children playing by a river became lost and called out ‘toa, toa’ the Arawak word for mother, which sound like the noise frogs make so they were turned into frogs.
The Arawaks buried their dead and believed in a life-after-death in coyaba( heaven), a peaceful place which was free from all natural calamities like illness and hurricanes. There they thought they would meet their ancestors. The Spaniards actually lured some Lucayos out of The Bahamas to work as slaves in Hispaniola by saying that they were going to coyaba to meet their ancestors. A man was buried with his most valuable possessions to accompany him to coyaba.
Ordinary people could not communicate with gods or ancestors through the zemis so the priest had to pray to cure illnesses, or bring good weather, or make the crops grow, or keep away the Caribs. In religious ceremonies, the priest often used tobacco which they inhaled directly into their nostrils to induce unconsciousness, the best state for communication with the zemis. If the priest failed to have his prayer answered by the zemi, it was felt that the power of the zemi was too strong.
For an important religious ceremony, the village would be summoned by blowing a conch shell and the cacique would lead a procession of the whole village. The priest would make themselves vomit by tickling their throats to clear away all impurities before communicating with the zemis.
The Arawak’s religious beliefs were very deep, especially their belief in coyaba, which explains their many suicides rather than enduring life under the cruelty of the Spaniards.
Pleasure and Recreation
The Arawaks must have led very happy lives before the coming of the Spaniards. Life was easy, their diet ample and varied and they were kindly and more humane than other Amerindians. Columbus noted that they were very honest and stole nothing from the Spaniards. Sympathy, generosity and putting others before themselves were other virtues noted by Columbus.
They had ample leisure time which they occupied with singing and dancing called areitos. Women and men usually danced separately but sometimes both sexes danced together. On these occasions the pleasure of drinking was added. They also had a ball game known as batos, which was played on a marked field with two teams trying to hit the ball with any part of the body into their opponent’s goal line, a game somewhere between volleyball and football. Smoking was the most well-known of the Arawaks’ pleasure. The Arawaks called the tobacco plant cohiba and tabaco referred to the pipe in which the leaves were smoked. The Arawaks liked tobacco for peace and contentment and for helping them meditate. They made cigars, chewed tobacco and smoked it in a pipe which they enjoyed most of all.
The Arawaks were primitive people in that they could not read or write. They did not know how to use metal or the wheel and they knew nothing of the domestication of animals (apart from the bark-less dogs). On the other hand, they had some marks of a more advanced civilization, such as their religion, their ball game and other leisure activities, their use of herbs for medicine and pleasure, their cooking and seasoning of food, their cultivation, their large strong canoes and their highly polished artifacts.
The Arawaks made a considerable contribution to the outside world, particularly by the crops they grew. Maize and cassava have become the staple food of many people in Africa, next in importance come groundnuts, sweet potatoes and pineapples. Arawak dishes are still served, mostly in the West Indies but they also appear in world-wide cookery books, for example the pepper pot soup and cassareep. Barbecuing meat is a very famous contribution from the Arawaks. The use of tobacco is now also world-wide.
Many Arawak words have come into English. The names of some vegetables are so common that their Arawak derivation is forgotten; maize, potato, cassava and tobacco are four examples. The other words commonly used are hammock, hurricane barbecue, buccaneer and canoe.

The Caribs and the Maya

In the West Indies, the Caribs occupied the north-western part of Trinidad and the Lesser Antilles and the eastern part of Puerto Rico. Trinidad and Puerto Rico were the only islands where Caribs and Arawaks were found together. Caribs still live in Guyana and on the mainland. The name Carib is derived from the Spanish word caribales. On his second voyage in 1493, Columbus referred to Dominica as the Isla de Caribales (Isle of Cannibals). Columbus found the Caribs extremely savage. In 1564 the Caribs of Dominica ate the crew of a Spanish ship and in 1596 the Caribs of St. Vincent did the same to the crew of a French ship.
The Caribs were taller than the Arawaks, but still only of medium height. They were described as being stronger than the Arawaks due to the emphasis they placed on training for fighting. Their skin was brown and they usually went naked. The women painted their bodies with roucou (a red dye) and made fantastic decorations in many colors. Usually the eyes were circled with black. It was very rare for a cotton cloth to be worn round the loins. The men painted their bodies too, and sometimes wore feathered headdresses and jewelry through their lips and noses. The caracole was a necklace of small bones and teeth of victims, from which a crescent-shaped ornament was suspended. It showed the wearer’s courage. The women wore rassada (bracelet) round their arms and legs.
The Caribs had short heads and, like the Arawaks, they flattened the foreheads of babies on the breast. This may have been because Caribs frequently carried off Arawak women in raids and they continued this practice. Caribs had long, straight black hair which they combed and dressed with oil. They had a complete absence of body hair. Many of the first European settlers and visitors to the West Indies commented on the beauty of the Caribs. The Caribs were probably fitter and leaner than the Arawaks because of their diet and way of life.
The Caribs ate almost the same food as the Arawaks but had more protein. They were not such good farmers, so they relied less on maize and cassava, though they knew how to grow them. They were much better fishermen, their canoes were better and they were not afraid of long voyages. However, believing that turtle meat made one stupid, they deprived themselves of an easily obtained meat in the West Indies. Other superstition made their diet different from that of the Arawaks. They believed that eating pigs would give them small, beady eyes and that eating crab before a sea voyage would bring storm. They barbecued human meat and ate it from the bone. The Caribs seasoned their food with pepper, but did not use salt. Couii and taumalin were pepper sauces. Taumalin was made from pepper, lemon juice and the green meat of crab. The Caribs made ouicou, a cassava beer with a strong alcoholic content, and got very drunk on festivals and holidays. Although their diet was not quite so varied, as that of the Arawaks, it was well balanced, prepared in a variety of ways and served with different seasonings.
Political Organization
The Caribs had no such organization as the Arawaks with their caciques. In peace time they had few laws, only those made by the tiubutuli hauthe (village headman) who was the head of the family since each family lived in a separate village. However, in war the Caribs became more organized. Each piraga (canoe) was captained by its owner and one of the captains was chosen as the commander- in- chief. A Carib leader was chosen on account of his bravery in battle and was not hereditary as among the Arawaks. The ubutu planned the raids, chose the captains and distributed the spoils. He was greatly feared among his men for his power. Carib men lived together in a large rectangular house called a carbet, because they were undergoing warrior training. The women carried food to the carbet but otherwise lived separately. They slept in hammocks, but they also had a kind of bed called an amais.Their utensils were not so well made or polished as those of the Arawaks. The three groups (Arawaks, Caribs and Mayans) seemed to have work demarcated between the sexes similarly. Men Women Clear fields, Hunted Planted crops, Looked after crops, Cleaned house
Fished,Made canoes, Trained boys. Prepared food, Made pots, baskets, clothing Hammocks, Zemis, brought up children
Warrior Training
At the age of four, Carib boys were taken from their mothers to live in the carbet. Caribs believed that women were soft and weak and if the boy were to become a warrior, he should be moved away from the influence of women, except for the few who were to be trained as priests. Carib boys were trained to make and use weapons which were considerably better than those of the Arawaks. They were taught to use the bow and arrow and to apply poison to the arrowhead. The poison was deadly and the victim died in great pain.
Courage was considered the greatest virtue by the Caribs and the boys were taught to bear pain without flinching. When they reached the age of fourteen or fifteen they had to pass an initiation test to become a warrior. Part of the test was to endure pain by being scratched with agouti claws and have salt rubbed into the wound without crying out. Another test was to shoot a bird off the top of a tree with a bow and arrow. Carib warriors were good swimmers and Columbus mentions seen a warrior fire his bow while swimming in the sea.
Carib raids were made in piragas. The Caribs often put to sea in bad weather and paddled for long distances. The canoes probably reached Cuba which is a journey of at least three hundred kilometers from the nearest Carib base. The women too, knew how to fight and use the bow and arrow. When Columbus concluded that Martinique was inhabited by a race of Amazons, he must have visited the island when the men were away on a raid. They liked to make surprise attack by sea in their canoes. Their raids were very vicious and destructive. Arawak men who were not killed were taken away to be eaten later and the women were taken as wives for young Carib warriors. This practice was so common that the women of the Caribs had an entirely different language to that of the men. Caribs also raided each other, but they preferred to raid the Arawaks and found them easy prey.
After the Spanish, English and French had settled in the Caribbean, the Caribs were bold enough to attack their settlements and defended themselves fiercely against European invasion of their islands; for example Dominica was still a Carib island at the time of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. The Caribs of St. Vincent were still resisting the Europeans as late as 1796. Gradually they were wiped out by the muskets and cannons of the Europeans or deported to South America. Whereas the Arawaks in the West Indies were wiped out in just over 50 years, the Caribs resisted the Europeans for200 years and there are descendants of Caribs living in eastern Dominica to-day.
Caribs believed in evil spirits known as maboya. Troubles were attributed to angry maboya which could be appeased by a more powerful maboya introduced by the priest. The boyez (priest) were very important and underwent special training instead of becoming a warrior. As they were held to be the only ones who could avert evil, the boyez were summoned ceremony and sacrifices. As with the Arawaks, tobacco played a large part in these religious rites.
The Maya
The Maya were middle American Indians who produced one of the finest civilizations in the Western World; far more advanced than the relatively primitive Arawak culture. Their ancestors were hunters and gathers who reached Central America about 13 thousand years ago. By about 1000 B.C they were becoming cultivators and by about 150 A.D. were producing surplus food on their milpas (plot) and so were able to develop their great civilization. At this time they inhabited three areas of Central America: the Guatemala Highlands; Chiapas, Peten and Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Because the Mayan Civilization developed in different areas, it is difficult to date it precisely. The classical age of Mayan civilization lasted from 150 to 300 A.D. until 1000 to 1100 A.D. It began to decline in Belize in 1000 A.D. when the Maya drifted northward into Yucatán. However, indications of their greatness still remained when they were conquered by the Spaniards in 1542 A.D.
Political Organization
The Maya developed the city state. This was a small unit ruled by the Halach Uinic (real man), which was an absolute hereditary office. Each village was controlled by Batabs (Village chief) who was responsible to the Halach Uinic. The free population was divided into farmers, artisans and merchants. The lowest class in this society was the slaves. Women were considered inferior and could not inherit property. Girls were trained from childhood to accept a subordinate place in life. She would notice that her mother and other women always turned their backs and stepped aside if they met a man on the road, and that when in the presence of a man, women always looked down on the ground. To look directly at a man, or worse, to laugh at him, was considered a serious misconduct and was severely punished.
The Maya were polytheistic and their religion influenced their whole lives. They had 166 gods, each of whom could be good or bad so that they needed constant worship. The priests were so important to the Mayan society that early historians mistook them for rulers. They set and organize religious festivals and made sacrifices and decided the auspicious days on the calendar for planting and harvesting. Human sacrifices were an important element in their religion. Even their famous ball game Pok a Tok, a kind of basketball, had a ritual significance and the losers could be sacrificed.
The Maya lived in round huts with a central wooden pole supporting a conical thatched roof. The walls were woven reeds with no windows. Set apart was a ceremonial area containing the famous massive stone structure which archaeologists have uncovered. From their size, it has been concluded that the leading Mayan city states had a population of between eight and ten thousand. A typical site consisted of one or more plazas surrounded by pyramids and pillars. On top of the pyramids were temples. Pyramids were made of a base of rubble faced with limestone blocks. Temples were made with thick masonry walls and corbelled-arch roof and were devoted to religious purposes. Only the priests who performed the religious ceremonies could enter these temples through a corbelled arch. Worshippers remained outside in the plazas or courtyard surrounding the sacred pyramids. From there they watched the rites and took part by singing and dancing. Like all American Indians they knew nothing of metal tools. The Mayans also built observatories from which their priests could observe the movement of the stars and planets. They also wrote books containing account of their history and legends. The earliest known book in America was written by the Mayan in A.D. 890. The paper was made from the inner bark and fiber of certain trees.
Arts and Crafts
The Maya did not have metal tools. Wooden hoes and fine –hardened wooden ploughs were used in the fields and even limestone blocks were cut without metal. Women wore boldly patterned cotton clothes, and quetzal head-dresses were highly prized. Their craftsmen fashioned life-like and symbolic figurines in jade, wood, copper and gold. One of their favorite objects was the figurine whistle found in several sites. Their excellent artists painted life-like and abstract pictures. Although the Maya knew of gold and copper, they used cacao beans for money.
Writing, Mathematics and the Calendar
The Maya began writing about 300 A.D. using a hieroglyphic script with about 850 highly stylized characteristics. Their books were of bark, folded concertina like. The Spaniards destroyed Mayan literature as pagan, but three legible writings have survived although these have not yet been deciphered. Most exciting Mayan writing is on stelae, pottery and ornaments. The Mayans could add, subtract, multiply and divide in columns working from top to bottom (think about how this could help them in trading). Their symbols were: a dot for I, a bar for 5 and a shell for 0. The famous Mayan calendar was very accurate but complicated and it is not known how its dates correspond to dates on the Christian calendar. It involved revolving interlocking circles and showed a well-developed knowledge of astronomy.
The Maya Today
Today the Maya number about two million and are divided into many language groups. Most Belizean Maya speak Kekchi-Maya and a lesser number speak Yucatec- Maya. There are few legacies from the Classical Age. The milpa is still used as a unit of cultivation and the reverence for maize still remains. Today most Maya profess Christianity but still practice Mayan rites and keep altars in the jungle for the rain god and for the animal and agricultural spirits. A combination of Roman Catholicism and Mayan religion is common, for example god is the sun, the Virgin Mary the moon and the Catholic saints are animal spirits. The Maya form 17 % of the population of Belize and play an increasingly important part in government, church and education.
Tests & Quizzes The Arawaks
Multiple Choice Items.
Circle the correct answer in each question (1) The ruler of the Arawak village was called: a. Montezuma b. Ouboutou c. Cacique d. Halach Unich (2) The greatest crime among the Arawaks was: a. Killing b. Stealing c. Raping d. Smoking dope (3) The punishment for the greatest crime was: a. Death b. Imprisonment c. Slavery d. Whipping (4) The Arawak chief travelled on: a. Horseback b. Llama c. A litter d. A donkey (5) The Arawak idols were called: a. Zemis b. Maboya c. Zombies d. Spirits (6) The Arawaks were originally from: a. Cuba b. Hispaniola c. Bahamas d. Asia (7) The Arawaks were: a. Dark skinned and very tall b. Brown skinned and middle height c. White skinned and very Short d. Red skinned and tall (8) The main food of the Arawaks was: a. Cornbread b. Cassava c. Fish d. Potato (9) The Arawaks cured their meat by: a. Hiding it in the sand b. Keeping it in salt water c. Smoking it over a fire d. Drying it on the line (10)The word Arawak means a. Fools b. Cannibals c. Eaters of meat d. Traders (11) The main duty of the Cacique in the Arawak village was a. To provide food for the people b. To decide when to go to war c. To organize the work of the village d. To lead the religious ceremonies
(12) Which of the following was owned in common by all the Arawaks? a. Land b. Stone tools c. Clay pots d. Canoes (12) Which of the following the Arawaks did not do for a living a. Fishing b. Farming c. Exporting Braziletto wood d. Hunting (13) The Arawaks were led in religious festivals by a. Mitayanos b. Zemis c. Ouboton d. The Cacique (14) The Arawak houses were a. Round b. Rectangular c. Diamond shape d. Triangular (15) Some Arawak idols were made from a. Wood and stone b. Straw and palm leaves c. Shells and withes d. Gold and copper (16) The Mitayons in the Arawak village were a. Peasants b. Chief c. Artisans d. Nobles (17) After Columbus’ first voyage the Arawaks were used as slaves by the Spaniards. This resulted in their a. Being given plenty land to farm b. Getting high wages c. People dying from overwork d. Increase in their population (18) Who were the chief enemies of the Arawaks? a. Aztecs b. Mayas c. Caribs d. Incas (19) The favorite dish of the Arawak was a. Stew fish b. Okra soup c. Peppered steak d. Pepper pot.

The Lucayans were a race of primitive farmers and fishermen in what Europeans might have called the new Stone Age……. All of them go about naked, even the women, wrote Columbus on the day of discovery, “although I saw but one girl, all the rest being young men, none of them being over thirty years of age; their forms are well proportioned, their bodies graceful and their features handsome. Their hair is of horse’s tail and short
They wear their hair over their eyebrows, except a little hank behind, which they wear long and never cut. Some of them painted themselves black (they were the color of the Canary Islanders, neither black nor white), some painted themselves white, some red and some with whatever they find….
The faces of the Lucayans were broad, almost oriental in appearance, and their foreheads were usually flattened in infancy by the tying to them of flat boards. This strange practice was not only designed to add distinction to their looks. The thickened bone which resulted was proof against enemy blows, and sometimes even against the sharp swords of the Spaniards…. History of The Bahamas------Michael Craton pg 21 (1) Provide two descriptions (mentioned in the passage) of what the Lucayans looked like_________________________________________________________________ (2) How do you think the Arawaks reacted when they saw the Spaniards? Explain your answer._________________________________________________________________ (3) The word enemy is mentioned in the passage; who were the chief enemies of the Lucayans before the coming of the Spaniards?_____________________________________________ (4) The passage says that the Lucayans were fishermen; what was the boat called that they fished in and how did they make it?______________________________________________ (5) Who was the leader of the Lucayans and how did he get his position?___________________ Match the Following by placing the letter of the answer in the right hand column next to the appropriate question.

………An Arawak idol (a) brown skinned
……..The Arawaks original home (b) duho
…….. The chief’s ceremonial stool (c) hammock
…….. The main food of the Arawaks (d) cacique
…….. What the Arawaks slept on (e) Zemi
…….. Complexion of the Arawaks (f) Asia
…….. What their house was called (g) batos
…….. The Arawak’s ball game (h) cassava
…….. The Arawaks foreheads were (i) caneye
…….. The law maker, the judge and the chief priest (j) flat
Check each of the following that is associated with the Arawaks.
( ) Cacique
( ) Warlike people
( ) Believed in the Christian God
( ) Tastiest dish was the pepper pot
( ) Carried their chief around in a litter
( ) Their leader was called ouboutou
( ) Made their houses out of palm leaves and grass
( ) Played a ball game called soccer
( ) Lived in towns and cities
( ) Punishment for stealing was death
( ) They were generally tall people
( ) Work was done on a cooperative basis
( ) Only commoners could speak with the gods
( ) Maboya
( ) Cured their meat by smoking it over a fire
( ) Their leader inherited their position
( ) Used pieces of eight as their money
( ) Mitaynos
( ) Enslaved the Spaniards
( ) Typical furniture are clay pots and hammocks

Past B.G.C.S.E. Questions on this topic (1) Where did the Mayas Live? (2) State three reasons why the Caribs of the Lesser Antilles were able to resist the Europeans for over 300 years. (3) Explain how Mayan society was structured. (4) Compare the level of technology achieved by the Mayas and the Arawaks. (5) What was the favorite dish of the Arawaks? (6) Describe Arawak technology. (7) Explain how advanced Mayan technology was. (8) Compare and contrast the system of government and religion of the Arawaks and Caribs. (9) Who was the Ouboutou? (10) How were the Caribs able to defend themselves against their enemies? (11) Explain how Carib males prepared for raids. (12) Compare and contrast the Mayan and Arawak systems of government. (13) Explain some of the achievements of Mayan civilization. (14) What name was given to the ceremonial chair of the Arawak chief? (15) State three reasons why the Caribs painted their bodies. (16) Explain how the Arawaks prepared the soil for planting. (17) How similar were the religious customs of the Arawaks and Mayas (18) “The Mayas were the most accomplished group of Amerindians the world has seen”
Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (19) Name the Mayan religious ball game. (20) State THREE aspects of Mayan trade, which made them more advanced than other groups. (21) Explain the role women played in Mayan society. (22) Why did the Caribs go out on raids against the Arawaks? (23) Explain how the Caribs were able to survive enslavement by the Spaniards. (24) What are the main similarities and differences between Arawak and Carib societies? (25) What would the Arawak and Caribs teach their children? (26) Imagine that you are an Arawak or Carib youth. Describe a day in your life—where you live, how you dress, what you eat, and your activities on a particular day.

History: Fate of the Amerindians
Week 2: Core Content (Notes) Theme one

A papal bull (issued by the Pope), Inter Caetera 1493, gave all the lands discovered by Columbus to Isabella as her personal property and ignored the rights of the Indians. Twelve missionaries were sent with Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 to convert the Indians to Christianity. The Indians however, as subject of the queen should be treated lovingly. People guilty of ill-treating them were to be punished. Unfortunately, Juan de Fonseca who had no sympathy for the Arawaks was put in charge of Colonial Affairs for the Spanish crown and given great power. The Arawaks suffered because he was not willing to enforce the laws, which existed for the protection of the natives. Columbus who wanted to treat the natives fairly opposed Fonseca.
Columbus regarded the Caribs differently and suggested their enslavement but the queen would not agree to this suggestion. Isabella always tried to protect the native people of her empire, and on the question of slavery, Columbus fell out of favor with her more than once. The king (Ferdinand) was probably less sympathetic to the natives and after Isabella’s death in 1504, the Indians had less protection from the crown. Columbus introduced the system of repartimiento (the division of natives among settlers for labor) early in his administration and later, about 1498, he began the practice of the encomienda which was a grant of natives for labor in return for the trust of educating and Christianizing them. Under the first governor in the New World (Nicholas de Ovando (1502-1508) this was legalized by royal decree. Ovando was told to treat the natives fairly but because they had refused to work for the Spaniards, encomienda was made official policy. The Arawaks were to be housed in villages, paid wages and converted.
In 1509, Ferdinand decreed that encomienda should be adopted throughout the Spanish empire and it lasted until the middle of the eighteenth century. Repartimiento was abolished in 1542.
Genocide of the Arawaks
In spite of official intentions, the Indians were treated cruelly and within 50 years there was hardly an Arawak left in the West Indies. Even the Church, with a few exceptions was guilty of condoning cruelty to the Indians. Genocide (the killing of a whole people) is applicable to the Spanish treatment of the Arawaks. The estimated population figures given below prove this. Years | Hispaniola | Jamaica | 1492 | 300,000 | 60,000 | 1507 | 60,000 | | 1509 | 40,000 | | 1517 | 14,000 | | 1548 | 500 | | 1655 | None | None |

The most dramatic decline was within the first 10 years of conquest. Two-thirds of the total Arawak population died in these years. The Spaniards arrived in the West Indies in 1492 and within 150 years there was not a single Arawak left. This is one of the most complete examples of genocide in history. There were a number of reasons why the Spanish settlers killed the Arawaks. (1) They came without wives and by taking Arawak women clashed with the Arawak men. (2) Many of the early settlers were soldiers who were released from fighting with the Moors in 1492. They wanted adventure and were used to bearing arms. (3) The settlers only wanted gold and expected the Arawaks to provide food for them. They treated the Arawaks as slaves and killed them when they did not cooperate. (4) The settlers of 1498 were mainly criminals which was disastrous for the Arawaks. (5) The settlers adopted the ‘hidalgo- class attitude” as if they were land-owning nobles, aloof from manual labor. Settlers with this attitude often hunted Arawaks for sport. (6) Even the priests who accompanied the settlers treated the Arawaks badly. They did not restrain the settlers in their ill-treatment as they should have done. Las Casas and Montesinos were two noticeable exception of this.
Ways in which Arawaks were Killed
In 1495, Columbus and Alonso de Ojeda began massacring the Arawaks in the Vega Real and Cibas regions of Hispaniola. The use of dogs was found to be effective and many Arawaks were torn to pieces by bloodhounds. The Spaniards reckoned that one dog was worth ten soldiers against the Arawaks because they were so frightened of dogs. Ovando (first governor in the New World) completed the extermination of the Tainos in 1503.
In 1511, the conquest of Cuba began. The cacique Hatuey, resisted and Diego Velasquez carried out the massacre at Caonas. Hatuey was burnt alive. The forced labor of the encomienda system was so hard and alien compared with the Arawak’s former life that many committed suicide rather than submit. They hanged themselves or poisoned themselves with cassava juice in Hispaniola and Jamaica They also began the practice of infanticide. Many were killed for sport which shows the extreme cruelty of the Spaniards. The Spaniards knew that the Arawaks had great fear of dogs and horses so they used them in hunting, and they allowed the dogs to tear their victims apart. Spanish horsemen galloped at the Arawaks, using their swords as lances to see if they could run their swords through the body and out the other side. They also competed to see if they could cut an Arawak’s head off at one stroke. They dropped Arawaks babies over cliffs and drowned then in rivers. Burning to death was reserved for nobles and chiefs. Las Casas himself witnessed the massacre at Caonas in which thousands of Arawak men, women and children were needlessly killed by Valesquez’s men. Encomienda killed many Arawaks through overwork and starvation. In the fields, long hours of labour under the hot sun brought death to people totally unused to physical labor. In the mines, many died under the strain of heavy loads and cruel beatings. The Spaniards brought over disease and epidemics which killed the Arawaks. The most famous examples are smallpox and measles to which the Arawaks had no immunity.
The Work of Bartholomew de las Casas
Some Spaniards had humanitarian feelings towards the Indians and the most famous of these was Bartholomew de las Casas who devoted his later life to their protection. It was another priest, Antonio de Montesinos who probably influenced las Casas. On Christmas Day, 1511, Montesinos courageously attacked the settlers in Santo Domingo for their cruel treatment of the Indians. He made himself very unpopular by comparing the settlers with the Moors whom the Spaniards despised as Moslems. The reports of his attacks caused a stir in Spain and the Dominicans recalled him to give an account of the cruelty. Unfortunately he did not return to the West Indies, but his influence brought about the Laws of Burgos in 1512 and in the same year las Casas renounced his own encomienda.
The Dominicans performed missionary work in the early Spanish colonization of the West Indies and they set up many missions in the New World. However, they varied in their attitude towards the Indians. Some made the Arawaks feel that they had friends and supporters among the Spaniards. Others had no sympathy with the Indians at all and even enslaved them. In his early career las Casas was indifferent to the Indians, but his experiences in the conquest of Cuba in 1511 and the reports of Montesenos changed his attitude. Las Casas had previously being given a grant of encomienda but renounced this very soon afterwards. From his writing, it is known that he was greatly disturbed by a massacre of Indians that he had witnessed. After preparing a sermon from chapter 12 of Ecclesiastes, he realized that the Spaniards were sinning in the eyes of God in their treatment of the Indians.
Las Casas became known as “the Apostle of the Indies” and in1515 the Spanish government gave him the title of “Protector of the Indians”. He met Charles the 5th in 1519 and made him aware of the persecution of the Indians in his American empire. Las Casas had told Charles that the empire could develop on the free labor of the Indians. Las Casas was one of the great early missionaries of the church in overseas colonies but his service to the Indians came too late to save them from destruction.

Destruction of the Indians

The Indians who Columbus met when he came to the New World were peace-loving. They lived simple lives which included slash and burn agricultural method of farming, cultivating only enough to satisfy their individual needs (subsistence farming). They were not accustomed to organized labor since their economy was based on a system of bartering. Even when they used gold it was for the purposes of decoration and as ornament and not a medium of exchange. The Europeans on the other-hand had a money-economy which encouraged the production of excess for sale. The interest of both the Indians and the Europeans was different and this perhaps caused the biggest area of conflict between the two groups. In failing to find gold, they sought to use agriculture to develop the colonies and therefore wanted laborers to work on these plantations. The Spaniards engaged the labor of the Indians; they were forced to labor for long and exhausting hours in mines and on farms. Since they were unaccustomed to this type of organized labor they resisted. However, because of their inferior material culture, they couldn’t successfully defend themselves against the more powerful weapons of the Europeans. They were enslaved and forced to work against their will. With no way out, some of them pined away and died. The animals such as the horses, cattle and pigs brought by the Europeans multiplied rapidly in the tropical climate and with no fences around, they raided the crops of the Indians devouring the food, causing widespread starvation. As a consequence, the Indians died in large numbers; especially since there was no food reserves because they practiced subsistence farming. The Indians who resisted enslavement were hunted down by dogs which the Europeans brought. They were terrified and wanted to escape so they committed suicide. The cruelty inflicted on the Indians was unimaginable. Furthermore, they were exposed to new diseases brought by the Europeans to which they had no resistance. By the first 50 years of contact there was hardly any Indians left in the West Indies. Soon the entire population of Indians was wiped out. Only the more war-like and aggressive Caribs managed to survive in Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada and Guyana. They survived in these islands because they could make use of mountains to strike at Europeans and then escape. Moreover, they were well trained as warriors who could not be subdued easily. Also too, Spain was not interested in the smaller island which they occupied.
While Columbus might have made contact with the New World, the influence he had put in motion is responsible for the decimation of an entire people. The impact which Europeans made upon the Arawaks was damaging not only to their way of life but to their life itself. Hence, this race could no longer exist under the pressure of the European culture, and soon faded away from the face of the earth. Since it took courage to chart unknown waters, and especially since it was believed that the earth was flat and the oceans held terrifying dangers, Columbus may be credited as an excellent sailor and navigator. The question as to whether he should be seen as villain or a hero depends on from whose perspective one is viewing his character. Should we have the opportunity to ask the Indians, the answer would be self-evident.
Supplemental Reading: Making of the Bahamas by Cash, Maples and Packer Pages 18----19

Tests and Quizzes
You are to read the material and answer the following questions (1) Explain why the Spaniards did not enslave the Caribs. (2) Why did the Spaniards need to use the Arawaks as labourers? (3) The Arawaks in the Bahamas were taken to which island as laborers? (4) What is the Encomienda system? (5) Why was the Encomienda system a failure? (6) Who was the first to protest against the ill-treatment of the Indians? (7) What happened to the Indians after the Spanish discovery of the West Indies (8) List at least four areas of conflict between the Indians and the Spaniards. (9) Explain why even though the Indians outnumbered the Spaniards, the Spaniards were able to subjugate the Indians. (10) Name at least two diseases brought to the New World by the Europeans. (11) Explain why as many 14,000 Spaniards were in Hispaniola. Short answer questions (1) How do you account for the extinction of the race of Arawaks from the face of the earth? (2) Imagine you are a Spaniard in Hispaniola; write a letter home to Spain criticizing the treatment of the Indians. (3) Imagine that you are an Arawak taken from your home in the Bahamas to work for the Spaniards in Hispaniola. Describe the things that happen to you and your fellowmen. (4) Why were Montesinos and las Casas critical of how the Indians were treated and what did they do about it?
B.G.C.S.E. Past Paper Questions
(1) “Columbus’ voyages were beneficial only to the Spanish” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(2)” The greed of the Spanish led to the destruction of the Amerindian civilizations” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(3)How were the Caribs able to defend themselves against their enemies?
(4) “Christopher Columbus is a hero” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer?
(5) Name the person who introduced the encomienda system to Hispaniola.
(6) State three terms of the encomienda agreement.
(7) Explain why the Caribs were able to withstand European domination
(8) How similar were the attempts of Bartolome de las Casas and Antonio de Montesinos to improve conditions for the Arawaks?
(9) “The Spaniards were responsible for the genocide of the Arawaks” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(10) “1492 brought culture, civilization and religion to the Caribbean” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Week: Three
Theme 2: European Settlement and Rivalry
Topic: Discovery Focus Areas (a) Results and consequences of Columbus’ voyage (b) Reasons why Columbus sailed West (c) The four voyages of Columbus (d) How Columbus financed his voyage (e) Factors that made the voyage possible (f) Islands discovered by Columbus on each of his four (4) voyages
Between the mid –fourteenth and mid sixteenth century, Europe was experiencing great changes. The old order of rule by lords, barons and kings, whose power was based upon how much land they owned, was breaking down and people with wealth were becoming more powerful. With more wealth, people had time to spend in leisure pursuits, such as art science and discovery. This period is called the Renaissance—the rebirth of learning.
With the revival of the ancient wisdom, people began to realize that the world was round and not flat and that the ocean depths were not the home of horrible monsters and evil spirits. Since the world is round, if anyone was brave enough he could sail from Europe towards the west and arrive finally in the land of the east. In the fifteenth century, the large eastern trades in spices silk and other precious cargo were fetched from these ports by Venetian ships to be sold by Venetian merchants to other parts of Europe. There were other states which desired to share in this carrying trade. Also too, the land route on which most of the goods travelled had become dangerous and risky. It was infested with robbers and bandits. It was long and traders could only carry limited amounts of goods. The goods were therefore expensive. If a sea route could be found, it would solve several problems, the most important one being the quantity of goods which could be transported. A single voyage by sea could bring back as much goods as it would take a year to transport over land. This means an enormous amount of profits could be made via a sea route. The danger and the risk posed by the land route and the length of time it took to cover the journey would be eliminated. The Turks, who monopolized the trade route and charged high tolls, causing the goods to be expensive, would be avoided and hence profit margins would be increased.
Many countries desired to participate in this profitable trade. Portugal was the foremost of these states and the Portuguese were the first sailors in the early modern times to try to find a new sea route. They were encouraged by one of their princes, who was afterwards called Prince Henry the Navigator (1394- 1460). For over forty years he devoted his private fortune and his energy to trade and shipping. He had better ships built, and equipped them with the mariner’s compass; and he employed map-makers to provide more accurate maps. He also offered great rewards to skilled seamen who would come and teach young men in a naval college which he set up in one of his palaces. The ships he sent out sailed along the west coast of Africa and even ventured some distance out on the Atlantic Ocean, which the sailors of those days called the “Sea of Darkness’. They reached the island of Madeira, the Canaries, the Azores and Cape Verde. Year by year the Portuguese continued to explore the West African coast, hoping to find a way to India, along which they would trade without interference from Venice. Portugal was well suited to be a base for long voyages, not only because of being the most westerly of all the countries of Europe, but because it possessed some of the most experienced seamen.
In the year 1486, the Portuguese rounded the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Twelve years later they had reached India by sailing right round Africa and were soon bringing back the spice and silk of India in their ships.
From the evidence above; there are many reasons which explain why Europeans sailed west. (1) Marco Polo had travelled to China (Cathay) and brought back tales of fabulous wealth in gold and this excited the imagination of Europeans. Gold was needed to be used as currency (means of exchange) since trade by bartering was ending and gold was not available in sufficient quantity in Europe. (2) There was an increased demand for Asian goods. More and more people were becoming familiar with spices, silk and other Asian goods which had spread to most parts of Europe. (3) The search for a new trade route became necessary because the existing land route was unsatisfactory, A. It was too long, b. dangerous, c. insufficient quantity obtained by land, d. Turkish tolls, e. monopoly of Venetian and Genoese. (4) The breakdown of feudal structure which caused a change in the social order based on the ownership of land. New territories were being sought to increase possession of land. Subordinates challenging authority of the king who needed wealth rumored to be found overseas. Rulers encouraged exploration because gold found would increase their revenues and enable them to keep the ever mighty lords in their place. (5) The discovery of new lands would add international prestige. (6) The growth of nationalism meant that the idea of Europe as one Christian nation was declining and Europeans began to regard themselves not as Christian brothers but as Englishmen, Frenchmen etc. Rivalry developed between these countries and this was expressed in exploration. Each nation wanted to outdo the other and be the first to discover new lands. Rulers therefore encouraged their subjects to discover new lands. (7) The Renaissance revived interest in the writing of the ancients. Tales of Phoenician travels were revived. Europeans sought to imitate these ancient explorers. Moreover the Renaissance focused the individual’s attention on what he could achieve, rather than the achievement of his guild. (8) Missionary Zeal- 15th Century Europe sought to find heathen souls to convert them to Christianity because they were filled with zeal to bring souls to the Roman Catholic fold.
Factors that made these voyages possible (1) Legacy of exploration—the maps, charts and information of all other explorers before Columbus. The information from his father-in-law who had been governor of Madeira—the evidence of land west of the Azores. The voyages of the Portuguese. (2) Renaissance: development of the printing press and the growth of schools and universities (3) Navigational aids. Quadrant, Astrolabe, Ship design, Sail, Throw lead, Hour glass, Compass.

Results and Consequences of Voyages (1) Destruction of the myth of the Atlantic as a Sea of Darkness. (2) Meeting of two cultures and disappearance of week ones (3) Introduction of new trees and plants (4) New languages (5) New Architecture (6) Other explorers followed. (7) International rivalry

Christopher Columbus and His Voyages to the Caribbean
Christopher Columbus was born near the Italian city of Genoa about the year 1446; (some sources say 1451) the exact date is unknown. He was the eldest of three brothers, the names of the others being Bartholomew and Diego. His father was a weaver, a trade which his family had carried on for several generations.
From an early age Christopher had made up his mind to be a sailor. He went to sea when he was about fourteen years old, sailing with a distant relative, an old seaman named Colombo. He married the daughter of a well- known Portuguese navigator, Bartholomew Perestrello, the first governor of Porto Santo Madeira. Perestrello’s widow gave his son-in-law charts, journals and information that had belonged to her late husband. Columbus studied these and also the famous book of Marco Polo, which told of the experiences of a thirteenth century Venetian family in Cathay (China).
Columbus made voyages to the Canaries and the west coast of Africa, and when on shore, earned a living by making maps and charts, thus coming into contact with many old seamen. Ancient writers had said that there was land away to the west and the talks Columbus had with other seamen confirmed this. A relative of his wife had found pieces of carved wood cut by no ordinary knife on the shores of Porto Santo brought there by westerly tides. Because of his own experiences and these events, he formed the idea of sailing west to reach the east. After king John of Portugal had refused to help him, Columbus went to Isabella in 1492 and said that she could reach the east before the Portuguese by sailing west. Isabella welcomed the chance to beat the Portuguese and she agreed to support him. It was agreed that all the lands discovered would be the exclusive property of Spain. In return, Isabella would give Columbus three caravels, the title of Viceroy of all the lands he discovered with control over their trade and shipping and a tenth share of their wealth.
Columbus’ first voyage in 1492
Columbus set sail with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, his flag ship. They were of the most advanced design and equipped with the latest navigational aids. He had great difficulty raising a crew of ninety four (94) men.
Columbus sailed from Palos on 3rd August, 1492. He made first for the Canary Islands and then sailed west for six weeks driven by the favorable trade winds. He faced many problems on his first voyage. To begin with, the rudder of the Pinta was damaged and had to be fixed. There was nowhere for his men to sleep and on top of that the compass failed to work. There were many false sightings of land and the crew had to cook on sand beds. Perhaps his biggest challenge was putting down a mutiny. On 11th of October the crew saw signs of land from the flights of migrating birds and the next day Columbus sighted the island of San Salvador (called Guanahani by the Lucayans) in the Bahamas. It should be noted that some sources believe that it was Cat Island instead of San Salvador on which Columbus landed. The detailed description he gave in his journal seems to describe the topography, size and terrain of Cat Island. The description included a harbor which more accurately resembles one which he would naturally land given the direction from which he came. In many ways Columbus was lucky, his crew could not have gone on much further and had threatened mutiny. He missed the hurricane season in the West Indies and he arrived at exactly the right time to see the migrating birds.
Columbus explored many island s in the Bahamas and then the northern coast of Cuba which he named Juana. He crossed the Windward Passage, between Cuba and Hispaniola and called at Tortuga and on the 16th of December landed on Hispaniola. Through carelessness the Santa Maria was wrecked and because one of his sailors disobediently went off with the Pinta for several weeks Columbus had only one ship the Nina. Columbus decided to build a colony called La Navidad (because it was Christmas time) and forty men volunteered to stay. Guacaganari, a friendly Cacique, helped Columbus carry the timber from the wrecked Santa Maria to build the fort.
On January 4th Columbus set sail on his return voyage and after two days the Pinta rejoined him. He took Nine Arawaks, parrots, gold, cotton and other items of interest and sailed with difficulty until he was far enough north to pick up a westerly wind. Columbus was received with great excitement by the king and queen in Barcelona and it seemed his dreams had come true.
The Rival Claims of Spain and Portugal
The king of Portugal heard about Columbus’ discoveries and he quickly claimed the Indies for Portugal. The matter was put to the arbitration of the Pope, Alexander VI who was Spanish himself and very pleased with Spain for having driven out the Moors in 1492. In May 1493, he issued the Bull, Inter Caetera, which gave the discoveries of Columbus to Spain. The king of Portugal protested and war threatened, but in June 1494 the treaty of Tordesillas was signed between Spain and Portugal. An imaginary line was drawn down the world 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. Spain took the lands to the west of the line and Portugal the land to the east, provided they were not already claimed by a Christian prince.
Columbus’ Second Voyage
Seven months after his return, Columbus was sent back to the West Indies by Ferdinand and Isabella to claim the islands and begin serious settlement. He was made admiral of a fleet of ships carrying 1500 settlers and twelve missionaries as well as the nine Arawaks he had taken to Spain who were to act as interpreters. Many of the settlers were ex—soldiers. Horses, cattle, sheep, goats and poultry were taken, but more important of all was sugar cane from the Canary Islands.
Columbus reached La Navidad on December 27th only to find that the colony had disappeared. He had left it under the care of Guacaganari and warned his men not to interfere with Arawak women. The Spaniards probably disregard this and aroused the anger of the Arawaks. Columbus blamed the Arawaks and ended up killing them. His administrative difficulties had just begun. He sent some Caribs back to Spain as slaves because they had fought against him, but Isabella set them free and was angry with Columbus. In Hispaniola the Spanish settlers were unhappy at finding so little gold and they mutinied when Columbus made them do manual labor to build Isabella. He put down the mutiny and then went exploring, leaving Diego his brother in charge of Hispaniola. Diego was equally unpopular. When Columbus returned to Hispaniola he was faced with an Arawak attack in which nearly all the caciques except Guacagnari had united. With only two hundred armed men, Columbus defeated thousands of Arawaks. He also enslaved five hundred and sent them back to Spain. All the male Arawaks over fourteen years were forced to labor for the Spaniards, or pay a tribute of half an ounce of gold or twenty five pounds of cotton every three months. Bad reports were taken back to Spain regarding Columbus poor administration and Juan de Fonseca, the controller of the settlement of the Indies, who was jealous of Columbus sent an investigator to collect evidence against the Columbus brothers.
Columbus’ third and fourth voyages
Columbus was sponsored a third voyage, however it was difficult for him to raise a crew as little wealth had been found in the Indies and the island s were known to be unhealthy Columbus made the mistake of transporting criminals to Hispaniola. He constantly had problems and because of bad reports of his administration he was recalled to Spain in chains, arrested but was immediately released because of popular outcry.
Isabella agreed to a fourth voyage by Columbus as the explorer was convinced that there was a passage East beyond the islands he had discovered. He had to promise her that he would not call at Hispaniola. He disobeyed her as his ships needed repairs but Ovando (the first governor of the New World) refused to let him land. On this voyage he visited Central America, the coast of Honduras to Panama, Cayman Islands and Jamaica.
Columbus was a very great and courageous navigator who believed that the way to the East was through the West and he held to this belief all his life. As an administrator he was a failure. He is condemned for his treatment of the Arawaks but was often considerate towards them and his treatment cannot be compared to the cruelty that followed.
Supplemental reading can be found in:
The People Who Came --- Book two by Patterson
From Earliest Times to the Seventeenth Century Book three by Carter, Dighby & Murry Pgs. 1 --- 21
Tests & Quizzes
Multiple Choice Items:
Circle the letter representing the correct response. (1) Spain agreed to help Columbus in 1492 because: a. She had just won a war against the Moors b. Isabella had inherited great wealth c. Columbus threatened to go to France d. Ferdinand & and Isabella wanted to be the first to discover a sea route to trade with Asia (2) Portugual did not help Columbus because: The a. They had already found a route around Africa b. Columbus did not meet with the approval of the King c. The Portuguese did not like Italians d. Columbus was a supporter of the opposition (3) The first Island Columbus landed on the Caribbean was: a. Cuba b. Eleuthera c. Hispaniola d. San Salvador (4) Columbus’ enterprise of the Indies was planned to reach a. China and Japan by sailing West b. Canary Islands by sailing East c. Hispaniola and Jamaica by sailing West d. San Salvador and Haiti by sailing South (5) Columbus’ first voyage left: a. From Palos on August 3rd 1492 b. From Madrid on August 13th 1492 c. From Canary Islands August 1st 1492 d. From Lisbon, Portugal August 10th 1492 (6) Which of the following navigational aids was not used by Columbus? a. Astrolabe b. Compass c. Echo Sounder d. Quadrant (7) The early Europeans measured the depth of the ocean by using: a. The echo sounder b. The throw lead c. The quadrant d. The anchor (8) The Bahamas was explored by Columbus in: a. 1491 b. 1492 c. 1493 d. 1496 (9) The Europeans wanted to trade with China because a. They were intrigued with Chinese Culture b. They wanted to impress the Chinese with their technology c. They heard of the Chinese wealth from Marco Polo d. They wanted to learn the Chinese way of government

(10) The Europeans wanted these from the East a. Gold and spice b. Cotton and gems c. Rice and ivory d. Silk and peanuts (11) The people Columbus found in the Bahamas were: a. Caribs b. Aztecs c. Africans d. Arawaks (12) After travelling 2,400 miles across the Atlantic Ocean without seeing land, the men on the ship: a. Threatened to go to Jamaica immediately b. Agreed to sail for ten more days c. Were happy to continue sailing until they spotted land d. Threatened to throw Columbus overboard and return to Spain (13) Which of the following was not a cause of the search for new trade routes? a. There was an increase in demand for Asian goods b. Insufficient goods were brought c. The overland routes were dangerous and slow d. The Mediterranean sea entrance was blocked (14) Which is the most accurate location of Columbus’ birth place a. Genoa b. Italy c. Florence d. Europe (15) Columbus’ sailors panicked when they entered a. The Saragossa Sea b. The Sarataga Sea c. The Scandinavian sea d. The South Ocean (16) To Columbus, carved wood found on the shores of Madeira Island meant a. The Madeirans had a highly developed craft industry b. People inhabited islands to the west c. Maderian sailors had visited India d. Portuguese wood carving could not compare with the Madeiran’s (17) Columbus was delayed three weeks in the Canaries because a. The sails of the Pinta were being changes b. The ships had to be provisioned for a long voyage c. The Pinta’s rudder had to be repaired d. The Santa Maria sprang a leak (18) Columbus was the first European to explore the Caribbean. On his first voyage he explored three islands. a. Trinidad, Guadeloupe, Jamaica b. St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Jamaica c. Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola d. Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent (19) The Spaniards did not settle the Bahamas because a. The islands were too small b. The islands were too thinly populated c. The islands did not possess mineral wealth and could not support large scale agriculture or ranching d. The islands were too cold (20) Columbus was born in the year a. 1441 b. 1446 c. 1456 d. 1502 (21) On his first voyage Columbus took a. One ship and 20 men b. Three ships and 120 men c. Five ships and 100 men d. Ten ships and 200 men (22) The Santa Maria ran aground and had to leave some of his men at a. Cuba b. La Navidad c. Rum Cay d. San Salvador.
Short Answer Questions (1) Explain why the year 1492 is an important date in our history (2) Explain the reasons why Europeans and also Columbus sailed west. (3) Identify four problems Columbus encountered on his first voyage (4) Discuss some of the important events in Columbus’ life which influenced his career as a navigator. (5) Outline Columbus’ first voyage, including dates, places visited, and consequences of this voyage. (6) Discuss the results of the work of Las Casas and Montesinos in their attempts to achieve freedom for the Indians
B.G.C.S.E. Past Paper Questions.
(1) “Columbus’ voyages were beneficial only to the Spanish.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(2) What other country was part of the Treaty of Tordesillas along with Spain?
(3) What does the word Renaissance mean?
(4) State three developments during the Renaissance that made long distance travel possible.
(5) Explain why Spain sponsored Columbus’ voyages.
(6) Compare the Arawaks’ way of life before and after Columbus’ discovery of the New World.
(7) “Christopher Columbus is a hero.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(8) Name the person who introduced the encomienda system to Hispaniola.
(9) State three terms of the encomienda agreement.
(10) How similar were the attempts of Bartolome de las Casas and Antonio de Montesinos to improve the conditions of the Arawaks?
(11) “The Spaniards were responsible for the genocide of the Arawaks.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(12) Name the treaty which divided the world between Spain and Portugal.
(13) State three islands which the Spanish colonized
(14) In what year was the Treaty of Tordesillas introduced?
(15) Identify three motives for European exploration and settlement of the New World
(16) What is the name of Columbus’ flag ship?
(17) State three (3) great achievements during the Renaissance period.
(18) Explain why the Renaissance period was a turning point in European history.
(19) How similar were Columbus’ voyage and other voyages during the Renaissance?
(20) “1492 brought culture, civilization and religion to the Caribbean” to what extent do you agree with this statement? Discuss your answer.
(21) Give an account of Columbus’ first voyage, and discuss his motive for sailing west.
(22) Discuss the importance of the Inter Caetera Bulls and the Treaty of Tordesillas.
End of Section One (1)
Week: Four (4)
Theme: European Settlement and Rivalry Cont’d
Topic: Reasons for the coming of Europeans

Focus Areas: Methods adopted by the French, English and Dutch to Challenge Spain’s Monopoly in the Caribbean Colonizing activities and the motive for settlement Granting to Sir Robert Heath of: Eleuthera, Eleutheran Adventurers Life of early settlers Proprietary Period Identification and power of Lord Proprietors Reasons for the failure of Proprietary Government
In earlier notes you have learnt that Spain and Portugal were having conflict over ownership of the lands discovered. The Pope as the international arbitrator at the time gave Spain all the land discovered by Columbus (Treaty of Tordesillas 1494). However, other nations wanted to compete for the land which Spain owned in the Caribbean. These nations included chiefly Britain, France Portugal and Holland (Dutch). Why did they want ownership of the land that belonged to Spain? There is no single answer to this question as there were many reasons operating in the minds of Europeans. These will be discussed below.
It was a generally accepted European policy that no one country should dominate the wealth of continental Europe. To make matters worse, Spain was using its newly discovered wealth to finance long and exhaustive wars in Europe. Knowing that they could not compete with Spain in Europe, other nations tried to attack Spain at the point where she proved to be most vulnerable, her West Indian empire. Spain secured a considerable amount of wealth from its New Word possessions. Pizzaro and Cortes had conquered the fabulously wealthy Incas and Mayan empires in South America and sent ship loads of gold and silver to Spain. While not much gold was found in the West Indies, wealth was generated through farming and agricultural activities (remember the Indians were used as slave laborers on these plantations) to which the first colonists turned when gold was not found.
In trying to establish a profitable crop, they experimented with many produce. The successful crop would have to satisfy a number of criteria. While the citrus did well in the tropical climate, fruits were highly perishable products and could not withstand the long transatlantic crossing back to Europe. Dye was needed for the budding textile industry but dyewood was too bulky for the small ships at the time and would therefore not be profitable. Corn could be produced but was also produced in Europe so was therefore unable to compete on the European market. Any successful agricultural product had to be in great demand in Europe, highly profitable, not perishable nor bulky. Tobacco which was introduced by the first set of explorers became popular and smoking this product was seen as fashionable. It was therefore in great demand and met the criteria listed above. A single farmer with a few helping hands could successfully produce tobacco. It did not need large capital outlay to produce the crop and therefore became a crop of choice for the colonists.
As stated before, other European nations recognized the wealth that Spain was amassing from its empire through these means and therefore anxious themselves to partake in this endeavor. They claimed that nothing in Adams will made Spain a benefactor of the land and therefore they would recognize only Spain’s ability to defend its property by force of arms or if those islands were settled, otherwise the land was fair game. Since the islands were so far- flung and scattered over the area and so many in numbers, Spain had neither the ability to successfully neither defend the territory nor occupy all the islands. Other nations began to settle the region and used many methods to encroach on Spanish property. For example, the Dutch traded with the colonist by providing them with much needed European goods, the Portuguese supplied African slaves during the Sugar Revolution when laborers were needed by the colonists. These were only some of the methods used to break the Spanish monopoly in the region; more will be discussed as we look at Piracy and Privateering. It has therefore become evident that Europeans nations were willing to challenge Spain to partake in the wealth that its W.I. possessions were generating. The main methods employed were settlement and trading.
Spain’s Monopoly System
Upon recognizing the threat posed by its rivals, Spain organized itself to defend its rights to the region. The Spanish believed that the wealth of its empire in the Americas existed only to increase its power. By wanting to keep foreigners out it was felt that trade to and from the colonies should be in its hands. Spain was not a manufacturing country itself and was unable to supply the colonies with many of the goods they needed. The colonists therefore wanted free trade but the authorities tried to close the Caribbean to foreigners and caused a conflict of interest between the home government and the settlers. In 1503, a bureau was created called the Casa de Contratacion (House of Trade) was developed to oversee all trade with the colonies which should be duly authorized and overseen by the authorities to ensure compliance. Ships had to be registered and license. Everything sent to the New World had to be carried in ships registered in Spain. Duties were leveled on imports and exports. A convoy system was organized whereby a fleet of ships would travel and lighter ships would be dispatched to protect the main fleet. This method of protection was suggested by Pedro Menendez de Aviles and lasted for 150 years during which time only three fleets were lost.
To make sure that laws were obeyed, audencia was set up. These comprised of judges who ensured that the laws as outlined by Spain were upheld. The church also played its part in the process by ensuring that people remained loyal to the church and the Spanish monarchs. Spain set up forts, established the guarda costa and a militia to patrol the seas and protect its possessions.
Challenging Spain’s Monopoly
As stated before, other European nations were not prepared to accept Spain’s claim to all the wealth from the New World. After the discovery of trade routes to the West Indies, European power struggle were no longer fought out just on the continent. Each country wanted to weaken its rivals by capturing their overseas bases and interrupting the flow of trading goods, gold and silver.
Privateers and Traders
In the 16th century, European countries, apart from Spain, had only small fighting navies. When war broke out, the governments would take over merchant ships and fit them out with guns. They would also issue letters of marque to captains of merchant vessels. The letter gave authority to attack enemy ports and ships. Captains had to hand over part of any booty to their government but they could sell the rest. The advantage of the letter of marquee was that it gave the sailors the right to be treated as warriors and not as pirates. If their ship was captured they would be made prisoners rather than hanged as outlaws.
Fleets of French privateers, called corsairs were active in the Caribbean in the war between France and Spain. In 1523 privateers attacked a Spanish Convoy and seized two galleons. French privateers were regularly plundering Spanish ships in the Florida channel and boldly attacking settlements in Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The government of Spain took strong measures to defend itself. As said before (opposite page), in 1543 Spanish ships were ordered to sail in convoys. There were two annual fleets. The first, the Flota, left Seville in April or May and sailed to the West Indies where it divided. Some ships stopped at West Indian ports and the rest continued to Mexico. Both reassembled in Havana in April or May. After refitting and taking food aboard the combined fleet under heavy protection from guard ships, sailed across the Atlantic to Spain. In its long history, the whole convoy was captured only 4 times, although one or two ships were lost every year in storms or to pirates.
In 1562 Pedro Mendez de Aviles was sent to the colonies to strengthen their defenses. He rebuilt the coastal towns destroyed by enemies, added walls and fortification. He had Havana rebuilt in stones, with the Morro Castle constructed at the harbor entrance to protect the fleets assembling for the homeward voyage. De Aviles launched an attack on Florida where French corsairs had bases for their raids on the homeward bound convoy. The French sailors were brutally slaughtered in the so-called “Florida Massacre” A new Spanish fort was built at St. Augustine where a permanent squadron kept guard over convoys in the Florida Channel.
English Privateers
Some English sailors were given letters of marquee by the French during their war with Spain. Men such as Francis Drake looted and burned Spanish settlement and stole whatever they could.
Illegal Traders
Europeans who wanted to carry out peaceful trade with the Spanish settlers were breaking the laws of the Spanish empire. Yet the same regulations caused problems for the settlers who often could not get the goods or slaves they wanted from Spanish traders. The convoy system made the shortage worse as merchants could not send goods until one of the two great fleets set out from Seville. These problems made colonists willing to break the regulations and trade with foreigners. Some were Englishmen like John Hawkins. In 1563 he arrived on the North Coast of Hispaniola with three ships carrying 400 slaves from West Africa. The colonists eagerly paid for the slaves with hides and sugar. Hawkins paid all Spanish Taxes and customs duty. Another group who supplied the settlers’ needs was the Portuguese. Since 1530 they had held the asiento or license to sell African slaves to the settlers. This licensed trade also became a cover for shipping many other goods to the colonies.
By the end of the sixteenth century it was the Dutch who were the busiest illegal traders. They found the colonists eager to trade with them because their goods were cheap and could be bought on easy terms.
The Monopoly Broken
As the 16th century drew to a close, the monopoly system was broken. The Caribbean sailing routes were controlled for most of each year by Dutch, English and French sailors. Spanish convoy still sailed to collect the precious metals from the mainland, but their rivals had the strongest grip on trade with agricultural settlements on the coast and the Caribbean. Most Spanish officials were happy to grow rich themselves from taking part in the illegal trade. In 1602, the Spanish king sent an agent to find out how loyal his colonial governors were. He found those in Puerto Rico, Cartagena and Havana guilty of trading with the Dutch rebels and returned with the disturbing news that Dutch Ships in the Caribbean outnumbered the Spanish by 5 to 1. Spaniards welcome foreigners who provided goods which could not be obtained from Spanish traders; some were even allowed to open shops in the colonies
Effects of the Monopoly System
The monopoly system had many weaknesses. The main one was that it brought little real wealth to Spain. The gold and silver poured through Seville but that simply caused inflation. The many restrictions on trade meant that Spain was actually discouraging her overseas people from producing far more valuable goods for export. In turn that meant that few Spanish went to settle in the empire, especially on the Caribbean islands. Each of the large islands on the Greater Antilles had only a few hundred settlers. On Trinidad and the Guyana coast in the 16th century shows just how weak the Spanish were in the eastern Caribbean.
English, French and Dutch Colonies
When Spain signed treaties to end her wars with France and England, she refused to agree that they had any rights to own land or trade in the Americas. On the other hand England and France refused to accept that Spain had any rights in places that she did not effectively occupy. The Spanish clearly had enough soldiers, officials and settlers to effectively occupy the mainland but this was less true in the Western Caribbean islands. It was not at all true in the eastern islands or the Guyana coast. In the 17th century Spain’s rivals opened their own settlements on these islands which Spanish colonists had neglected.
In earlier chapters you have learnt that tobacco had been brought back to Europe by the early explorers. In the late 16th century pipe-smoking came into fashion in England, especially among the well-to-do. From England the habit passed to Holland and then into Germany and Central Europe and on to Turkey. At the same time the Spanish were learning to like cigars and the Irish were known for taking snuff. Demand for tobacco soared, despite the effort by some rulers to prevent the habit. There were great profits to be made from selling tobacco to shopkeepers. Because of this, rivals of Spain began to look for places which the Spanish did not effectively occupy where they could start their own plantations. The most successful British colony was started in St. Kitts where by Thomas Warner
The settlers had to face difficulties. They had to face hurricanes drought and diseases along with raids from the Caribs. The occasional Spanish ship made surprise raids and burn crops while destroying settlements. As the number of settlers grew, it became difficult to find men work. The first English solution was the indentured laborer or bondservant system. Under this system, companies gave special contract to poor emigrants who were usually agricultural laborers. In return for a free passage to the Caribbean, they signed an indenture bond agreeing to work for 5 years on one of the plantations. When this bond ran out they were given a few simple farming tools and allowed to take up five acres of land to begin their own plantation. A steady stream of men took up indentures, and this raised the European population on Barbados from 6,000 to 36,000 between 1636 and 1645 and on St Kitts from 3,000 to over 20,000 between 1629 and 1643.
As more bond servants arrived, a new difficulty arose; growing tobacco on the English islands was becoming less profitable. Planters faced competition from plantations in Virginia which had now gained the largest part of the European market. With large areas of land, Virginia was able to produce tobacco at a much lower cost and its flavor was greatly preferred by European smokers.
The Dutch in the Caribbean
The Dutch brought slaves and goods to the Caribbean. They showed hardly any interest in planting apart from small settlements on Berbice(Present day Guyana) and Essequibo rivers. Instead they seized two groups of tiny islands in the southern group of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire lay close to the ports of the Spanish mainland. The northern islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Martin were near to the Spanish colonies in the Greater Antilles. In 1648 Spain recognized these islands as Dutch colonies in the treaty of Munster. This treaty was the first in which the Spanish agreed that another nation could own colonies here. However, they still refused to allow their colonists to trade with other Europeans. But Spain did not have the sea-power to prevent the Dutch being their main suppliers of Spanish colonists. At the same time the Dutch ships kept open Europe’s links with the French and English settlements in the Caribbean.
The Foster-Fathers
The Dutch have been called the foster-fathers of the French and English settlements in the Caribbean for the way they kept them supplied when they were abandoned by France and rebelling against England. Dutch merchants carried tobacco and other produce back to Europe and as one colonist stated “brought to the Caribbean all the things that were necessary for their comfortable subsistence.” It was from the Dutch that English and French settlers learned of the profits which could be made from large-scale sugar production. A small amount was already grown on Barbados and turned into a strong wine, but no sugar was exported until two Barbadian planters visited the Dutch plantation in Brazil. There they saw cane fields and factories worked by African slaves. Back in Barbados, they planted canes and cropped their first harvest, probably in 1643. Very soon sugar was the main export crop on the island.
The Dutch had many reasons for encouraging sugar planting. It brought more work for their ships and seamen; their merchants could lend money to planters to set up mills and buy the copper kettles needed for boiling. Refineries in Holland needed supplies of raw sugar. But sadly, the greatest profits were to be made from carrying slaves across the Atlantic to work on plantations. Despite the profits, other English islands were slow to turn from tobacco to the new crop and Barbados was the only prosperous English colony for 20 years. The Dutch also encouraged sugar planting by the French in Guadeloupe and Martinique in the 1640s. Dutchmen fled to these islands when they were driven out of Brazil in the years between 1640 and 1650. A thousand came to Martinique and 300 came to Guadeloupe, bringing their knowledge of sugar and slavery to them.
For a few years in the 1640s and early 1650s, the Dutch were the only Europeans carrying regular trade to and from the Caribbean. They were too successful not to attract the attention of rivals. Soon the merchants of England and France were pressing their government to take a new interest in the Caribbean. The first to move was the English government. The Dutch too Attacked Spain’s monopoly in the Caribbean and was the only European nation to force Spain to recognize that other European nations had rights to be there. The Dutch found the West Indian Company in 1621 to organize trade and attacks in the West Indies. Dutch privateers such as Piet Heyn, Pieter Ita, Van Utygeest and Jacob Hemskerck weakened the Spanish Empire.
As said earlier, the Dutch came to dominate trade in the Caribbean. They came originally in search of salt which they needed for their dairy and fishing industry. They traded at Cape Verde Islands (1585) Brazil and Madera, off the Spanish Main, also Santo Domingo. They accepted pearls sugar, dyewood and hides in return for European manufactured goods and in 1606 they brought slaves. The Spanish tried to drive out the Dutch but by 1640 they had routed the Spaniards enabling other European nations to settle on islands unoccupied by Spain. The Dutch themselves also settled on the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maartin, Bon Aire, Aruba and Curacao. They used these islands to store trade goods. They offered credit to settlers, brought their produce, allowed the settlers to purchase manufactured goods and accepted their produce as payment; they carried their products to Europe. After 1660 they were driven out of the Caribbean after the Navigational Acts were passed (this answers the question as to why they were referred to as the foster fathers of the colonists).
Settlement in The Bahamas
We see thus far that although The Bahamas was the first W.I Island to be discovered it was neglected for over 56 years. When the early explorers realized that there were neither gold nor precious metals, they turned to agriculture as a means of creating wealth. By growing tropical crops which could not be grown in Europe, settlers would sell the crops to other countries in Europe who did not have overseas colonies. The Bahamas was unsuitable for large scale agricultural production and was therefore of no use to the colonizers. The islands were far-flung and scattered all over the Atlantic. Large tracks of arable lands were needed for agricultural purposes and the islands were too small. Furthermore, the soil was infertile with limestone just beneath the surface. This caused the soil to be unable to retain moisture for an extended period of time and it could not withstand any lengthy period without rainfall. The waters were treacherous with large amounts of reefs and shoals which made it dangerous to navigate. Later on it became a pirate stronghold. It was simply not sufficiently attractive to settlers.
The first island in The Bahamas to be colonized by England was Eleutheria. England was having a civil war. One half of England was fighting for the King and they were called Royalists; the other half was fighting for Parliament. The quarrel was about power and religion. Bermuda was an English colony so people in Bermuda began to take sides. The religious quarrel in England was caused because the king tried to force everyone to go to the Anglican Church. The King of England made the laws for Bermuda so everyone in Bermuda was forced to go to the Anglican Church.
The Eleutheran Adventurers were a group of people belonging to many different churches who did not wish to go to the Anglican Church and so looked for a place where they could have freedom of worship. It was William Sayle, a former Governor of Bermuda who was responsible for the first settlement. He was a prominent Independent suspected of attempted insurrection against the governors and Royalists in 1647. In that year he was sent by the Independents to plead their cause in England. Indeed it was he who named the island of New Providence, which for some time was known as Sayles Island.
The Eleutheran Adventurers were made up of Independent believers of the Church of England who lived in Bermuda and came to make their home in Eleuthera. They came to the Bahamas because there was a dispute between the Independent believers who did not wish to conform to the ideas and practices of the Church of England and the Royalists who did. This squabble reflected the civil war, then being waged in England between the king and Parliament. On the execution of Charles the first in 1649 the Bermuda Royalists declared Charles the second as their king and banished the Independents to Eleutheria
The Adventurers had anything but an easy existence. Shortly after arriving, dissension split the group. There was a captain Butler who had come from England and who had a strange conception of religious freedom. He seemed to have taken it to mean he should be free from all religion. He violently objected to the preaching, prayers and hymns that went on around him. Having decided that the colony would ill-starred with Butler and his adherents in the midst, Captain Sayle thereupon set sail once again, taking with him most of the colonists. Sayle and his group were shipwrecked, lost all of their provisions. As the land was poor, the settlers were soon in a pitiful state. The people of Virginia and New England had to help. Sail went to Virginia and the New Englanders heard of their plight. Many of the settlers returned to Bermuda.
The Type of Government Established
The group decided to establish a Republic with the first Senate consisting of all the original settlers. A governor and Council were to be chosen in England for three years, but other Governors were to be elected by the people of the colony. Seventy settlers started out at Eleuthera along with about 28 slaves. Among these first settlers were such names as John Bethel, William Carey, Daniel Culmer, Mary Dorsett, Ben Ingraham, Matthew Lowe and Richard Sawyer. All the stores were lost and the Adventurers had to live off the land. Sayle took a small boat and sailed to Virginia for aid. He arrived in 9 days, obtained the supplies and was loaned a boat. The Puritans provided him with assistance also. Sayle rewarded the New Englanders with tons of Braziletto wood which grew in Eleuthera and was valuable for making cabinets and also for red and purple dyes.
They also depended on the export of Braziletto and Ambergris, the gleanings from wrecks and the sporadic generosity of other colonies. Ambergris, a secretion from the whale, was used in the perfume industry and cookery and commanded four pounds per ounce. In 1656, all free Negroes in Bermuda were sent to Eleutheria because some had been connected with a plot to destroy the English. In 1658 Sayle returned to England to report to the company which had financed his earlier voyage. He later returned to Bermuda as governor in 1658 until 1662. He saw to it that the Eleutherans received help when needed. In 1666, a second shipwreck cast Sayle and his company on the shores of New Providence. He named it Sayles Island and within five years the island had about 1,000 people including slaves. There was no organized development or real law practiced. The Articles of the Adventurers had fallen into disuse. Sayle urged the 8 Lord Proprietors of Carolina to take an interest in the Bahamas. This they did but Sayle died in 1671, never to see his dream become a reality.
The Articles began by condemning faction and proclaimed that the colony would be a Republic and enjoy freedom of conscience in religious matters. For an outlay of 100 pounds, investors who were to be limited in number to 100 were styled Adventurers and each entitled to 300 acres in the main settlement. Time –expired indentured servants were to be given 25 acres a piece. All land was to be worked in common for the first 3 years of the colony, or perhaps less by an agreement of the majority.
The natural product of the Bahamas, it was agreed would be sold and after cost had been deducted one third of the income was to go to the original finder, one third to the Public Treasury and one third to the original Adventurers. Guns from wrecks were to be employed for common defense. All males between 15 and 50 were to serve. The Government was to consist of a Senate of 100 Adventurers, who was to have the power to appoint Justice of The Peace and distribute public land. They were to be in charge of public lands and finance. The first president of the Senate was to be called Governor. He was to be chosen for three years. An advisory council of twelve was also chosen. As already said, Eleuthera, (the Greek word for freedom), was settled in 1648. They experienced early difficulties which include shipwreck, loss of provisions, and poor soil. They drew up a charter detailing religious freedom, how the land was to be shared how the colony was to be defended, how the colony was to be governed and how natural products were to be shared. The colony failed because of agricultural problems, the lack of good administration and in 1670 the islands of Eleuthera, Harbour Island and New Providence were given to 6 proprietors. This lasted from 1670-1718.
The Proprietors
Sayle and the Eleutheran Adventurers had no legal claim to New Providence. NP had twice as many people and was without an organized government. Sayle felt some responsibility for the Eleutheran Adventurers and John Darrel and Hugh Wenthworth who had stood the cost and arranged transportation of poor Bermudian farmers, felt responsible for New Providence. As a result, Sayle, Darrell, Wenthworth and others wrote to Lord Ashley and suggested that he and other Proprietors of Carolina should obtain patent for the Bahamas.
November 1st 1670 all Bahama Islands were granted to Christopher Duke of Albermarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkly, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carteret and Sir Peter Colleton. They were required to pay a quit rent of one pound of fine silver whenever the king visited the islands. The king and also Proprietors never visited the islands. The Proprietors’ object was to reap as much profit as possible from cautious investment.
Governor’s Council------ Five representatives of the Lord Proprietors
The Assembly ------------Included 20 men chosen by the free holders.
Grand Council ------------Included five representatives of the Lord Proprietors. In this council, six were to form a majority of which three had to be Proprietors representatives. All acts went to the Lord Proprietors, if they were approved they became acts for sixty years.
The Assembly ------------Was to meet every two years unless emergencies arose. Their Power (1) Divided the colony into counties and baronies (2) Power to grant religious toleration (3) Could construct forts, raise levy, make war on land and on sea (4) All land held directly of the Proprietors, they had the power to confer honors and titles (5) Control of trade, license to establish ports and fixed duties with the advice of free men. Custom duties belong to the crown. (6) Crown make any laws whatsoever subject only to the free men of the colony. Proprietors were to appoint a Governor and his deputy. Freemen to be assembled periodically. (7) Had the authority to erect courts, appoint judges and grant pardon. They could issue any reasonable ordinances in council and publish laws. These were to be obeyed as long as they were in accordance with the English laws.

In 1671, the population of The Bahamas numbered 1,097. Of this total, 913 were residents of New Providence.( made up of 257 males,243 females and 413 slaves). Of the 184 living in the settlement of Eleuthera, 77 were males, 77 females and 30 slaves. These settlers hoped that the Proprietors would send them financial aid. But in the first few years the Proprietors spent only 495 pounds and 2 shillings. The only thing they seemed to do was send a succession of incompetent, corrupt or ineffectual Governors.
Conditions in the Bahamas went from bad to worse. In August 1672, Governor John Wentworth complained of the lack of support from England. Although war with Spain seemed near, only 60 of the 200 able bodied men had arms. There were no large guns or defense and only 30 pounds of powder and shots. Added to this, Ambergris and Braziletto were failing. Wrecks could not be relied upon and the soil was so poor that the settlers could grow little.
In 1676, Wentworth was relieved of his duties and replaced by Charles Chillingworth. The inhabitants were not pleased when Chillingworth took over. Therefore they seized him and shipped him off to Jamaica.
Chillingworth was succeeded by Robert Clarke sometime before 1681. He was accused of having dealings with a notorious pirate called John Coxon. He was sacked the following year and replaced by Robert Lillburne. Clarke remained in the Bahamas. The Proprietors had control over the Bahamas from 1670 until 1718. Towards the end of the 17th century when Nassau then was Charles Town had been sacked by the Spaniards in 1684, the Bahamas remained empty of settlers for two years. Then in 1686, the settlers who had fled to Jamaica and Bermuda refused to take over The Bahamas.
By 1687, a council of 12 was elected to aid the newly elected “Moderator” a man called Briggs. At this time, life was still hard. However, in 1864 a Spanish wreck had been found in the Southern Bahamas. For a time, the Bahamas became popular. In 1688, the Proprietors made Briggs Governor of the colony but he did not last long.
In 1690, he was succeeded by Cadwallader Jones. Jones was a dictator. He imprisoned men without trial, and often forced the assembly to make his proclamations law. Jones so aroused the anger of the colonists that he was seized and put in irons, and Ashley, a member of the council, was proclaimed Governor. In 1693, the Proprietors replaced Jones with Nicholas Trott.
Trott arrived in The Bahamas in 1693 and in 1695, acting on the instructions from the Proprietors, Trott laid out Charles Town anew and renamed it Nassau. In 1697, Fort Nassau was completed, and it contained 28 guns. By 1700 Nassau as a Town had 160 houses and a church. During this time the Proprietors ploughed back into The Bahamas the small profit of 800 pounds a year they got from the colony until the fort was paid for. Trot was dismissed when he allowed pirates to land in Nassau with stolen booty. In 1697 Trott was replaced by Nicholas Webb.

At this time, Buccaneers began to come to the Bahamas in large numbers. These men had originally been cattle hunters on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. Gradually they turned to attacking the Spanish by sea. Then came the time when the French Buccaneers who stayed on Hispaniola and the British Buccaneers began to live in the town of Port Royal in Jamaica. Towards the end of the 17th century The Buccaneers began to come to the Bahamas for various reasons. The Treaty of Madrid in 1670 made peace between England and Spain, and now it was no longer safe for England to approve of the Buccaneers attacking the Spanish. At this time Jamaica was being ruled by the strict Governor, Thomas Lynch, who did not allow the Buccaneers to reside at Port Royal. In 1692 Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake and the Buccaneers began to come to the Bahamas in increasing numbers. The Proprietary governors were slack, and in some cases even welcomed the pirates. In 1697 war broke out between France and England and it was no longer safe for the English Buccaneers to go to Hispaniola. The many reefs and shoals in The Bahamas made conditions ideal for lurking, surprise attacks and escape. Because life was so hard for the settlers, it was not surprising that they turned to wrecking, smuggling and piracy.
Hackett took over from Webb in 1701, by this time the fort was in ruins, and the pirates were well established in the colony. In 1702, England went to war against France and Spain and in 1703 Nassau was sacked by the Spanish and French. In 1707 the Spanish returned and completed what they had failed to destroy in 1703. By 1713, the pirates were in total control of the colony. Such famous persons as Mary Read, Anne Bonney, Stede Bonnet “Calico Jack”, and Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard were among the catalogue of the rogues who set up base in the Bahamas.
At last, after a stream of complaints from private citizens, captains and governors, of other English colonies, England decided to take the colony of The Bahamas in hand and in 1718, Woods Rogers arrived in the Bahamas as the first Royal governor.
Why Proprietary Government Failed
The Bahamas is separated from Britain by the Atlantic Ocean. It was not well supported by the Proprietors in England ad this was one of the major causes of its failure. They wanted all the gains they could achieve from the islands but did not want to provide the required investments in the form of money and time to guard the islands and to develop profitable industries. The governors they chose were inappropriate and in most cases were ineffective, weak and incompetent. Because they were easily corrupted, they lacked the trust of the inhabitants.
Furthermore, the Bahamas’ economy was weak because there was no one good crop that could be planted profitably. In other Caribbean island such as Barbados and Jamaica, tobacco and sugarcane could be grown profitably. The settlers too must share some of the blame. Some were too selfish and others too lazy, (you will see that Woods Rogers complained about this) and therefore a community spirit did not exist among them. The constant attacks from the Spanish, who felt that the island rightfully belonged to them, did not help either. Settlers sometimes had to abandon the island for long periods of time in order to evade Spanish attacks. The consequence of all of these problems combined to cause Britain to end Proprietary Government in The Bahamas.
Reasons for the failure of Proprietary Government in Short (1) Poor Characters chosen as Governors (2) Lack of aid from Proprietors and England (3) Poor economy—soil infertile (4) Surprise Spanish attacks (5) Poor Defense—Forts in ruins (6) Pirates—welcomed by the settlers and governors who collaborated with them. In 1718 England took the Bahamas back from the Proprietors and introduced Crown Colony Government(note that Woods Rogers was the first Royal Governor) (7) The stream of complaints from other countries and private citizens about the activities of the pirates in the Bahamas.

Tests and Quizzes
Eleutheran Adventurers (8) Multiple Choice Items. Please Circle the Correct Answer in Each Question (1) The religious dispute in Bermuda was between a. Baptist and Moslems b. Presbyterians and Catholics c. Royalists and Independents d. Anglicans and Jesuits (2) Ambergris is: a. The blubber from seals used to make oil b. A valuable dyewood c. A secretion from whales used in the perfume industry d. A product of hair grease (3) The last thing Sayle did for the Bahamas: a. Got the Bahamas to be taken over by the Lord Proprietors b. Organized a quadrilateral trade c. Appoint his son Nathaniel Sayle as Governor of The Bahamas d. Organized a Whaling Industry (4) The years 1640-1670 are known as the Bermuda period in Bahamian History: a. As a tribute to William Sayle b. Because Bermudians invaded and took over the Bahamas c. Because attempt at settlement came from there d. Because there was a cultural exchange between the two islands (5) When the Eleutheran Adventurers lost all of their stores: a. Sayle and the settlers panicked b. They all returned to Bermuda c. Sayle sailed to Bermuda for help d. Sayle went to Virginia to seek help from the English colonist there (6) William Sayle went to London in 1647 to: a. Organize the colony of Eleuthera b. Get permission from the King to leave Bermuda c. Get money to finance his voyage to Eleuthera. d. Seek religious toleration for Independents in Bermuda (7) The settlers of Eleuthera failed because: a. They had religious differences b. Sayle left them in 1688 to return to Bermuda c. Their governor was elected by the people d. Their economy was based on infertile land (8) To show their gratitude to the New Englanders, the Eleutherans: a. Gave them tons of braziletto wood and ambergris b. Sent them crops produced in Eleuthera c. Invited them to view the plantations d. Sent them declaration of gratitude from the people of Eleuthera (9) Indentured servants during the time of the Eleutheran Adventurers received: a. Lifetime lodging and food b. 25 acres of land when the period of indenture was up c. A partnership in the whale industry d. 35 acres of land outside the main settlement (10) Shortly after his arrival in the Bahamas, Sayle a. Had a quarrel with Captain Butler b. Signed a trade agreement with Virginia c. Outlawed all prayer and Bible reading d. Had the Arawaks as guests for dinner (11) The Eleutheran Adventurers came from a. Virginia b. Bermuda c. Spain d. New England (12) These Adventurers left their home because: a. A fight took place between the settlers b. They did not support the King c. They were not allowed to worship freely d. Their political beliefs were not the same as other settlers (13) Anyone who invested 100 pounds in the Company of the Eleutheran Adventurers in 1647 was entitled to: a. 500 acres of land in the main settlement and 100 acres for each additional member of the family b. 250 acres of land in the main settlement and 50 acres for each additional member of the family c. 100 acres of landing the main settlement and 75 acres for each additional family member d. 300 acres of land in the main settlement and 35 acres for each additional member of the family (14) For a living, the settlers in Eleuthera depended on a. Basket making b. Exporting barziletto wood and ambergris c. Hunting d. The sayle of crawfish (15) The people of Eleuthera decided to set up this type of government a. Democracy b. A monarchy c. Dictatorship d. A republic (16) When Sayle returned to Bermuda he saw to it that a. Jamaica was assisted b. The Bahamas received help c. Barbados was given support d. London got finances (17) The original Adventurers were a. The 70 settlers who came with Sayle b. The 100 men who invested in the company c. The Independents of Bermuda d. The 26 signatories of the advertisement (18) Eleuthera is a Greek word meaning a. Beautiful b. Grateful c. Freedom d. Satisfactory (19) Sayle arrived in Eleuthera in 1648 with: a. 70 settlers b. 75 settlers c. 80 settlers d. 90 settlers (20) All men between the following ages were to defend the settlement a. 15 and 50 b. 25 and 55 c. 20 and 45 d. 30 and 60.

Read the following passage and answer the questions
In early 1648 about 70 settlers including 28 slaves, set sail out for The Bahamas in the William Sayle and a small boat of only six tons. Close to what is now called Eleuthera, the William struck a reef. All provisions were lost. The survivors managed to struggle ashore (perhaps in Governor’s Bay) and took refuge in a cave (perhaps in Preacher’s cave). After living on whatever the island provided, they were close to starvation. So William Sayle took the small boat and sailed to Virginia. The settlers there provided a ship and supplies to help the colonists on Eleuthera. Later help also came from New England. In return for this, the people of Eleuthera sent ten tons of Braziletto wood. The money this raised was used for Harvard College. (Extracted from The Making of the Bahamas by Cash, Maples & Packer)

(1) Give three problems the Eleutheran Adventurers had in trying to settle on Eleuthera. (2) Where did the Eleutheran Adventurers come from and why did they come to settle on Eleuthera? (3) What is the meaning of the word Eleuthera? (4) Name two things Braziletto wood is used for. (5) What was the name of the document in which the laws laid out how the colony was to be organized and what did this document say about religion? (6) Why did William Sayle and his people leave Bermuda? (7) Why did William Sayle go to England in 1647? (8) What did the Eleutheran Adventurers do for a living while on Eleuthera? (9) What problems did they encounter while trying to settle on Eleuthera (10) What was the name of the document signed by the 26 people in 1647? (11) What did this document promise people who paid 100 pounds? (12) What was promised to indentured servants? (13) What did the document say about: (a) Religion (b) Natural products (c) Defense
Match the Following by placing the letter of the answer in the right hand column next to the appropriate question

(1) ………….Leader of the first English settlement in The Bahamas ---------- (a) 26 (2) ………….The year the first constitution was made up-------------------------(b) Ambergris (3) ………….Acres of land promised to indentured servants----------------------(c)Brazilleto (4) ………….Number of signatories to the first constitution-----------------------(d)Sayle (5) ………….Form of government of new colony-------------------------------------(e)Butler (6) …………..A secretion from whales --------------------------------------------------(f) 25 (7) …………..Place they got help from---------------------------------------------------(g)1648 (8) …………..New Englanders were rewarded-----------------------------------------(h)Republic (9) …………..The man Sayle quarreled with-----------------------------------------(i)New England (10) ……..Year Eleutheran Adventurers came----------------------------------- (j) 1647

Quiz on Proprietary Government (1) To how many Lord Proprietors were the Bahama Islands granted? (2) Make a list of all the governors, the year they became governor and give reasons why each was sacked. (3) How much money did the Proprietors spend on the Bahamas in the first few years? (4) For how long did the proprietary government last? (5) Describe the Grand Council. (6) Which governor during the time of the proprietors was a dictator? (7) Which governor completed Fort Nassau and laid out Charles Town anew and renamed it Nassau? (8) A Council of 12 was elected in 1687 to aid the newly elected “Moderator” who was this Moderator? (9) What problems faced the Bahamas during this period? (10) Explain in details why proprietary government was brought to an end.
Test: European Settlement and Rivalry (1) Explain how Spain attempted to protect its West Indian empire from foreign nations. (2) Why did other European nations want to establish colonies in the New World? (3) What contribution did Spain make towards laying the foundation of Caribbean economic prosperity in the sixteenth century? (4) Write short notes on: (a) the asiento, (b) the Casa de Contratacion, (c) The Council of the Indies. (5) Describe the activities of the 16th century French privateers in the West Indies, and show how they were influenced by conditions in Europe (6) What roles did John Hawkins and Francis Drake play in the early history of the Caribbean? (7) Identify and explain three (3) ways which other European nations used to break the Spanish Monopoly in the West Indies. (8) Why do you think the Dutch selected trade over settlement in the early part of the 16th century? (9) Explain why the Dutch were referred to as “the Foster Fathers of the W. I. colonists” (10) Discuss some of the reasons why Spain was unable to effectively protect its West Indian possessions.
B.G.C.S.E Past Paper Questions
(1) “For a few years in the 1640s and early 1650s the Dutch were the only Europeans carrying regular trade to and from the Caribbean” (a) Explain why the above statement was the case, (b) Why and how do you think the English and French were going to turn against the Dutch in the Caribbean?
(2) “The Spanish monopoly in the Caribbean was broken by the English French and Dutch” Explain how this was done.
(3) Who was the first Royal Governor of The Bahamas?
(4) State three (3) reasons why Proprietary Government in the Bahamas failed.
(5) Explain the similarities and difference between Crown Colony Government and Proprietary Government.
(6) What other country was part of the Treaty of Tordesillas with Spain?
(7) What was the “asiento” system?
(8) Compare the role of the Dutch and Spanish in the Americas
(9) “Proprietary Government was a failure.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(10)Read the following extract and then answer the questions.
Even the Catholic king of France, Francis 1, paid no attention to the Pope’s Line which divided the newly discovered lands between Spain and Portugal. “The sun shines on me just the same as on the others”, he declared, “I should like to see the clause in Adam’s will that denies me a share of the world!” In England and Holland, there were many Protestants who were prepared to attack any Catholic country. Most of these sailors disregarded any treaty made between the kings and queens of Europe. On reaching the Caribbean they raided ships in mid-ocean and colonial towns wherever and whenever they liked. Any ships which sailed west of the Pope’s line travelled at their own risk. Whatever the state of peace or war in Europe there would be no peace beyond the line. (a) Why did the Dutch first come to the Americas? (b) How were the problems of Piracy in The Bahamas overcome? (c) Explain the effects of piracy on trade and settlement in the New World in the 17th century (d) Explain why the French, English and Dutch were able to settle in the Lesser Antilles. (e) “The Spanish mainland was very prosperous.” Explain how the Spanish tried to keep foreigners out of trade with their colonies. (11) What was the name of the first constitution of the Bahamas? (12) State three activities used by the Adventurers to support themselves while on the island of Eleuthera (13) Explain the reasons for the establishment of Crown colony Government in The Bahamas. (14) Explain the success and failure of Woods Rogers two terms as Royal Governor. (15) “England controlled the government of the Bahamas from 1718—1964.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (16) Name the leader of the Eleutheran Adventurers. (17) State three (3) rights outlined in the Articles and Orders for the Company of the Eleutheran Adventurers. (18) Explain why the Puritans left Bermuda to settle in the Bahamas. (19) How similar were the conditions in The Bahamas before and during the period of Proprietary Government? (20) “Proprietary Government was a success for The Bahamas” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer

(21) Name the treaty which divided the world between Spain and Portugal. (22) State three (3) islands which the Spanish colonized (23) Explain why Spain was able to dominate the Americas from the mid-sixteenth to the 17th century. (24) How similar were the motives of the British and the French for challenging the Spanish monopoly? Explain your answer. (25) “The breakdown of the Spanish monopoly was primarily due to Spain’s inefficiencies.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (26) In what year was the Treaty of Tordesillas introduced? (27) Identify three (3) motives for European exploration and settlement of the New World. (28) Explain the difficulties faced by the early English and French colonists in Barbados and St. Kitts. (29) In what year did the Dutch bring the first set of slaves to be sold in the West Indies?

Week: (5)
Theme 2: European Settlement and Rivalry
Topic: Piracy
Areas of Focus:
Origins and growth of Piracy
Appointment and term of office of Woods Rogers
Problems/ successes of first term
Interim period (George Phenny)
Roger’s Second term
There is a Jamaican Movie, “The Harder They Come.” Try to watch it when you find some time. It is about a young man who comes to town to make it big. He tries to get a job but fails to do so. He therefore makes a record but is skanked by the record producer. The record is good, but he is given a flat rate and is never given royalties. He gets fed up, but he still has dreams of making it big. Eventually he turns to crime, selling ganja (marijuana). He realizes the worth of selling drugs so he begins to get bigger ideas. He buys a gun. He gets into trouble, he is shot and dies. This story can be compared to the Buccaneers. Most of the people who came to the Caribbean turned to Buccaneering to make a bigger living. The Buccaneers
They got their Names from the Indian word “Boucan” which was the wooden framework on which they roasted their meat. They inhabited the northern side of the island of Hispaniola. These men were mostly English, French and Dutch; they came together for different reasons. They were:
(a). Stragglers from ships that remained behind
(b).Refugees from wrecked vessels
(c). Men whom for punishment were marooned
(d). Fugitive from the law, religious and political refugees
(e). Escaping white indentured servants
(f). Small planters displaced during the Sugar Revolution Around 1630 these men moved to the neighboring island of Tortuga. Eventually English buccaneers made Port Royal in Jamaica their headquarters because it was near to the bulk of Spanish operations, and the French Buccaneers remained in Tortuga.

Way of life
In the beginning, the Buccaneers were known as cow killers. For a living they hunted the wild cattle and boar that were descended from those first introduced by the Spanish. The Buccaneers had an organized way of life. They organized themselves in small groups and rose each day at dawn to set out in search of wild cattle or wild boars, never hunting the two in the same day. No one was allowed to eat until as many animals as there were men in the party had been killed. When this was done they fed on the marrow from the bones of their last victim. Then gathering up their meat and skins they returned to the settlement where the second meal of the day consisted of roasted flesh. The Buccaneers could go for months on meat alone. The skin of the animals was bartered to passing vessels for pots, liquor, ammunition etc.
The Buccaneers wore hats without rims with small peaks in the front. They wore shoes without socks. Their shirts were dipped in animal blood. Their pants were dirtier than their shirts. They wore leather girdles with Knives and cutlasses in them. (The image of Jonny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean is a good example of how they dress).
In Time The Buccaneers formed some sort of crude government among themselves. When they took to sea robbing they drew up a strict law to guide them in sharing of their gains. The laws were signed by all the members; those who could not write made their mark. The Golden Rule was “no preys no pay.” Some groups worked out an insurance scheme for those who were injured in battle. In one scheme, the loss of the right arm was worth 600 pieces of eight or one slave, the right leg 500 pieces of eight and five slaves etc. There was punishment for disobeying the captain and for drunkenness. Stealing from the booty was punishable by death.
Reasons for the Buccaneers attacking Spanish Possessions (1) After the discovery of the New World, Spain had laid claim to that entire side of the earth, and prohibited other nations from trafficking there. They resented any foreigners in the New World (2) The Spanish Inquisition was brought from Spain to the New World and used against both Protestants and Catholic Buccaneers. (3) Spain resolved to exterminate the Buccaneers. She began killing off the cattle they hunted and then by tracking down the Buccaneers while they were on hunting expedition. (4) In 1631, the Spanish from Santo Domingo raided Tortuga, but the Buccaneers returned the moment they left. (5) In 1635 the Spanish again raided Tortuga.

The Importance of the Buccaneers in the second half of the 17th Century
In the second half of the 17th century both European and West Indian affairs were greatly influenced by activities of the powerful and dangerous group of desperados, the Buccaneers. At this time England and France like most European nations except the Dutch, were mainly agricultural, pre-industrial with low level of technology, low economic resources and therefore pre-mechanized. They were therefore unable to support large forces at great distances from home, for long periods. Neither England nor France was strong enough to attack Spain although it was evident that Spain was declining so they turned to the Buccaneers for help.
Now that they had official encouragement t carry out their depredation, Buccaneers attacks were continuous and savage. Between 1663 and 1664 St, Tome on the Orinoco River was taken, Granada, St. Augustine and Toens on Mexican and Central American coasts were looted In 1663 Edward Mansfield captured the town of Sancti Spiritus in the interior of Cuba, sacked Granada and took the island of New Providence. They heyday of Buccaneers occurred under the leadership of Henry Morgan who between 1668 and 1671 attacked Puerto Principe, Porto Bello, the port of the Gulf of Maracaibo, Granada and Panama, and captured three Spanish warships. Most of these places were sacked and forced to pay large ransoms.
Struggle for European hegemony encouraged the use of the Buccaneers. It was thought that supremacy in the West Indies would help to ensure supremacy in Europe. For this reason the French used hem against the Dutch. When Louis the 14th hoped that Spain and her colonies would belong to the House of Bourbon, he protected Spain, but used the Buccaneers to Terrorize Spanish government. Buccaneers were important because their activities were governed by, and affected political and economic interests of the main countries involved in the West Indies. Spain lost much wealth through disruption of trade, destruction of plantations, cities, forts and other property and the booty claimed by the Buccaneers, during attacks, Spain found herself in a position where she had no redress. Spain’s attitude allowed England to profess friendship for Spain in Europe while disavowing responsibility for the ravages of the Buccaneers in the West Indies.
Increase incessant activities of English Buccaneers forced Spain to sign the Treaty of Madrid in 1670. By the treaty, Spain recognized England’s claim on all the islands in the West Indies and North America at the time held by Britain. England’s right to trade in the West Indies was also recognized.
By a 20 year truce of Ratisbon signed in 1684 Spain recognized France’s claim to most of her territories occupied by her and her right to trade in the West Indies. Ownership to part of Hispaniola was not granted until 1697. Those treaties showed up Spain’s weaknesses and the extent of her decline, and having lost hegemony in the West Indies she also lost prestige in Europe. Economically England and France gained. Some of the wealth from Buccaneers’ booty went to Europe and so enlarged the supply of gold, which to mercantilist Europe was important. They both had their rights recognized and having broken Dutch supremacy in West Indian trade, they were able to gain more profit from their colonies. Buccaneer adventure gave them time in which to effect some changes from basically agricultural economy to one in which industrialization became increasingly important.
The Buccaneers was used by the English in the second Dutch war to out the Dutch from their important trading position in the West Indies. By forcing Holland and Spain from their dominant roles, they prepared the way for the Anglo-Saxon rivalry for hegemony in the West Indies. Having depended on the Buccaneers for the defense of West Indian territories, and for fighting their enemies, in the West Indies, England and France were better able to carry on wars in Europe. By late 17th century, their economies, having being improved both countries could send well-equipped, disciplined navies to the West Indies. No more did they depend on the Buccaneers for fighting.
Buccaneers offered protection to the islands, especially those where they made their headquarters. Governors became so dependent on them so that Governor de Cussy was reluctant to suppress them. Because of the threat they posed to the enemies of England, Jamaica had a period of stability. They brought much wealth into the islands so that at the end of the century, Port Royal was one of the richest places in the West Indies. Their life of daring and adventure and hope of quick wealth drew many planters from agriculture. Jamaica, though larger than other British islands, lagged behind in sugar production.
The French Buccaneers at Tortuga and St. Dominique
When the English Buccaneers left Tortuga for Port Royal in 1655, the French and Dutch remained behind. They also began to inhabit the north coast of Hispaniola. In 1655, D’Ogeron was appointed governor of Tortuga. He made an effort to take over St. Dominique which is the western part of Hispaniola. He encouraged the cultivation of maize, tobacco and cocoa he also organized the sale of crops. Soon there was a respectable settlement in St. Dominique although many Buccaneers lived there. D’Ogeron remained a friend of the Buccaneers.
The Tortuga Buccaneers played a prominent part in the third Dutch war 1672-1678. During this time the Dutch West India Company was brought to ruin, and the French were able to stop the Dutch from trading with their West Indian colonies. 1672-1678 the Tortuga Buccaneers saw their greatest success. In 1678 de Gammot established himself near Maracaibo and systematically raided the coastal settlement of Venezuela while De Maintenon robbed and almost destroyed the Margarita pearl fishery. In 1683 Van Horn De Graff took San Juan de Ulua. Between 1655 and 1661 the Buccaneers had sacked 18 cities, 4 towns and almost 40 villages.
From being a Buccaneer or a privateer, it was very easy to become a pirate—someone who was inclined to attack any ship at any time for his or her own personal gain, whether it was illegal or not. Previously, the legality of privateer was sustained by contracts privateers had with governments in Europe. Privateers were supposed to attack enemy ships in war-time. But in reality, European governments would turn a blind eye to privateers’ exploits, whether they occurred in peacetime or wartime, as long as they got a share of the privateers’ gain. This freedom however gave some privateers a sense of their own invincibility. They decided to work just for themselves, attacking whoever they pleased.
The lawlessness of piracy and the potential riches that came with it encouraged many ordinary sailors to try to become pirates. In their boats, they would move along the coast until they approached an unsuspecting ship, which they would capture. Sailors who fought against them were killed, but many would join up with the pirates as they cruise the seas preying on other ships or on towns
The Bahamas and Piracy
When war broke out between England and France in 1689 many privateers and pirates left the French—influenced island of Tortuga and went to The Bahamas an English colony. The Bahamas became even more of a draw after the Jamaican government Sir, Thomas Lynch introduced strict laws against piracy and after Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. New Providence became the main Pirating centre. The Bahamas was chosen because of its reefs, narrow channels, protected harbors and many deserted islands. The islands were convenient hideaways where pirates could clean their ships in safety as the area was very difficult for inexperienced seamen to navigate. The Bahamas was also close to important trade routes so there were plenty of trading ships to attack. The Bahamas was described as a “pirate republic” from 1703 to 1718 because there was no Governor at all in Nassau. The islands were pretty lawless, which suited the pirates because they liked to do as they pleased.
For the pirates Nassau became their port in The Bahamas. It had a good harbor with two exits. It was also a place where they could sell their good. Some of the most notorious pirates in The Bahamas were Blackbeard, Anne Bonney, Mary Read and Stede Bonnet. (You can read more about them in The Making of The Bahamas by Maples pages 42&43) Henry Morgan 1635—1688
Henry Morgan was a Welshman who came to Barbados as an indentured servant. He took part in British capture of Jamaica in 1655. After this he became a Buccaneer. In 1666, he joined Edward Mansfield, who was leader of the Port Royal Buccaneers at this time. In 1666, the Port Royal Buccaneers led by Morgan and Mansfield raided Santa Catalina. Soon after this Mansfield died, and Morgan took over as the leader of the Port Royal Buccaneers. Soon after, Sir Thomas Modyford the crown representative in Jamaica made Morgan a Colonel in the British army. Morgan was also operating as a privateer holding a letter of Marque from the British government. In 1668, he was commissioned by Modyford to Capyure some Spanish prisoners in order to discover details of the threatened attack on Jamaica.
Both Modyford and Morgan hoped to squash Spanish claim to recapture Jamaica once and for all by attacking them first. The first raid led by Morgan aimed at Puerte Principe, in Cuba. The people had been warned but Morgan still took the city after hard fighting. Only 50,000 pieces of eight were taken. The second raid was aimed at Porto Bello in Panama. Morgan surprised the town by landing 100 miles south of the city and stole up to it at dawn, capturing 2 of the three ports immediately. The third fort held out. Morgan used Friars and nuns to carry leaders up the walls of the fort but the Spanish still resisted. However the Buccaneers still overcame them. The Spanish Garrison was locked up in the fort which was blown up and this time they got 250, 000 pieces of eight, goods and munitions.
In 1668, Morgan attacked Maracaibo with 15 ships and 900 men. He found that the Spanish had already deserted the fort and the town, so he continued to Gibraltar at the head of the lake Maracaibo which was also deserted. They stayed a month searching out the Spanish from the countryside and obtained about 250,000 pieces of eight. On the way out of the lake, the Buccaneers found the entrance blocked by three Spanish man-o-war, carrying silver from Porto Bello. Morgan waited until night, set one of his own ships on fire and sent it at the largest Spanish ship, causing it to explode. The second ship ran aground and the Buccaneers captured the third. He got a considerable ransom for evacuating the place.
He was commissioned as Commander-in-Chief of all the ships of war in Jamaica to levy war against the Spaniards. He recaptured Santa Catalina, retook Porto Bello and then went on to Panama. To attack Panama, he carried 40 ships and 2,000 men. He found out that the President of Panama was granting Letters of Marque to Spanish Ships, allowing them to capture English ships they met, especially those engaged in illegal trade with Spanish colonies. This trade was very important for Port Royal.
Panama City was on the Pacific coast, and the plan was to sail as far up the Chagres River and then walk overland. The Buccaneers captured fort Lorenzo at the mouth of the Charges, and then leaving a force to hold it, Morgan continued up the river with the rest of the men. He had taken no food with them, planning to raid the Spanish settlement. However, the Spanish had fled before them and the men suffered from starvation and diseases. They had to eat their shoes and only Morgan’s will kept them going. Finally they arrived outside the city, and there the battle took place. The Spaniards stampeded herds of cattle to break up the ranks of the Buccaneers, still Morgan’s men persevered. When the Spanish realized that the Buccaneers were winning they set the city ablaze and nearly ¾ of it was destroyed including the city’s treasure from the townspeople who had fled to the countryside. They got 750,000 pieces of eight. Those who failed to escape in the forest were killed or tortured to death.
Treaty of Madrid 1670
Panama city, England and Spain signed the Peace Treaty of Madrid in 1670. Morgan claimed that the news had not reached him before his attack on Panama. However, to appease the Spanish, the British government ordered Morgan to stand trial in London, on charge of having broken the peace; Modyford was also recalled and placed in the Tower of London, for appearance’s sake, though he was soon released. Morgan was acquitted and a few years later made Lieutenant—governor of Jamaica, he was knighted before leaving England. Later he was charged with encouraging privateering so in 1683 he was suspended in Jamaica, he was also accused of drunkenness. He died in 1688. In the Treaty of Madrid, Spain acknowledged officially the presence of the English in the Caribbean.

Ending Piracy in The Bahamas
Woodes Rogers—1718-1722
As you have learnt thus far, there were many complaints regarding the state of affairs in The Bahamas and the role of pirates. The British Government had to do something about this. Ownership of the islands was therefore taken away from the Lord Proprietors and control was given to the British government. Woods Rogers was sent to represent the Crown. After a voyage of three and a half months, Rogers arrived in The Bahamas. He went ashore the next morning. Rogers passed between two lines of reformed pirates on his way to the fort. There he read the Royal Commission, and was solemnly sworn in as governor of The Bahamas.
The next procedure was to form a council, and for this purpose Rogers chose six of the principal persons he had brought with him from England and six of the inhabitants. Within a week of landing Rogers had assembled the council and he made the following appointments: Judge of the Admiralty court, collector of customs, Chief Justice, Provost Marshall, secretary to the Governor and chief naval officer. Rogers then turned his attention to the people and the conditions of the island generally. The fort of Nassau was in ruins, and dismantled, and it was immediately repaired and garrisoned.
A number of guns were also mounted, and a strong palisade constructed around it. All about the town the roads were overgrown with brushwood and shrubs and rendered almost impassable. A portion of the inhabitants were therefore mustered and employed in clearing the ground and cleaning the streets, while overseers and constables were employed to see the work carried out in an efficient manner. Those not employed in cleaning and scouring was formed into three companies of militia whose duty it was to keep guard in the town every night, to prevent surprise attacks. The neighboring islands were not forgotten, and various members of the council were appointed deputy governors of them. A militia company was formed in each of the principal ones and a fort constructed, provided with powder and shots. An extra method of precaution, “the Delicia” was kept as the Governor’s guard ship and station off the harbor of Nassau. A scheme of settlement was also devised, and in order to attract settlers to New Providence and the other islands, a plot of land 120 square feet was offered to each provided he would clear the ground and build a house within a certain time. As there was an abundance of timber on the island which was free to be taken, this stipulation was not difficult to be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, the difficulties which Rogers had to contend with conspired to wreck his schemes. Before many months had passed the pirates found that this new way of life did not pay as much as their old and many escaped and went back to their old way of life. Rogers dealt fairly and justly with them. His actions of hanging a crew of pirates meant that piracy was no longer practiced in the Bahamas to any great extent and Rogers could proudly proclaim, Expulsis Piratis, Restituta Commercia ( Pirates Expelled, Commerce Restored). Another problem which Rogers had to face was the smallness of the force at his disposal for preservation of law and order. The discovery of a conspiracy among the settlers to desert the island, and their friendship with the pirates were a matter of great importance. Yet Rogers still sought to make the colony worthy of being a British colony and at this time he was also busy with plans to develop a whale industry and also a salt industry. The failure of the Admiralty to send out ships for the protection of the colony against the swarm of pirates who still infested the West Indian seas caused Rogers to complain bitterly and he regretted that many of his settlers had fallen into the hands of the pirates. In one letter to a friend in England, he said: “Every capture made by the pirates aggravates the apparent inclinations, of the commanders of our men-o-war, who having openly avowed that great number of pirates makes their suitable advantage in trade; for the merchants of necessity are forced to send their effects in the king’s bottoms, when they from every part hear of the ravages committed by the pirates…..There has not been one (man-o-war) here for almost these five months past, and as if they wished us to be offered as a sacrifice both to the threatening Spanish pirates….. I have not been able to make them come to our rescue because of the advantages of trade.”
The inhabitants were also troublesome. About them Rogers said: “though the enemy has surprised Nassau 34 times in 15 years, yet these wretches can’t be kept to watch at night and when they do they come very seldom sober and rarely awake all night, even though they are punished almost every day.” He went on to say that the inhabitants hated work, and would only clear a little patch that would supply them with potatoes and yam, since fish was so plentiful.
Rogers was completely cut off from the outside world. He was not able to obtain help or guidance from England, and neither could he obtain supplies, ammunition or men. Some supplies were obtained from other colonies in the area, but because Rogers had no money to pay for them, he began to pile up large debts. Frustration at last compelled Rogers to return to England at the end of 1721 to seek help from the home government in person. Phenny was appointed to fill Woodes Rogers’ place in 1721. Bahamians had always grown fruits and vegetables for home uses. During Phenney’s time these products were exported for the first time. The farmers Woodes Rogers had brought in were making a valiant effort to do something with the rocky Bahamian soil. Phenny had advanced the good work which Rogers had set in motion. Many families came and settled during his time we are told whom by their industry and improvement upon their plantations furnished the markets with all sorts of provisions.
In a personal way The Phennys also contributed to the economy. They invited some Bermudians to come down and teach Bahamian women to plait and sew the leaves of the palm trees into baskets, mats and other useful articles. Straw work has remained an important cottage industry to the present day. Phenny never ceased to plead for permission to call an assembly. Authority was finally granted but unfortunately too late for him to do anything about it. One of his most notable achievements was to bring troublesome inhabitants of Eleuthera more firmly under government.
Once more Spanish ships were a threat. The defenses caused Phenny great anxiety, especially the state of fort Nassau which was too weak to support the weight of the guns which the governor had brought with him. His pleas for help from the home government seldom brought assistance and he was forced to rely to a large extent on local resources. This, understandably, aggravated the inhabitants who thought defense should be the responsibility of England. Through it all however, Phenny did his best, with whatever he could muster to get the colony moving and to make it stable and secure.
More troublesome to him than the lack of an assembly, the crumbling fort and the struggling plantations, was his wife. She was a millstone around his neck which was finally to bring him down. A hard-mouthed, ambitious woman, she dominated and abused everyone she encountered. She monopolized both the import and the export trade, charging the inhabitants very high prices for whatever she sold and often neglecting to pay for what she brought.
Woodes Rogers’ Second Term of Office
Rogers arrived in the Bahamas in 1729 for a second term of office. This time he called an elected assembly of 24 members and he was granted a salary of 400 pounds a year. Once again Rogers was plagued with troubles. A terrible hurricane swept over the island and all efforts to improve sugar and cotton production failed. His chief problem was lack of support within the assembly. This was lead by the speaker, John Colebrook, who was using his office to further his own gains. Before Rogers died in 1732 he strongly suggested that the crown buy out the Proprietors but this did not take place until 1787. Woodes Rogers was the first really competent and honest governor of the Bahamas and despite his troubles he did a lot for the prosperity of the country.

Tests and Quizzes
Pirates and Privateers (1) Where did the Buccaneers originate from? (2) For what reasons did men turn to buccaneering in the New World? (3) Why were Buccaneers activities directed against the Spanish? (4) How did buccaneers (a) live (b) dress? (5) What was the original occupation of the Buccaneers? (6) Do you think the Spanish were wise in trying to get rid of the Buccaneers? Give reasons for your answer. (7) Write brief notes on Henry Morgan’s early life. (8) Why did Henry Morgan become a Buccaneer? (9) What other position did Morgan hold besides being leader of the English Buccaneers? (10) Make a list of the activities of the Buccaneers against Spain under Henry Morgan’s leadership. (11) Why did Morgan lose his post as Governor of Jamaica? (12) What part did the Buccaneers play in weakening Spain’s monopoly in the New World? (13) Describe the activities of the 16th century French Privateers in the West Indies, and show how they were influenced by conditions in Europe. (14) What role did John Hawkins and Francis Drake play in the early history of the Caribbean? (15) In which year was The Treaty of Madrid signed? (16) Explain the difference between a pirate and a privateer. (17) Name at least three of the famous pirates who are associated with The Bahamas. (18) Why was The Bahamas referred to as a “Pirates Paradise?”
The First Royal Governor (1) In what year was the first Royal Governor appointed to The Bahamas? (2) Explain why he was appointed. (3) Make a list of all the problems Woodes Rogers faced when he came to The Bahamas. (4) Make a list of Woodes Rogers’s achievements. (5) Write down the things Governor Phenny did or attempted to do which was beneficial for the Bahamas (6) What was his biggest problem as an interim Governor? (7) Why was the period between 1648 and 1670 known as the Bermudian period in Bahamian history?

B.G.C.S.E past Paper Questions
(1) Who was the first Royal Governor of The Bahamas?
(2) State THREE reasons why Proprietary Government in The Bahamas failed.
(3) Explain why Pirates used the Bahamas as a base in the 17th century.
(4) Explain the differences and the similarities between Crown Colony Government and Proprietary Government?
(5) “The Spanish monopoly in the Caribbean was broken by the English, French and Dutch.” Explain how this was done.
(6) “Proprietary government was a failure.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(7) How were the problems of piracy in The Bahamas overcome?
(8) Explain the reasons for the establishment of Crown Colony Government in The Bahamas.
(9) Explain the success and failure of Woodes Rogers two terms as Royal Governor.
(10) “England controlled the Government of the Bahamas from 1718-1964” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(11)” Proprietary Government was a success for The Bahamas.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
(12) Name a proprietary governor
(13) State three bodies that made up the structure of Crown Colony Government.
(14) Explain why Proprietary Government was ineffective in The Bahamas?
(15) How similar in operation were the Crown Colony and Proprietary Governments in The Bahamas?
(16)” Proprietary governors in The Bahamas had more challenges to face than the Crown Colony Governors”. Explain your answer.
(17) What is meant by the word Piracy?
(18) Why did pirates use The Bahamas as base in the 18th century?
(19) Explain why The Bahamas was called the Pirate Republic in the 18th century.
(20) Compare the impact of the Pirates and Privateers on the Bahamian colony.
(21) “Pirates and Privateers had a positive effect on the development of The Bahamian colony during the Proprietorship period.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer fully.


Week: SIX
Theme: Three (3) The American- Bahamian Connection
Topic: The American War of Independence

Areas of Focus
__Reasons for the war
__Details of the war (intolerable Acts, Boston Massacre; Boston tea Party)
__Results of the war---Independence
__The Bahamas during the war
__Define who the Loyalists are
__Reasons for the Loyalists choosing The Bahamas
__Contributions of the Loyalists to The Bahamas (social, economic, political)
__Causes of the Civil War (slavery dispute) and the results
__Bahamas involvement (Blockade running and its effects)
__Reasons for the Prohibition (Bootlegging (the temperance movement
__The Volstead act of 1919
__Bahamian involvement in Bootlegging

The American War of Independence
After the seven year war between France and Britain, the British government was left in a great debt despite her increased power. Parliament felt that colonists should help her to pay these debts therefore the old Navigational Acts were reinforced and a series of new tax measures introduced in the Parliament to secure funds. Because of these and other actions on the part of England the American colonists rebelled and in 1775 the war of independence began. Between 1775 and 1783, the 13 British colonies fought to break away from Britain. At this time the Bahamas remained loyal to the British Crown. The islands came under attack 4 times during the war but were confirmed as British by the Treaty of Versailles. People loyal to the British crown—the Loyalists—began to immigrate to the Bahamas. The Loyalist cotton plantations contributed to The Bahamas’ prosperity. Even though this did not last, the Loyalists legacy of commerce and responsible living still remained.
As a prelude to the beginning of this event, the colonist registered their dissatisfaction against these increased taxes in many ways. The British West Indian Company which was responsible for transporting tea to the colonies had a monopoly and special taxes were imposed for which the colonist objected. Several of them dressed as Indians and emptied 45 tons of tea valuing 18,000 pounds in the harbor, much to the delight of cheering crowds gathered to watch the spectacle. There were reprisals but this did not stop colonists in New York from doing the same thing. In openly opposing British laws, the colonists incurred the wrath of the Government who sent troops to squash the resistance. The colonist insisted that there should be no taxation without representation and the American colonists did not have a representative in the British Parliament. This represents the beginning of the American War of Independence.
Out of this arose such clashes as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre, Finally, fighting broke out between the colonists and British forces following the skirmish at Lexington in 1775. The aim of the American colonists in the war soon became complete independence. In 1776 representatives from each colony met at Philadelphia. They issue the Declaration of Independence, which asserted that the colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states. But first they had to win the war. In the beginning, this seemed unlikely. The colonists had a small, badly equipped militia and virtually no navy. The British had a large navy and a well-equipped army. Not all colonists were willing to fight the British and some openly supported the mother country. But as the war progressed, things began to work against the British. Britain was 3000 miles away—it took six to eight weeks for supplies and orders to reach her army in America. British military leaders also made tactical errors. Meanwhile George Washington, the American Commander-in-Chief managed to inspire his troops to fight on even though they had limited resources. They knew the country’s terrain very well, whereas this was often unfamiliar to the British. In 1778, French forces joined with the colonists, who were also later helped by Spain and Holland. The British navy could not now move as freely in American waters and lost control of the seas. This was a crucial turning point—they could no longer supply the British army. Britain finally accepted the inevitable. The Treaty of Versailles (1783) was drawn up and gave American colonists their freedom
During this time The Bahamas was again experiencing great economic distress. The treasury was almost empty and the courts of justice closed because there was no money to pay the magistrate salary. The people barely scraped a living from turtling, wrecking and woodcutting. The Stamp Act was therefore unpopular in the Bahamas as it was in the American colonies.
At first the war did not affect The Bahamas. Later when England stopped trade between America and The Bahamas, The Bahamas suffered. Spain and France later entered the war against England. Once again Nassau was a private port and money came to Nassau. Two incidents are interesting to remember, one during the war, The Bahamas was twice occupied by American troops. In 1782, the Spanish captured The Bahamas and ruled it for one year. Neither of these two incidents had a lasting effect on The Bahamas. It is what happened at the end of the war that affected the islands. At the end of the war thirteen colonies were independent; they called themselves the United States of America. Not everyone in these states wished to be independent of England so these people left, some went to Canada which was still English and others, about 4,000 of them came to The Bahamas. These people were called the Loyalists.
The Loyalists
The Loyalists were those Americans who favored or sided with the British during the American War of Independence. Many of them fled their homes and settled in Eastern Florida. When these Loyalists under Colonel Andrew Deveaux heard that Florida would return to Spain, they looked eagerly towards the almost unoccupied Bahamas where they hoped they might find peace. They came to The Bahamas because of its proximity to North America and because they could have carried on their cotton plantations and similar agricultural activities.
George 3rd of England wanted to help these loyal supporters so he granted land to any Loyalist free of taxes. The local inhabitants had to pay two shillings per year if they received a grant of about 20 acres. Throughout 1784 and 1785 an uncontrollable flood of Loyalists flowed into the islands in any type of transport they could find. Many brought their slaves with them.
Before the Loyalists came, the islands were very poor. There was hardly any money in the treasury. The settlers became very lazy. All they were interested in doing were turtling, wrecking and cutting wood. However, with the coming of the Loyalists things began to improve.
Colonel Andrew Deveaux led the first group of Loyalists to the islands. He established estates in New Providence and on cat Island. Another group originally from New York sailed to Abaco, Carleton. They brought with them their shipbuilding tradition which still remains there today. Just like the Eleutheran Adventurers, soon after they had built a settlement a quarrel arose and troops from Florida were brought in to calm things down. As a result certain of the rebels left the settlement and formed a rival township at Marsh Harbour.
Various types came out including merchants, farmers, soldiers, plantation owners and professional men. Within five years, the population increased threefold. By 1789, the total population was 11,300. The names of the Loyalists are still very common in the islands today. They include names such as Alexander Johnson, Benjamin McKinney, John Rahming, peter Dean, John forbes, George Miller and John Petty.
While many remained in New Providence, many left to settle in the Family islands, mainly because New Providence was too small and infertile. Some of the islands settled by these Loyalists were Exuma, Abaco, Long Island, Cat Island, Andros and Crooked Island. It was on these islands that cotton plantations were established and soon it was a profitable industry which brought a lot of money into the islands. The standard of living in the country was now improved. New settlements were laid out. Islands which were uninhabited before were now settled. New churches, schools and beautiful private homes were built. The first news paper, the Bahamas Gazette was published in 1784.
Economic Effects
Increased exports, 1773—4 exports, 58,707, imports 136359 pounds. The increase was due to the Free Port Act of 1787 which allowed The Bahamas to trade with Spanish and French colonies.
Proximity of the USA with paper money problems, food prices doubled. Flour was sold for $8.00 per barrel. There were increases in the price of butter, cheese and soap. West Indian sugar was sold for one shilling and three pence per pound while rum was sold for eight shilling per gallon. In 1787 the crown bought out The Bahamas from the Lord Proprietors.
The local inhabitants did not take too kindly to the new comers and as a result conflicts between Loyalists and locals occurred frequently. The Governor (John Maxwell) had to order American sailors on ships to remain there on the Sabbath to stop the frequent fights in the street between them and the locals. There were conflicts in the House of Assembly over the presence of many Loyalists as members. During this time people who had property could vote. The Loyalists had lots of land and hence more votes. As a result they soon had a majority of seats in the House sessions and when they wanted to, without permission, they did not show up for one session. This was not liked by the local inhabitants and soon some of them (Loyalists) were expelled from the House. Soon Loyalists who were not so extreme became members of the House of Assembly and it took on a new look. There were more islands now represented.
The cotton industry continued until 1788 when the destructive Chenille bug attacked staining the cotton bulbs red. Poor soil and hurricane added to the destruction of the industry. By 1800, the industry ceased to be a source of wealth for the Loyalists. Many plantations on the islands were quitted or rented out for the owners left for the United States. However, many Loyalists stayed in the Bahamas.
The coming of the Loyalists had a great effect on the religious life of the country also. They were staunch supporters of the Anglican Church in general. Once they became members of the House of Assembly, they did all they could to build up the Anglican Church. New churches were established by Acts of the House of Assembly but after 1785 when the cotton industry began to fail and very little money was in circulation, hardly any priests were attracted to come to stay in the islands. The Priests who were there did nothing to bring Negroes into the church and as a result the Baptist and the Methodists took over the task. A black man named Joseph Paul founded the Methodist Church in 1796 in the Western District of New Providence. He had come from Florida and set up a church on the site of Bethel Baptist Church.
At the close of the Loyalist period in Bahamian History, the town of Nassau was looking very impressive. Along with its beautiful colonial style houses (e.g. the Deanery on Cumberland Street). There was the Vendue House (slave market), St. Matthews’s Church, the House of Assembly and other buildings in the square. The Nassau Public Library was constructed that time and used as a jail for prisoners. The Loyalists had indeed improved the standard of life in the Bahamas.

Blockade –Running During the American Civil War
After the decline of the cotton industry in The Bahamas, the people once again needed to look for new opportunities to make a living. In the 1860s, The Bahamas’ proximity to the United States offered this opportunity.
From 1783 onwards, when the 13 original colonies of North America were recognized as independent, the United States grew secularly. Settlers moved west in their millions, looking for land to farm. By 1860 there were 34 states. Over time, the industrial Northern states had developed dislike of slavery, “the peculiar institution” of the South, which they regarded as morally wrong. On the other hand the South relied on slavery as the basis for their economy and entire way of life. For them it was a positive good.
In 1856, the newly formed Republican Party came out clearly in favor of restricting slavery from the new western territories and in 1860, Abraham Lincoln; leader of the Party became President of the United States. Not a single Southern State had voted for him. Slave owners in the South thought that if slavery was not allowed to expand in the new territories then it would ultimately die out—and with it would go their whole way of life. Fearing for the future, these states began to break away or secede from the United States. Lincoln and the north denied they had the legal right to do so. The Northern Yankees as they were called wanted to preserve the Union of North and South. Inevitably, war came in April 1861 when Fort Sumter (in Charleston harbor) was fired upon.
At first it seemed the South might succeed. They had the advantage of only having to defend—it was up to the North to conquer them. They had excellent generals, such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Many Southerners were excellent at riding and shooting, because of their outdoor way of life. They also hoped that they would get help from other countries who needed their cotton and tobacco.
On the other hand, the South had a population of only 9 million compared with 22 million in the North. They had little industry, few arms and little ammunition. They only had two important railway lines and virtually no navy, but the North had all of these. Also, Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy (as the Southern States called themselves) proved a less able leader than Abraham Lincoln, the Northern President.
As the war dragged on the North’s advantages began to tell. After early Southern victories, two crucial battles, Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July 1863, turned the war in the North’s favor. Richmond, the Southern capital, fell in early 1865, and Lee finally surrendered his army at Appomattox on 9 April 1865. The Northern victory meant the Union had been preserved. This Union meant that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was now law throughout the United States; slavery was officially ended.
The American Civil war began on April 12th 1861. The rebel states were almost devoid of manufactured goods and therefore depended upon imports to carry on the war. In order to obtain munitions and material abroad it was essential for the Confederacy to continuously export cotton, the staple and almost sole product of the Southern States. President Lincoln declared a blockade of the southern ports in the first week of the war. By the end of 1862 the north was building special blockade ships which eventually included 24 shallow—craft propeller gun boats and 47 double-enders canoe-shaped paddlers that had no need to turn. By 1865 the northern fleet consisted of 700 vessels.
Blockade running began. Only the absolute necessity of foreign supplies and the vast profits persuaded the Blockade-runners to continue. After 1862 running the Blockade was very dangerous, and the ships had to be fast. The boats began to be built were long lean shallow-draft, side-wheelers for the most part, capable of high speeds, painted slate grey to decrease their visibility, and burning anthracite coal so that smoke from their funnels would not betray them to the blockading fleets. To be fast enough to dodge the blockade, the ships had to be built like greyhounds. Unable to carry large cargoes, it was essential that they find a neutral port within 3 days steaming. This is where Nassau came into the picture.
Between 1861 and 1865, 397 ships entered Nassau from blockaded ports and 588 ships sailed from Nassau. Losses were great but as long as cotton could be bought in Charleston for 8 cents per pound, and sold in Nassau 3 days later for $1, or foods purchased in Nassau could be sold in Richmond for 27 thousand pounds in gold, there would be men willing to take the risk. Nassau bloomed with the new trade. The shops were packed to the ceilings; the streets were crowded with bales, boxes and barrels. Fortunes were made in a few weeks or months. Money was spent and scattered in a most extravagant manner. The town actually swarmed with Southern refugees, captains and crew of blockade-runners. Every available space in and out of doors was occupied. Men lay on verandahs, walls, decks and floors. Money was plentiful. Wages doubled, liquor flowed freely and the common laborer had his champagne and rich food. Not since the days of the Buccaneers and pirates had there been such times in The Bahamas.
The boats sailed to the Southern Ports laden with arms, gun powder, boots and all kind of contrabands. The run could easily be made with two days of sailing. There was always a man on the look-out for blockade ships. With a reward of $1 for every sail sighted, and if a sail was seen from deck first, he was fined five. The ship crept in between the blockade ships at dead of night. Running out of the harbor was far easier than making nightfall and evading the blockade all at the same time. At some stage of the voyage back to Nassau, the ship was usually chased by federal ship.
Bay Street was widened at the cost of 13,130 pounds and provided with sidewalks and lights for the first time. The north side was filled in with warehouses and a project was put forward for a new dock. Many other new buildings sprang up. The public debt of 47,786 pounds was wiped out, and officer’s salaries were increased 25%. The Bahamas Police Force was created. The Royal Victoria Hotel was completed at a cost of over130, 000. It was filled with Confederate and naval officers, diplomats, newspaper correspondents etc. One drawback to the gaiety of the times was the outbreak of Yellow fever which ravaged Nassau and Wilmington in 1864.
Blockade-running Via The Bahamas

President Lincoln declared a blockade of the ports of the Southern states in the first week of the Civil War. He knew that it was vital for the South (which had few industries) to receive war materials such as guns and ammunition, medical supplies and clothing via its ports. It was also vital that the South exported its crops to Europe to pay for these materials. Lincoln figured that if Southern ports were blockaded, the entire economy and war effort there would collapse, and the Northern States would win the war.
Blockade running-breaking through the blockade—became inevitable. At first the task was easy enough since the North was not fully mobil.zed. But by 1863, the North had more Blockade ships in service. These were long and narrow, capable of high speeds. They were concentrated around the important Southern ports of Charleston, Wilmington and Savannah. Many Southern planters thought that The Bahamas was ideally positioned to help them get their cotton across the Atlantic to Europe. The Southern ports were less than 650 miles from The Bahamas. The Bahamas could also be used as a roundabout route to import weapons, medicines and any other goods that the Southern States needed but could not produce themselves. The Bahamas was also British and neutral so the north could not interfere with their export trade. Nassau was an ideal place for goods to be stored and then shipped, either to the South or to Europe. The first of the blockade- runners arrived in Nassau on December 1861, with about 140 bales of cotton bound for Europe. It has been estimated that from that date until the end of the war, 397 ships entered Nassau from Confederate ports. Soon the individual blockade- running sea captains were joined by large foreign companies that built and financed whole fleets of “Greyhounds.” These were long narrow steam driven ships that were very fast. They were also difficult to see (as they were low-lying, painted grey and used smokeless fuel) and hear (as they blew off steam under water), making them suitable for blockade-running.
Running the blockade was always a risk. It was often very difficult to get coal to fire the ships’ engines. On some runs, practically everything on board was burned to give enough steam to get to the safety of Nassau Harbor. In all, 42 ships were caught by the Northern blockaders, and 22 were run ashore and wrecked. But the risk was worth it, since, cotton, selling in Charleston for ten cents a pound, could be resold in Nassau for a dollar and in England for almost double that amount! Even though some ships were lost, to the North, their owners still made great profits, so much so that the salary of a blockade-runner captain could be as high as 1000 pounds per round trip—an enormous sum of money in those days.
On occasions, more than just cotton arrived in Nassau on the blockade-runners. On the second ship to arrive from Charleston, the eagle was a stowaway slave who had hidden among the bales. Finding himself in The Bahamas, where former slaves were now free, he fell to his knees on the dock and thanked God for his deliverance from bondage, Thomas Taylor the Nassau merchant dealing with the eagle’s cargo had to pay $4000 in compensation to the slave’s owner next time he went to Wilmington. This extra expense led to ships’ captains smoking out all holds and space to force out stowaways.
Prosperity Comes-----and Goes
Before blockade –running, The Bahamas Treasury was almost 50,000 in debt and most of Nassau’s 4000 inhabitants lived a life of semi-poverty. Suddenly, all this changed and Nassau became a thriving commercial centre. Nassauvians experienced a great improvement in their living standards because wages more than doubled. Sailors swarmed the streets on spending sprees, much as pirates and privateers had done a century or more before. Those fleeing the war in the South added to the swelling population, as did confederate soldiers on leave. The streets were crowded with barrels, boxes and bales and the harbor was a hive of activity as ships were loaded and unloaded.
Many new building projects were started. Bay Street was widened and curbstones and lights were added for the first time. The Royal Victoria Hotel begun in1859, and intended for winter visitors arriving on the Cunard steamship from New York, was completed in 1861. It became the scene of many riotous balls and banquets financed by blockade-runners. One blockade-runner called Captain Carleton Flanders described a typical scene in his diary: There was a spectacular firework display in the gardens and the guests merrily danced to three orchestras and were entertained by two choirs and 4 soloists. During the ball one $1000 was raised for the noble cause of the Confederacy. The ball went on until cock-crow….
But along with prosperity came some negative effects, too. A wave of crime swept through Nassau’s crowded and prosperous streets. To deal with this, The Bahamas Police Force was created in 1864. Yellow fever, probably brought from Wilmington, became rife. Thomas Taylor, the captain of the Banshee and author of Running the Blockade (1896) lamented:” I have counted 17 funerals pass my house before breakfast, and in one day I have attended interment of 3 intimate friends…….” The Out Islands did not share in the increased prosperity. Indeed their economies may have even suffered, since many of their men were attracted to the prospect of work in Nassau. Farming was neglected and family life was affected. When the American Civil War ended in 1865, Nassau’s bubble of prosperity suddenly burst. It soon became obvious that few Bahamians had profited from four (4) years of blockade-running. Most of those who had profited were foreigners. Warehouses and hotels stood empty; and the new street lamps went unlit. In 1863 an old Bahamian had prophesied all this with the words: “Well de war make Nassau and when the war is over it go right straight to de debbel whar it came from.”
In 1919, the American people had voted to alter, or amend their country’s constitution---the set of rules by which the country is governed. This eighteenth amendment said that no one in the USA could make or sell alcoholic drinks of any kind. Shortly afterwards Congress passed the law called the Volstead Act. This was to make sure that people obeyed the new Prohibition amendment.
People who supported the Eighteenth Amendment were nicknamed dries. They claimed that Prohibition would stop drunkenness and make the USA a happier, healthier country. People who were against prohibition wets did not accept such arguments. They looked upon the dries as narrow-minded killjoys. So many Americans were wets that by the middle of the 1920s breaking the prohibition laws became accepted and respectable. Some people concocted booze in bathrooms and kitchens, while others became customers of illegal drinking places called speakeasies. These sprang up in basements and backrooms all over the country. This local production was inadequate to supply the great demand for alcohol. Therefore, between 1920 and 1933, the smuggling of liquor into the USA (Bootlegging) became a major Bahamian industry. In the beginning it was not certain whether the Bahamian government would allow smuggling to go on. However by the end of 1921, it seemed certain that The Bahamas Government would cooperate. In 1921, more than 20 large liquor firms sprang up in Nassau. Speedy motor boats began sneak from Grand Bahama and Bimini to Florida. Large schooners went as far as New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Planes were also used.
The effects of this trade on The Bahamas were many. Reports of liquor between 1922 and 1933 were averaging at half a million pounds per year. The number of ships leaving Bahamian ports rose from 486 in 1919 to 1681 in 1922. 714 0f these left Nassau, 567 from Grand Bahama, and 306 from Bimini. The Bahamas government welcomed the trade. The Customs act of 1919 had laid heavy duties on imported liquor, e.g. Brandy 24 shillings per gallon, rum 8shillings. Customs receipts rose from 103,492 pounds in 1919, to 640,798 pounds in 1923.
How the trade operated
As stated in the previous paragraph, the main centers for export were Grand Bahama, Bimini and New Providence. Large schooners made the journey from these islands to RUM ROW an open area of sea off the coast of Boston, Philadelphia and New York. The cargo was sold to ships anchored off the harbor of these cities and then landed onto United States. Sea planes flew from Cat Cay, Bimini and Gun Cay and landed in secluded everglades of Florida with their cargo. Speedy motor boats made the journey to the US evading the U.S. Coast Guards.
There was an increase in public revenue. The whisky and brandy importers had to pay customs duties upon being landed into The Bahamas from Britain. Brandy paid 24 shillings per proof gallon, rum paid 8 shillings and whiskey paid 12 shillings. Export increased. The export figure reflected the increased exports of liquor. In 1923 it was 1,591,538 and average 1922-1923 exports were well over half a million pounds. There was also an increase in shipping activities. All available ships were pressed into the Bootlegging service and the number of ships leaving Bahamian ports increased. In 1922, 714 cleared Nassau, 567 from Grand Bahama and 306 from Bimini.
Bootlegers, gangster leaders, and kidnappers appeared in Nassau. Their headquarters were the Lucerne Hotel, Frederick Street, and the Bucket of Blood, George Street. Churches were repaired with liquor money. The public debt was cancelled out, and salaries in the Civil Service were raised. Wages for coloreds rose to $6 per day. The harbor was deepened, and the wharves lengthened. The electricity, water supply and sewerage systems were modernized. Roads were re-made and cars began to appear. Also, in the 1920s between four and five million dollars were invested in the land and buildings in The Bahamas.
A world-wide slump began in 1929. Liquor money began to decline and in 1933 the Prohibition Bill was repealed, and The Bahamas went back to the slow life of the pre-bootlegging days.
Tests and Quizzes
The American War of Independence
Multiple Choice Items
Circle the Correct Response (1) The rebel state did not have any a. Cotton b. Rice c. Manufactures d. Grain (2) A blockade was declared on the Southern Ports by President a. Adams b. Lincoln c. Washington d. Jefferson (3) The Northern ships were called a. Fleetwoods b. Double –enders c. Grey hounds d. Schooners (4) In order to run the Blockade after 1862 the ships had to be a. Big b. Slow c. Fast d. Small (5) The boats that sailed to the Southern ports from Nassau were loaded with a. Cotton, shoes and dresses b. Grain, shoes and blankets c. Uniforms, belts and caps d. Arms, gun powder and boots (6) During the days of blockade running, the common laborers had his: a. Champagne and rich food b. Beer and cheese c. Rum and meats d. Wine and cakes (7) One of the effects of the American Civil War was that in Nassau, fortunes were made in a. Few weeks or months b. The first few years of war c. The last two years of the war d. The last three years of the war (8) The man on the lookout on a northern ship was paid a. Two dollars for each sail sighted b. Five dollars for each sail sighted c. One dollar for each sail sighted d. Three dollars for each sail sighted (9) Working round the clock, a ship was unloaded a. In twenty four hours and loaded with cotton in three days b. In 12 hours and loaded with cotton in 4 days c. In 36 hours and loaded with cotton in 4 days d. In ten hours and loaded with cotton in one day (10) The Bahamas benefitted greatly from this war and a. Bay Street was widened and provided with lights b. Eleuthera got a new dock c. Harbour Island had a new warehouse built d. Grand Bahama was able to pay the public debt. (11) Studies the sources provided and then answer the questions which follow.
Prohibition and Bootlegging
An account of the activities of rum-runners
Soon huge liquor depots appeared on islands closest to the U.S such as Cat Cay, Gun Cay, Bimini and West End, Grand Bahama. With the opportunity of making as much as $2000 a day, smugglers known as bootleggers or rum-runners use powerful lightweight, 35-foot speedboats, capable of carrying 300x6 bottle sacks of liquor at over 50 m.p.h to make two trips a single night to Florida coast. Some used small seaplanes, carrying fewer sacks to make as many as five trips every day to the Florida Everglades. Against these the U.S. Coast Guard ships 75-feetlong and capable of only 15 M.P.H. could do little. (1) What is meant by the term Bootlegging? (2) Explain how the Prohibition and Bootlegging era came about. (3) Describe the role played by The Bahamas in Prohibition and Bootlegging. (4) What role did The Bahamas Government play in Prohibition and Bootlegging? (5) Describe how rum was smuggled into and out of The Bahamas during Prohibition and Bootlegging.
The Loyalists. (6) Who were the Loyalists? (7) Why did the Loyalists come to The Bahamas? (8) Where did the Loyalists from New York settle and what trade did they engage in? (9) Name 4 Family Islands on which the Loyalists settled. (10) What caused the end of the cotton industry? (11) Make a list of the effects of the coming of the Loyalists (12) Write a letter to a friend in Jamaica describing the effects of the American War of Independence (1776) on The Bahamas and how The Bahamas benefitted from this war.

BGCSE Past Paper Questions (1) Which act of Congress introduced Prohibition? (2) What was Blockade Running (3) Explain how The Bahamas took advantage of Prohibition Laws in the USA (4) Explain both the advantages and disadvantages of Blockade Running (5) Do you agree that economic prosperity was experienced by all Bahamians as a result of Blockade Running and Bootlegging? Explain your answer. (6) With whom did the 13 colonies fight? (7) State three reasons why the American colonies went to war in the 1770s. (8) Explain the changes made by the Loyalists in the area of agriculture. (9) Compare the development of The Bahamas in the 1770s with its development in the 1860s. (10) “The Loyalists transferred their way of life to the Bahamas” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (11) Who created the Blockade of 1861? (12) Explain the purpose of the Blockade (13) Compare the relationship between the USA and The Bahamas during Blockade Running and Prohibition. (14) “Nassau was truly El Dorado* for Blockade Runners” Explain why this statement may have been true. ( Means a city of gold, riches, prosperity, wealth) (15) Who was president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War? (16) State three causes of the American Civil War. (17) Explain how The Bahamas benefitted from the Civil War. (18) Explain how ships were especially made for running the Blockade. (19) “The Civil War in America affected every aspect of Bahamian life”. Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. (20) In which year was the Volstead Act passed? (21) State three reasons given by the Temperance Movement for the Prohibition of alcoholic beverages. (22) Explain how Bahamians smuggled alcohol to the United States during the Prohibition era. (23) Compare the impact of the Loyalists on New Providence with that on the Family Islands. (24) The contributions which the Loyalists made to The Bahamas have no impact on the lives of Bahamians today. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (25) Name the treaty which ended the American War of Independence (26) Explain how the Blockade affected the Southern States during the American Civil War. (27) How similar were the two attacks on The Bahamas during the American War of Independence? Explain your answer. (28) The American Civil War benefitted The Bahamas more than the American war of Independence. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (29) In which year did the American War of Independence begin? (30) List three types of taxes imposed on the colonists by the British parliament. (31) Explain why Britain tightened its control over the American colonies. (32) Compare and contrast the effects of the American war of Independence and the American Civil War on The Bahamas. (33) “Colonists were justified in declaring independence from Britain” How far do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. (34) Explain why the Loyalists faced problems after they had settled in The Bahamas. (35) How similar were the problems of the Eleutheran Adventurers and the Loyalists during the colonization of The Bahamas. (36) The impact of the Loyalists in The Bahamas was a beneficial one. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (37) State one reason for the American War of Independence. (38) Why did the American War of Independence have an effect on The Bahamas? (39) To what extent was Bahamian society changed after the arrival of The Loyalists? (40) The late 18th century was a turning point in Bahamian History. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer fully.


UNIT FOUR: SLAVERY Week: Seven Theme 4: Slavery In The Bahamas Topic: Africa before the coming of the Europeans
A true picture of life in Africa before the coming of the Europeans can leave no doubt in our minds that there was never a “Darkest Africa.”
There is evidence that man has been in existence in Africa from the dawn of time. There is even evidence today to support the idea that mankind itself first came into existence in Africa. One thing is certain; Homo sapiens have been defined as a tool using animal and the oldest tools in existence have been found in Uganda.
It remains generally true that Africa had advanced civilization from the north to the south and from the east to the west. The civilizations of Africa were great more than three thousand years ago; the ancient kingdom of Kush flourished about one hundred miles down the Nile from the modern city of Khatoum. This civilization was famous throughout the ancient world, known by the Greek historian Herodtus, and the Pharaoh of Egypt. There was much contact between Kush and Egypt, Cathage, Arabia and even Rome. Records come from stone writing, sculpture and pottery. The ruins of giant pyramids, temples, palaces and monuments testify the greatness of Kush. The people of Kush were also great workers of iron.
Eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, Kush had won effective independence from Egypt. In 725 B. C., the Kushites conquered Egypt and ruled all the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the borders of present day Ethiopia. In 330 A.D., Kush was defeated by the Anumites. Kush had brought the Iron Age to Saharan Africa.
In about 500 A.D., a new Civilization emerged in West Africa, the Kingdom of Ghana. The kingdom became powerful because of its skill in iron-working. The people controlled and taxed the abundant gold trade as it moved from mines south of Ghana to the Caravans which would carry it across the Sahara to Europe.
Ghana was a formidable power. “The king of Ghana,” reported a Moslem scholar “Can put 200,000 warriors in the field, more than 40,000 of them being armed with bow and arrow.”
“When the king gives audience to his people, he sits in a Pavilion around which stands his horses caparisoned in cloth of gold; behind him stand ten Paige holding shields and gold mounted swords and on his right hand are the sons of his princess of his empire, splendidly clad and with gold plaited into their hair….The gate of the chamber is guarded by dogs of an excellent breed, who wear collar of gold and silver.” Ghana was conquered by the Alnoravids in 1076 A.D.
The first Savannah empires to succeed Ghana was the empire of Mali, visited Mecca in 1374 A.D., his camel trains stretched beyond the horizons; his splendidly equipped and arrogant body guard formed a formidable cavalry. It was estimated that in Cairo, the emperor’s domains were as large as all Western Europe. Two hundred years later, it was written: “In Timbuktu, there are numerous judges and clerics, all receiving good salaries from the king. There was a big demand for books and manuscripts in the city. The city itself boasted large and delicately decorated mosques designed by architects imported all the way from Southern Spain, great palaces, broad boulevards and Mali was busy, enterprising, stable and highly literate society, certainly comparable to many of the kingdoms of Europe at this time.
As early as 1472, a Portuguese captain had landed on the coast of the Bight of Benin. What they found when they pushed into the interior was the city of Benin. The world-famed brass castings of Benin display a high portion of naturalistic masks and heads similar to the classical sculptures as ancient Greece. The workmanship was fine, the technique advanced, and their artistic conception sophisticated. These arts speak of people who were highly skilled and deeply sensitive. What the European travelers found at Benin was a stable Iron-Age society.
From 1472, to the middle of the 19th century, under the guns, diseases and the exploitive greed of Europeans and Americans, the various African cultures declined, decayed and finally disappeared.
The People of the Islands, Africa and Civilization
They controlled trade with distance places in gold, copper, ivory, salt and skins. The incredibly beautiful art work in wood, bronze, iron terracotta, and so on of ancient Nigeria could not have been executed by savages. Priceless specimens of this work may today be seen in the museums of Lagos and certain European cities.
During the early middle ages, while most of Europe lay in the grip of ignorance, it was Jewish and Arab scholars who kept the torch of learning ablaze, which had been handed on to them from ancient Greece. The Arabs took their art, science and Mathematics, philosophy and above all religion, to North Africa and African cities like Timbuktu, Jenneh, and Gao became centers of Moslem learning. Knowledge of books existed in Africa prior to the coming of the Europeans. The best known example of an educated African who became a West Indian slave is Abu Bakr-Sadik who was born in Timbuktu in 1790 an was educated at Jenneh. Captured in Ashanti country, he was sold to an English slaver and taken to Jamaica where he became the first stone mason named Donellan, and then for an absentee land owner named Hayhes who had him baptized as Edward Donellan. Finally he was sold to Alexander Anderson who used him as a store man. He kept Anderson’s account in Arabic.
At any rate European traders of the sixteenth century found African rulers sufficiently in control of their people and sufficiently sophisticated for the contracts to be drawn up with them and honored on both sides. The political and social organization in African tribes---how the young and the old were cared for and the young taught the responsibilities of adulthood: respect for the aged; how the rich deep wisdom gathered from experience was preserved in the proverbs of common speech—these things impressed many observers. They could not have come from Europeans, skill and personal courage of the Ashanti people of Ghana are proverbial. Testimony to this level of development which evoked great respect among cultured slave owners is preserved for us by the eighteenth century historian, Bryan Edwards. He says the Coromantee of Gold Coast display a firmness of disposition, but with all, activity courage and stubbornness of what an ancient Roman would have deemed an elevation of soul, which prompts them to enterprise of difficulty and danger and enables them to meet death in its most horrible shape with fortitude of indifference. According to Christopher Codrington “no man deserves a Coromantee that would not treat him like a friend rather than a slave”
Because of the slave trade, however, for three hundred years Africa knew no peace. Villages were raided and set ablaze; warfare was encouraged so that prisoners might become available for purchase as slave. The innocent and the wary were kidnapped and sold by their own countrymen for a case of brandy, a gun, some salt, or a piece of linen cloth. The loss over the centuries of so many of her people, fifty million, perhaps—must have had a most depressing effect upon the development of Africa. This is especially so when it is considered that it’s the men and boys between the ages of 16 and 40 who were especially sought after. Old people, women and children if not killed in the raids were left behind with no one to do the farming or other heavy tasks. The slave trade stained and ruined much of the fabric of African society, while permitting nothing better to replace it. The trade in inferior cheap goods destroyed local textile industry and the production of iron and the metal industry declined. People became worried about their own survival rather than to develop or sustain new industries. No wonder, then, that little or no progress was made in Black Africa during the centuries when Europe was soaring ahead. Europe itself would have remained backward had it been subjected to the same experience. Slavery in West Africa
People became slaves in Africa in many ways. Chiefs made their captives slaves or criminals were sentenced to slavery. Some people sold themselves into slavery to avoid famine. Slavery in Africa was very different from slavery in the New World in many important respects. The slave in Africa was first and foremost a human being, never seen as someone lower on the scale of evolutionary development. Slavery was an economic state of affair and slaves were allowed to marry. They could inherit their masters’ property, could take an oath and could own slaves themselves. Some slaves were used as payments for debts and were sometimes given away as gifts.
Many slave masters in Africa made sure that their slaves were happy and contented. They lived as part of the household and on the compound. Some even had their own land but had to help to cultivate their masters’ land and fight for him at times of war.
Arab Slave Trade
Arabs conquered North Africa. They captured many prisoners of war in West Africa and these were sold in North Africa and Arabia as slaves. Many rich people in these countries found slaves to be a cheap form of labor and wanted to buy more slaves. In West Africa, chiefs had prisoners of war and criminals in their jails. They exchanged them for Arab beads cloth, swords and knives. Arabs brought slaves cheaply from African chiefs. Some were obtained through fighting. They encouraged tribal warfare and then bought prisoners of war as slaves. Arab slave trade in East Africa ended in 1873. The existence of this trade made Europeans naturally looked to Africa as a source for supplying the demand for free labor in the New World
Slave trade to the Americas
Spanish settlers started large sugar plantations in the West Indies. Tobacco had declined because of competition from North America. The tobacco farmers in North America could make use of economies of scale to produce tobacco more cheaply and their variety was said to be of better quality. They undersell their West Indian counterpart and therefore caused cultivation of the crop to decline in the region. The change from tobacco to sugar caused a labor problem. Sugar cultivation and manufacture needed vast amount of unskilled manual labor which could not be provided by the existing population of the West Indies. Under the encomienda, the Indians had died out. Indentured laborers were tried. By the terms of their contracts, these bonded servants (Europeans) had to work for four to five years. However, indenture system could not provide the large labor force needed for sugar. Moreover, it was more economical to obtain slaves who belonged to the master for life and was not entitled to land or property. Their children also belonged to the master. Africans were stronger and were already familiar with working in hot tropical conditions. There were other reasons for using Africans as slaves too. West Africa was closer to the Caribbean than Europe, and crossing between the two was made easier by the trade winds which blew from east to west. Plantation economy was a source of economic strength and the massive amount of labor required to sustain this was available in Africa. The amount of what was considered to be unoccupied land in the New World was an enormous attraction for Europeans, and called for the strictest control of labor. As a huge influx of whites would have led to them taking up land of their own the importing of slaves who could possess nothing made more economic sense. The money that would buy a bond servant’s labor for 8 or 10 years could buy a slave for life. In addition, the people of West Africa were used to agricultural work in a climate similar to that of the West Indies. The Spaniards decided to buy African slaves because the trade already existed there. The Asiento which was signed between the Portuguese and the Spaniards allowed the Portuguese to collect slaves in West Africa. In 1494 the Portuguese took slaves across the Atlantic and the Spaniards bought them for their Plantations. This was the beginning of the slave trade. Portuguese first took slaves to the West Indies. From Europe they took iron, copper, cloth, guns and blankets to West Africa in exchange for slaves. These slaves were sold for gold, tobacco and sugar. These goods were sold in Europe at great profit. The reasons why Africans were taken as slaves are many.
Defenselessness, Africans in West Africa were defenseless against slave raiding done with muskets. They were rounded up and taken away because of the narrow tribalism which made running away to avoid capture impossible. They could scarcely wander away from their village, let alone their tribe without becoming strangers among hostile neighbors who would enslave them or turn them over to the raiders. European Attitude. The attitude of Europeans was that Africans were inferior and fitted to be slaves. Religion. Africans were considered to be pagans and Christians could legitimately enslave pagans. Economic Needs. Economic arguments overrode all other considerations. As a profitable industry, it needed a new source of labor. If the labor could be had, for a small initial cost and minimum expenditure on upkeep, no factor of conscience was going to stand in the way of merchants and planters.
The English were the first to trade slaves in great numbers. By the mid-sixteenth century they had established trading centers on the Gambia River, on Gold Coast and on delta of the Niger River. In 1562 John Hawkins started to trade in slaves. While the English, Portuguese and Spanish competed initially for supremacy in the trade, the English were victorious and controlled much of The West African slave trade.
In the Seventeenth century, the Portuguese were weak and did not have enough soldiers to defend their many overseas possessions. The length of the African coastline was too vast to effectively defend and therefore Dutch Sailors attacked Portuguese everywhere in West Africa.
Evils of the Slave Trade
Small quarrels nearly always caused tribal wars and stronger Tribes mercilessly attacked weak ones, killing old men and women while burning their villages. These victims were sold as slaves. The journey to the coast was long and painful and at the coast they were branded and shut into open slave enclosures. The Middle passage was a horrifying ordeal and many died (a third) of diseases. The treatment of slaves during the sale was also horrifying. The scramble and the auction were two methods of sale used. These will be discussed in class.
Results and Consequences of the Slave Trade
The slave trade caused a decrease in population. Most who were taken away were at the age to bear children so there was a decrease in birthrate. Intensive fighting between tribes over slaves caused further decrease in population. Able-bodied men and young women were taken away so there was a shortage of labor to build the economy. The areas of industry and farming were the ones which felt the effects of this the most. The people who remained were pre-occupied with freedom rather than production. Agriculture in some localities saw an increase in production to provide supplies for slave ships but the overall consequences on agriculture was negative.
Industries were undermined, the economy of the Gold Coast and the gold trade were destroyed. Several European imports competed and strangled African products Majority imports were of worst quality even as consumer goods. Availability of European cloth stifled African cloth manufacture. Traditional iron smelting in most parts of Africa was abandoned. Because of the slave trade more important centers of trading moved from the interior to the coastal areas. Trans-Saharan trade died out because of the slave trade. These are only a few of the consequences of the slave trade along with what was earlier mentioned.

The Slave Trade
The slave trade may be described as a Triangular Trade. Ships loaded with goods in European ports sailed for the West Coast of Africa where goods were exchanged for slaves. After buying the slaves and loading them on to their ships, the sailors sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean where the slaves were sold. Before returning to Europe they went to the U.S.A carrying slaves, sugar, molasses and rum and bringing back to the West Indies food products such as maize and wheat and livestock and building materials. The ships were then loaded with tropical products such as sugar, rum, raw materials, molasses, indigo and cotton, with which they sailed back to Europe where they were sold.
Features of the Slave Trade in Africa
Slavery was an institution that existed in Africa long before the White man came. Africans became slaves in the following ways: Criminals who were sentenced to slavery, they could sell themselves into slavery to avoid famine, or during war between tribes, prisoners were taken and they became slaves. In Africa, slavery was an economic state of affair. The slave was always a human being. The European slavery of Africans was the only time in the world’s history of slavery that people were judged to be sub—humans on the basis of the color of their skin.
When the Europeans arrived in Africa they got slaves in the following ways: they bargained with Tribal Chieftains for Africans, who were already slaves, in return they supplied them with things ranging from handkerchiefs to iron bars. They also encouraged the coastal tribes to kidnap slaves and bring them to the ships. There were times when whole villages were burnt down and the people were kidnapped to be used as slaves.
The Europeans set up forts on the African coast. These forts contained special prison cells for the slaves. Huge bamboo cages called barracoons were set up to hold the prisoners on the beach itself. The person in charge of obtaining slaves was called a factor and he did this by trading at the fort or by sending African middlemen into the interior to obtain slaves from Tribal Chieftains. There were several tribes that refused to be enslaved which give the lie to the myth that Africans willingly endured slavery. Tribes such as the Zulus, the Ibos and the Coromantyns were too dangerous, too difficult to discipline and therefore they could not be enslaved.
The slave trade extended up to six hundred miles into the interior. When the African middlemen went into the interior to obtain slaves, they marched these slaves to the coast in a band which was called a coffle. Slaves were fastened in twos, usually by chains around the legs, and then each group of four was roped together. Sometimes they were attached in twos by a Y—shaped stick which joined the necks of two slaves at a time. They were guarded by free men. If the journey took more than one day (and sometimes these journeys took several days) the slaves were put up in villages at which they stopped during the night and the people of the town were forced to provide food and board for them. The whip was used to keep the slave in and to keep the pace at an average of twenty miles a day to be covered by a coffle. Many attempted to escape or committed suicide. Whenever a slave was too weak to continue he was left on the side of the road for the vultures and wild animals, usually tied to a tree so he could not go back home.
When they arrived at the coast, they were put into the Barracoons, and then they were prepared for sale. They had to go through a vigorous medical examination which took place on the coast and they were subjected to many types of exercises such as running up and down the coast, jumping, teeth and mouth being inspected and all parts of the body being inspected. Any that was found unfit was simply killed on the coast. Their bodies were shaved to remove signs of age. They were oiled and polished and when the ship arrived they were then sold by the factor to the captain. They were branded with the owner’s mark on their buttocks or breasts and were taken by canoes out to the main ship.
Their Transportation across the Atlantic—The Middle Passage
A slave ship usually carried 500 to 600 slaves packed in the hold of the ship like sardines in a tin. They had no elbow space and could not move about and on many occasions they were chained. Men women and children were all packed together with no toilet facilities, and filth was all about. They were fed a very scant diet on which they barely existed. The journey lasted from six to eight weeks but could be longer in bad weather. By this time the number would be reduced by death brought on by diseases such as dysentery, small pox, suffocation and suicide. A personal account by one slave reported the unbearable stench, heat, filth and the groan of the dying and the smell of those already dead below deck. Some of the slaves went on hunger strike because they preferred to die rather than be transported in that manner to a land which they did not know. They used hammer and chisels to knock out their teeth so that they could be forcibly fed. The thumb screws and other instruments of torture were at our own Pompey Museum on exhibition a few years ago. Some slaves would be thrown overboard to lighten the ships so that they could go faster when they were chased by pirates or if there was a storm. Some slaves were treated in a more humane manner by some captains. A few days before the ship arrived in the West Indies where the slaves were to be sold, they were usually brought on deck to be washed down, oiled and freshened up I preparation for the sale. The profit was of chief concern in the minds of the traders and the slaves that looked old and sickly would not fetch a high price.
Their Sale in the West Indies
Their sale in the West Indies was announced by news papers and advertisements and posters and sometimes by bell ringers. Their age, sex and country of origin were usually given. The planters would appear for the sale which was initially done by scramble and then later by auction. Many of the slaves were anxious to be bought so as to have their suffering brought to an end. After they were bought, they were transported to the estate of their buyers. It is estimated that about 15 to 20 million Negro slaves were brought from Africa over the period that the slave trade lasted. Upon arrival on the plantation they were usually given two suits of clothing and handed over to a more experienced slave for a period of three months to a year for what was called seasoning. During this time the new slaves were taught what was expected of them and helped to establish their own provision ground from where they grew food to supplement the ration given to them by their masters.
The organization of the Slave Trade
As slaves became more and more necessary in the West Indies and the Americas, governments began forming national/companies to provide slaves for their own colonies.
At the beginning of the slave trade, the slave ships sailed to the coast of West Africa and waited for weeks or even months while the local chiefs found sufficient Negroes for them. It soon became obvious that a more organized method was needed. The Gold Coast under the control of the Asante was the great fortress of Elmina to the east of the River Pra was the largest slave trading station in West Africa.
THE NATIONAL COMPANIES which were set up were given a monopoly of trade by its government. In return for this privileged they had to maintain forts (at a cost of about 20, 000 pounds per year), and to defend the national interest in trade. In Great Britain, the Monopoly to the French West India Company was incorporated in 1621. This was transferred to the general Company in 1673. Other countries involved in the slave trade were Sweden, Brandenburg and Denmark.
The national companies sent out licensed traders to Africa to exchange worthless manufactured goods for slaves. These goods included anything from hats, swords, and hammer to belts, brass bracelets and iron jugs.
In Africa these traders made contact with the resident agent, commonly called a factor. It was the factor’s job to see to it that slaves were available when the ships arrived. This was not always the case, and often the captain of the slavers had to go along with the factor to negotiate the purchase of slaves. The factor was also responsible for keeping relations with the chief sweet, for collecting slaves between ships visits and superintending their transportation on board when the ships came in.
The factors were in charge of the factories or forts. These were built on land leased from the chief. They varied in size. For example, the Cape Coast Castle could accommodate 1,500 slaves in its dungeons: others were no larger than circular towers, while the majority was no more than a factor’s thatched hut standing beside a baracoon. In some areas, for example the Niger Delta, very few forts had to be built since the tribal chiefs were well organized, built their own baracoons and could be relied on to have a supply of slaves waiting for visiting ships.
The factors negotiate with the local middle men for the purchase of slaves. It was the job of the middle men to go into the interior and collect the slaves. The factor then had to go through a long process of negotiation before he could get the slaves. These middle men who promoted themselves to the status of kings had a very strict protocol which had to be observed. For example, ships entering the Gambia River always saluted a tall tree on the northern bank by firing off three guns in honor of the king of Bar who was usually to be seen strutting below it. Negations were usually preceded by a large feast, and then followed the haggling over prices. The middle men never negotiated until they had been give presents, or dachy. The factors also had to pay taxes and bribes to the king’s counselors before anyone could talk business.
During the early stages of the slave trade, the slaves were usually captured near the coast. However in the 18th century, it became more and more the custom to get slaves from the interior. Sometimes the slave trade extended up to 600 miles inland.
The slave trade has become known as the Triangular Trade, which gave a three way profit. As has been said before, the ships left Europe with inferior quality European merchandise which was exchanged for slaves on the coast of Africa. The slaves were then taken to the West Indies or the Americas where they were exchanged for tropical products such as tobacco and sugar. Each stage of the trade might last for up to one year. In good times it was certain to net triple profit. (For prices of slaves, see the making of the West Indies pg 70.)

Plantation Life in The Bahamas
The first slaves in The Bahamas came from the time of the Eleutheran Adventurers (28). By the time the first settlers reached New Providence the slave trade was well organized. It is probable that the Bahamian Blacks came from the northerly parts of West Africa. There are found the brown skinned Mandingoes, Fulani and Hausa with straighter hair, longer face and more pointed noses than the pure breed blacks of the South. Slave ships on their way to Havana often stopped first in The Bahamas. The slaves were usually organized for auction and then sold at the Vendue House. (Incidentally, this was recently destroyed by fire, arson is suspected)
Daniel McKinney gave an invaluable account of the working of a cotton plantation on Acklins Island. He was there in March when the plants were in bloom and the slaves busy picking. He noticed that although the men worked under encouragement, the women were usually more hard working. One woman carried a baby on her back and gathered between 40 to 50 pounds of cotton in a day’s work. After being collected in a store room, the pods were put through a “gin” to separate the cotton from the pods.
Mr. McKinney wrote, “The negroes of the Bahama Islands.” It is discovered, in general, were more spirited and exerted themselves more than slaves in the southern part of the West Indies…….I believe it is due to the circumstances in which they work. Their labor is allotted to them daily and individually, according to their strength: and if they are so diligent as to have finished it at an early hour, the rest of the day is allowed to them for amusement or their private concerns. The masters also frequently tends them himself, and therefore it rarely happens that they are so much subject to the discipline of the whip as where the gangs were large and directed by agents or overseers. Most Bahamian plantations were small with very few of them having as many as a hundred slaves. A typical Bahamian plantation was that on Watling Island owned by Charley Farquharson, whose journal for 1831 and 1832 has luckily been preserved. The estate consisted of 2,000 acres, but only a small portion of this was cultivated. Most of it was pond, scrub or bare rock. In all this there were about 50 working slaves. But rarely were a dozen of them employed at the same task. Cotton was still the most imported commercial crop, but only 12 bales were exported in two years, otherwise products shipped for sales included stock animals, lignum vitae, citrus fruits and some guinea corn.
The estate was self –sufficient. The only imports from Nassau were flour, rum, furniture and cloth. Guinea corn, the chief crop was used mostly to feed the slaves. Other food crops were several kinds of peas, yams, sweet potatoes, snap beans, cabbage and pumpkins. Castor beans, catnip and sage were grown for medicinal purposes. It is unlikely that the slaves often tasted the meat of the sheep, pigs and steers that were raised on the estates. Mules and horses were raised on the estates and were for transportation.
The tasks at which the slaves were employed were innumerable. With the exhaustion of the soil, new land was always being prepared, in the invariable Bahamian manner of cutting, piling and burning the scrub. Hoes were used for planting and manure from the stock-pens was used whenever possible. Whenever the crops began to grow, there were weeding and trimming done to ensure that the weeds did not hinder growth of plants.
With so many varied crops, harvesting was a complex and almost continuous process. Maize had to be broken and stripped. Guinea corn and peas were picked, fodder stripped, yams and potatoes dug and catnip pulled. Then, after harvesting the crops had to be carried on horse or slave back to the great house where the barn was located. The cotton had to be ginned and baled and the castor bean put through the mill. When the work of harvesting was slack, the slaves might be sent to fish or cut wood.
Besides all this, some slaves were employed in tending the cattle which roamed almost wild over the island. Slaves had to try to keep them in bound by building and mending walls and fences. Others were specialists in making roads, thatch and wattles or building; some men were competent masons and carpenters. On the infrequent occasions when ships called at the island, the slaves had to carry goods several miles to the dock. All too rarely there was the excitement and profit of wrecking.
Even though slaves seemed to be better off in The Bahamas because of the presence of their masters, there was resistance to the institution of slavery as all slaves saw this as only a temporary arrangement. Below is an analysis of slave resistance as they occurred in The Bahamas.
Slave life was much different on the ‘sugar island’ where the slaves had to work from dawn until dusk under the constant fear of the whip which was used by the driver to ensure industry. Conditions were especially harsh during harvest time when there was a 24 hour work schedule on the estates. After dusk work continued in full swing in the factory where the juice of the cane was extracted and the process of making sugar continued throughout the night. The slaves were more stratified on the sugar islands. On the top of the stratification ladder were the house slaves, then the skilled slaves such as the wheelwrights, masons and sugar boilers. The lowest on the rank was the field slaves who had the lowest status. It was the house slaves who felt more loyalty to their masters and who usually betray many plans of revolts so that they could be prevented. Ringleaders of these plans were usually punished with the greatest of brutality so that the message might be sent to others who entertained similar thoughts of resistance.

Some Examples of Slave Resistance in The Bahamas
Slaves in The Bahamas showed resentment of their lot not only through individual and collective violence, but also through passive resistance. This included refusal to work, general inefficiency, deliberate laziness, running away and suicide. Like the other British West Indies, The Bahamas experienced both day-to-day resistance and also collective violence. Some slave on the Farquharson plantation at Watlings, or San Salvador, frequently was sick and sometimes feigned illness. “Alick in the house sick or pretending to be sick,” with a pretended pain in his chest this morning was an entry in Charles farquharson’s diary. Some slaves defied the slave owners. As early as 17 87, Governor Dunmore complained to the secretary of State for the colonies that numbers of negroes had for some time not only absented themselves from their owners, but had plundered and committed outrages upon the inhabitants on New Providence and some of the other islands. For example, in Abaco, some Negroes went about armed with muskets and fixed bayonets “robbing and plundering”.
Less violent defiance was evident at the Farquharson plantation. Mr. Fraquharson complained, “This morning attempted to correct Katherine for a good deal of empidence which she gave me yesterday morning. But was prevented by Alex, Bacchus, and Harry in a very threatening manner with defiance.
There was also evidence of collective resistance in the form of slave revolts in The Bahamas in the years immediately before Emancipation. The evidence indicates however that they were generally smaller and more infrequent than those in the other parts of the British Caribbean.
At least nine (9) revolts occurred which included five in Exuma among the Rolle slaves, one at Eleuthera, one at Watlings Island, and some disturbance at New Providence. The reasons for rebellion varied and included shortage of food, objection to be moved and opposition to the treatment of fellow slaves.
Lord Rolle’s slaves showed insubordination as early as 1829 when 4 of them, objecting to being moved, disappeared into the woods for about five weeks, and then took their master’s boat to Nassau. In 1833, there was again trouble on the Rolle plantation and the Governor was forced to send soldiers to Exuma. The Rolle overseer, a Mr. Thompson, complained that the slaves refused to work and had obtained a considerable number of muskets. The Governor, James Carmichael smyth, sent a detachment of fifty men from Nassau to pacify them. Fire locks, a small quantity of powder and shot were found in the slave huts at Stephen Town. Before the troops could reach Rollville, a slave called Pompey, escaped and warned the slaves there of an impending visit.
The slaves ordered to work by the officers in charge of the troops, at first refused on the grounds that they had worked for themselves and wished to continue. They reluctantly returned to work after Pompey was punished. However, troops had to be sent to Exuma three times in 1834. Part of the reason for the Rolle revolt was because of the shortage of food and Lord Rolle blamed the insubordination of his slaves on the Abolition Act and the other Acts to ameliorate slave conditions.
A similar rebellion occurred at Eleuthera on the William Johnson estate. Mr. Johnson in 1831 owned 85 slaves, 12 Africans and 73 creoles. In 1834 when registration of occupation was given for the first time, 59 of the 92 were field workers, 8 were domestics, 3 were mariners and 22 were too young to work. In 1833 Mr. Johnson’s slave claimed that they were free and refused to work. Troops comprising twenty men under the command of an officer were sent. The slaves refused to work because of the lack of food and clothing.
At Cat Island on the Joseph Hunter plantation, the consequences of the slave revolt were much more serious than in the other islands. A slave, Dick, was hanged in 1831 by order of the General Court for firing a gun at his master, Mr. Hunter. There was no evidence giving birth-place or sex of the six who aided Dick. Judging from the predominance of Creoles and the age patterns of Africans, 60 percent of whom were over 60, it was probable that the rebellion at Hunters was dominated by creoles. Dick himself was a Creole. The six slaves who abetted Dick were allowed to go free, because the Governor, with whom the secretary of State for the colonies disagreed on this point, feared that if six condemned slaves were executed, the case would have been very different. There was obvious fear of a full scale rebellion on Cat Island.
At San Salvador, or Watling, in March 1832, the mutiny, as Farquharson called it occurred out of very different circumstances. It erupted because James Farquharson, Charles son, hit Isaac, one of the slaves, for mounting the horse on the wrong side, after ordering him to do it correctly. Isaac’s brother took exception and asked James, “What right he had to beat Isaac so?” James reacted strongly and began beating Alick who retaliated until another slave, Matilda stopped him. Alick stated that his intention was to kill James. By this time, all the farquharson slaves (52 in all) had gathered and like so many furies were threatening vengeance against James. Farquharson alluded to the real cause of Alick’s feelings. He attributed it to the fact that James had spoken very sharply to Lisy, Alick’s wife, in the kitchen a few nights before because of her disobedience. The mutiny continued the next day, and farquharson had to call his neighbouring plantation owner in to try to reason with “our people” as all the slaves on the plantation, with the exception of two old women and the drivers had turned out, the men carrying clubs and some of the women with sticks in their hands. Some of the slaves were very noisy and repeated a great deal of threats and abuse that they had used the night before and would not harken to any advice or counsel that was given them. Some of the male slaves even carried their clubs the next day.
It is therefore obvious that there was some real opposition to slavery by Bahamian slaves. Most of the slaves involved in the Watling slave revolt seem to have been Creole and black, although one African was one of the leaders in the Farquharson mutiny. Both sexes seemed to have been equally represented. The chief centers of revolts were on the Out Islands or in the rural areas rather than in the town of Nassau where slaves more often had gained quasi-independence or bought their freedom. In the rural areas the slaves were mostly field laborers and it would not be to their advantage to be free within the structure of a slave society. However, even in the town of Nassau, the atmosphere over the slave question, especially the punishment of female slaves was intensified in1832.
These acts of opposition by the slaves were indicative of the slaves’ ultimate and fundamental goals of liberty and fit in with the revolutionary tradition among slaves. The revolts served to increase the fear of the Bahamian slave owners who, in spite of the stagnant economy, were reluctant to abandon slavery in 1833. Significantly, the revolts occurred mostly in rural areas where slave holdings were larger and where the ratio of slaves to free black and white was high.
It is doubtful however, that what happened in the Bahamas was significant in determining the Abolition Bill being passed in Britain. The Jamaican revolt of 1831 probably had more effect on the British Legislators than all the Bahamian revolts in aggregate. The Bahamas was probably carried along into emancipation and apprenticeship by the larger islands. It was the British Government’s pressure and the promise of compensation, along with the realization of demographic change, which forced the planters to cooperate. Slave resistance took many forms. Generally dissatisfied with their condition of servitude, slaves tried whatever means available to put an end to the hardships they experienced from the hands of their masters. This was particularly the case in the “sugar islands” where they worked from dawn until dusk under the constant threat of the whip. Sugar was very difficult to produce and calls for extensive labor. During crop time, the sugar estate was a hub of activity. Work continued on a twenty four hour cycle. During the day, large gangs of slaves, men and women would cut the cane and load it unto wanes drawn by mules or oxen. These were taken to the factory where other slaves were busy extracting the cane juice with the assistance of a grinder. The liquid was boiled until it was able to be stretched between the fingers (teache). The process of making the sugar continues throughout the night as work on the plantation never ceases. With this rigorous unceasing labor, slaves resisted. Response to Slavery
Submission. No slave submitted voluntarily to his servitude. Submission was obtained in two ways. It was enforced by harsh suppression. Secondly, owners offered various incentives to encourage submissiveness. Even with these mentioned here, slaves still offered resistance in order to defeat the slave system.
Passive Resistance (1) Slow working and malingering. (2) Pretending ignorance (3) Deliberate carelessness (4) Pretending to be ill (5) Telling lies to avoid doing something or to create confusion (6) Carelessness with owner’s property (7) Refusal to work (8) Running away (9) Committing suicide
Active Resistance (1) Damaging and destroying the owner’s property by disabling the farm machinery (2) Maiming and killing of livestock (3) Petty stealing (4) Maiming or murdering of other slaves (5) Killing the whites on the estate

Apart from the list identified above, there was also sporadic outbreak of revolts which were usually short –lived because they were not well-planned and coordinated. They were usually poorly organized and lacked effective leadership. This caused them to be put down with the utmost of brutality by the White masters who had firearm power at their disposal. Revolts too were often acts of desperation undertaken by slaves who knew they had no chance of success. They took advantage of wars when the authorities had other difficulties on their hands to revolt but when conditions returned to normal the revolts were easily suppressed. As said earlier, the slaves were usually not adequately prepared. Frequently too, revolts failed because some slaves remained loyal to their masters and divulge the plans ahead. House slaves are the ones who are usually guilty of this. Often ringleaders of the revolt could not agree among themselves. Some were moderates who wanted co-existence between blacks and white as long as blacks had their independence while the extremists wanted a total annihilation of whites.
The basic reason why revolts did not succeed was simply that the authorities had superior arms and forces. Slaves had no military training and many could not use firearms even if available. Sooner or later the rebel slaves would come up against disciplined, well-armed force which could easily put them to flight.

The word “maroon” is a corruption of the French word “marron” which in turn comes from the Spanish, “Cimarron” which means dweller on a mountain top. The Spaniards first applied the word to Indians, but gradually Blacks predominated among the Maroons and so the use changed. Maroons originated in Hispaniola. Very early on slaves ran away to the mountains and forests, intermarried with Arawak women and allied with the Indians against the Spaniards. From then on they were a constant problem for the Spanish authorities. A typical example was the Arawak Cacique Henriques, who rebelled in 1519 and took refuge in the mountains of Hispaniola. He defeated several parties of Spaniards sent out to capture him. Soon other Arawaks and runaway slaves joined him. Finally in 1533, the Spanish authorities made a treaty with Henriques who gave him a grant of land and a guarantee of freedom. In return he promised to surrender escaped slaves.
Thereafter, The Maroons in Hispaniola were strong enough to maintain their freedom. As early as 1545, their number had reached 7,000 and outside Santo Domingo they were a considerable force to reckon with. The early history of Maroons in Hispaniola is interesting because it established both the patterns of Maroon settlement in Jamaica and Surinam and the response of authorities to them. The Maroons in Jamaica
When the British invaded in 1665, Ysasi, the Spanish commander, made an alliance with the Maroons to help him against them. Totaling less than 1000, they were led by Juan Lubolo (Juan de Bolas) in the St. John district of St. Catherine. They attacked Spanish town, burned houses and killed British soldiers in their quarters. Then in 1658, they stopped the British forces reaching Rio Nuevo, where Ysasi had landed, by holding the overland route. Even after the Spanish had left Jamaica, the Maroons did not surrender, and although few in number, continued to menace the British.
This traditional defiance of the British continued into the 18th century. There was not only danger from the Maroons, but also from the slaves who were encouraged to revolt by their presence. Parties of armed whites found it very difficult to operate in Maroon areas. In 1720 the King of the Moskito Indians of Central America was asked to send 50 Indians to hunt them down, but they had little success. There was peace for a few years but then raids began again and the governor reported in 1727 that he could not raise men to serve the Maroons as the Militia Act had expired. By 1730 the position was again serious. The Maroons were bold enough to raid a plantation in March and carry off six women slaves; they defeated several successive forces sent to apprehend them.

The First Maroon War
There was no clear- cut beginning to the first Maroon war. In March 1732, the militia captured the three chief Maroon settlements but in 1733 further armed parties was defeated and the captured towns had to be abandoned. An appeal was made to the British Admiral in command of Jamaican waters, who sent 200 sailors to assist the militia. They were led into an ambush and defeated. There was clearly a war now. At last the Assembly voted the money to raise a force to tackle the Maroons. Two hundred Moskito Indians and companies of free blacks and mulattoes were recruited. The Maroons were much more aggressive because of their recent successes, but gradually the superior forces of the government wore them down by persistent attacks and a scorched earth policy, and forced them to seek peace.
On 1 March, 1739, Articles of Pacification were signed with the Maroon Chief, Cudjoe and other leaders from Trelawney Town. The Maroons were given freedom and the possession of all the lands lying between Trelawney Town and the Cockpits, amounting to over 600 hectors forever. In return they promised not to attack white planters, to give assistance to the Government against external enemies or internal revolt, and to return all runaway slaves for a reward. Two white Superintendents would live with them to maintain friendly correspondence. Similar agreements were made with the Maroons at Accompong, Crawford Town and Nanny Town.

The Second Maroon War
Two thousand Maroons were expected to subsist in the area designated by the land grant of 1739, and by 1795 they were feeling restricted. A second grievance was the replacement of a white superintendent, Captain Craskell. The spark that set off the trouble could probably have been averted if Maroons had not already been dissatisfied with the government’s attitude. In July 1795, two young Maroons from Trelawney Town were convicted of stealing pigs from a white planter and sentenced to thirty nine lashes. The Maroons did not object to the sentence, but to the fact that the whipping was given by the black overseer of a slave prison in front of runaway slaves whom the Maroons themselves had handed over to authorities. The onlookers jeered and the insult to the Maroons was more than they could bear. They threatened to kill Captain Craskell and attack other whites. The government replied by mobilizing the militia and sending mounted troops to the area. They could have calmed the Maroons by replacing Craskell with James and compensating them for the insult sustained. However, in view of the black revolution in St. Domingue, (Haiti, you will read about this later) the government decided to show firmness.
On 20th July a meeting between some prominent whites and Maroons was called to discuss grievances. Three hundred armed Maroons came in a belligerent mood and demanded the removal of Craskell and the redress of the indignity suffered by the two whipped men. The whites promised to lay their request before the governor. The Maroons then tried to incite the slaves to rebel but luckily for the whites they had little success. Jamaica was poorly defended because most of the troops had been sent to Hispaniola and the remaining regiment was under orders to sail. There was no doubt that the Maroons knew this and were waiting for the regiment to sail from Port Royal., which it did on 29 July. They began mobilizing and the slaves were restless and on the point of revolt. A boat was sent to intercept the regiment at sea and it was brought back to Montego Bay, 32 kilometers from Trelawney Town, on the 4th of August. The whites were very relieved. The arrival of the troops quietened the slaves, but could not stop the Maroon war.
Lord Balcarres, The governor proclaimed martial law and sent a message to Trelawney Town warning the Maroons that they were surrounded. He summoned them to meet him in Montego Bay on August 12th to submit to His Majesty’s mercy. If they did not do so their town would be destroyed and a price would be set on their heads. On 11th August, some of the older Maroons surrendered, but the young ones decided to fight and began by burning their towns themselves. On the 12th of August they attacked the outposts of the troops and inflicted a severe defeat on a mounted troops and militia, actually killing the colonel in command.
Then they drew back into cockpit country and began raiding white plantations and killing all the whites they could find, men women and children. On 12th September they ambushed another force, again inflicting heavy causalities. The government decided to send for large hunting dogs from Cuba which arrived on 14th December. The dogs were never used but their very presence may have had an effect on the Maroons.
A new commander, Major-General Walpol adopted the policy of starving the Maroons out. They were forced to raid slave grounds which made them very unpopular. It is not certain whether it was the arrival of the dogs or the cutting off of supplies which made the Maroons surrendere. General Walpol said that if they gave themselves up within ten days from 21st December, together with all the runaway slaves, they would not be executed or deported. Only 21 surrendered in time but General Walpol extended the period to the whole of January as he considered that the original ten days were too short. The troops then moved in to take the remainder, most of whom surrendered but some held out until mid-March.
The government betrayed General Walpol’s promise to the Maroons. The Legislature voted 21 to 13 that those who had not actually surrendered by the end of the year 1795 should be deported. In June1796, 556Trelawney Town Maroons were sent to Nova Scotia. After 4 years there it was decided that the climate was unsuitable and they were transferred to Sierra Leone. Some of the old ones and some descendants of the deportees eventually found their way back to Jamaica in 1841 as laborers on the sugar estates, but most remained in Africa. Generally Walpole was bitterly disappointed and refused to accept the sword of honor which the Legislature voted him. Thereafter the Maroons of Trelawney Town lived peacefully and remained free. Most of their young men had been deported and the rest felt that they could not hope for any improvement in conditions. The 1763 Rebellion in Berbice
The causes of the slave uprising in Berbice in 1763 are very confused because different groups had different reasons for rebelling and even the man who became the leader of the rebels, Coffy, said later that he had not wanted to rebel in the first place! Some slaves desired revenge because of their terrible treatment and injustice. The Berbice Association economized on the imports of food-stuff, the planters did not grow enough provisions on the estates and some slaves were underfed. The estates were often left in the hand of managers and overseers who did not give a thought for the welfare of the slaves.. Coffy himself, in a letter to the Governor, gave this as an excuse for the rebellion. He blamed a few evil planters and managers including his owner Barkey of the Plantation Lilienburg.
However, many of the leading rebel slaves were well-treated and were domestic and artisan slaves like Coffy. Their motives for rebelling seem to have been to gain permanent freedom. This group was sub-divided into those who would have settled for a black reserve in the interior, like the Bush Negroes of Surinam, with a treaty guaranteeing freedom, and those who wanted to exterminate all the whites and take over the colony themselves and make an independent black state. The Governor of Berbice, Van Hoogenheim, sympathized with the plight of the slaves before the rebellion and in 1762 he had been asking the Berbice Association to send more provisions for the slaves. However as soon as the rebellion started on 23rd February 1763, at the Plantation Magdeleneburg on the Canje River, Van Hoogenheim lost sympathy with the slaves and was determined not to give in, even though the cause of the whites seemed hopeless and many of them wanted to evacuate the colony. He had only 12 soldiers at his disposal so he recruited 12 sailors from a ship in the harbor and sent them to defend the Canje plantations, but to no avail, and the rebellion spread.
By March the rebellion had spread to Berbice River, and two plantations close to Fort Nassau had been raided. Fort Nassau was the key to the colony and the extremist among the slaves were anxious to attack the Fort. But Coffy, whose aims were more moderate, had became the leader and the attack of Fort Nassau was put off. Coffe wanted a partition of Berbice with the whites on the coast and the blacks in the interior, on the lines of Surinam. He referred to himself as “Governor of the Slaves”. Plantation Peerboom, where some whites were taking refuge, was attacked by 600 slaves. Food and water were running out and they accepted a guarantee of safe conduct to the river from Cosala the slave leader, if they could surrender the estate. In spite of his promise, many whites were killed.
The morale of the whites was very low and they forced Van Hoogenheim to agree that the colony should be abandoned. Here Coffy made his mistake if he had really wanted a black take over. Van Hoogenheim, his most resolute opponent, had been over-ruled and was on the point of abandoning Fort Nassau which Coffy could have taken with ease. But he hesitated and allowed Van Hoogenheim to outmaneuver him, by stalling him until reinforcement arrived. Coffy realized van Hoogenheim’s strategy too late. His hesitation may have been influenced by the behavior of some of the slaves. After their initial successes, they were unwilling to accept the discipline and hard work which he realized was necessary for the new colony to succeed. His position was further weakened because some of the Creole slaves were ready to surrender.
A British ship from Surinam landed 100 soldiers at Fort Andries and Van Hoogenheim was able to attack for the first time. He left a small force at Fort Andries, sent 25 soldiers up the Canje to defend his position from that side, and he himself led the main party up the Berbice to Plantation Dageraad, which he had wanted previously to make the key to his defence. He fortified the plantation and had ships in the river, train their guns on the possible line of attack. Akara, Coffy’s second-in-command, realized that the longer the delay, the stronger the whites would become, so he attacked dageraad, but his three attacks were all beaten back.
Coffy sent a letter to Van Hoogenheim suggesting a partition of Berbice. Von Hoohenheim asked him to wait two months for a reply from Holland. His motives were to delay until more troops could arrive. He did not want a partition, but wanted to defeat the slaves once and for all. Coffy waited all through April, 1763. Gravensande, the Governor of Essequibo, not wanting the slave revolt to spread to Demerara which he was trying to open up, evacuated most of the women and children from Demerara to St. Eustatius. He then planned a three-pronged relief of Berbice. He ordered the Commander of Demerara to organize the Indians to attack the slaves in the rear from the upper reaches of the Demerara River. Secondly he secured help from Barbados: an eighteen gunship, two armed brigantines, 100 marines and arms and ammunition. Thirdly he asked for help from the Zeeland Chamber, The Berbice Association and St. Eustatius. The two well-armed ships with158 soldiers arrived from Holland. At the beginning of May, Coffy realized his mistake and began an all out attack on Dageraad. On 13th May 2000 slaves attacked the 150 whites who were heavily defended in the plantation and from the river. The fighting lasted five hours and 8 whites and 58 slaves were killed. Coffy failed to take Dageraad. He was also troubled by the serious divisions in his own ranks and between African slaves and Creoles, and especially by the challenges to his leadership from Atta who was an extremist. Atta took over, and Coffy killed his close followers and then committed suicide. However Atta was now leading a lost cause as the whites were recovering and more help was coming. In December a large force arrived by ship up the Berbice River to coincide with an attack on the slaves to the rear from the upper Demerara. Most of the slaves ran away into the forest and the rest were hunted down and killed. The rebellion had lasted for ten months. If an immediate attack had been made on Fort Nassau in March 1763 the slaves probably would have succeeded in driving the whites out of Berbice although the success could only have been temporary as the Dutch would not have given up Berebice.
It is unlikely that Coffy and the slaves could have held off an attempt at re-colonization because revolutionary spirit was waning. The Creole slaves were not enthusiastic and some remained loyal to their former masters. Other slaves had turned their attention to looting and pleasure instead of securing their position. Finally, the leaders of the slaves were divided in their aims and power struggles among the leaders weakened their cause. We can therefore conclude that the rebellion had little hope of success in the long term, but was a remarkable demonstration of the desire of the blacks for freedom and even for their own independent country. When Guyana became independent on 23rd February 1970, the day was chosen because it marked the anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion, and Coffy was chosen as a national Hero. Coffy had been born in Africa and brought to Guiana at an early age. In the rebellion he was realistic, not trying to achieve too much too soon, and not making demands which he knew would not be met. This shows his wisdom and statesmanship, as did his attempt to organize the blacks to lay the foundation of their country by hard work and the readiness to defend their land. His mistake lay in thinking that he could treat with Van Hoogenheim and in allowing himself to be tricked into waiting. Coffy became a martyr in the independence struggle and an inspiration for the future. Sam Sharp Rebellion
In Jamaica, the white public opinion was opposed to amelioration in any form, but the British Government was prepared to put financial pressure on the Jamaican Legislature to pass it. By the end of 1831, even Jamaica accepted that emancipation was inevitable and the Assembly concentrated on the question of compensation. There is no doubt that the slaves knew roughly what was going on, but they didn’t know the precise details. One slave in Montego Bay, Samuel Sharpe could read and write, and from his master’s newspaper he learnt that emancipation was very near and that wage labor would come to Jamaica. He spread the word amongst his fellow slaves. The Christ holiday was approaching and he told the slaves not to return to work after Christmas unless they were paid. The strike began on 27th December as most slaves were not required to work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The masters and authorities realized that someone well- acquainted with political developments in England and Jamaica had incited the slaves, and they blamed Sharpe. He was also a prominent member of the Baptist Church, another cause for suspicion. However Samuel Sharpe was not to blame for the rebellion that followed. He had not planned it and was opposed to violence.
The situation in the north-west of Jamaica was explosive. When a husband was forced to watch the brutal flogging of his wife, he struck the whipper. The overseer ordered the slave to be arrested, but the other slaves refused. Thus the revolt began. The first plantation to be attacked was the Kensington Estate in St. James. Quickly the revolt spread to other plantations in the neighborhood and soon the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Portland and St. Thomas were involved. By January 50,000 slaves were in revolt because they believed that their masters were withholding freedom.
Another name for this revolt is the “Baptist War” because the whites felt that the Nonconformist missionaries had encouraged the slaves. This was not true. William Knibb of the Baptist church knew about the strike and revolt beforehand and tried to stop it. However sympathetic a white missionary was, the slaves believed that when loyalty was put to the test he would side with the whites, therefore they did not heed Knibb, or Bleby, a Methodist missionary who warned the slaves that the authorities would win. The slaves did not set out to kill the whites, but to destroy property. In all only 15 whites were killed which was not many in such a large rebellion. Many whites evacuated the estates until the authorities had regained control. Retaliation by the authorities had begun before the end of December, 1831, when a militia company of colored defeated some of the rebels; they retreated to Montego Bay, leaving the slaves in control of St. James and Trelawney. On 1st January, Sir Willoughby Cotton in command of regular troops arrived. He offered a free pardon to all slaves who would surrender, except the ringleaders. Most of the slaves gave themselves up, but there was severe fighting in the wild bush country of St. James and Trelawney before the revolt was finally crushed. In the fighting 400 slaves were killed, one hundred others including Samuel Sharpe, were executed and another 100 were flogged.
This was the most serious rebellion ever experienced in Jamaica, but it never had any chance of success and was confined to the north-west. The revolt did not reach Spanish Town and Kingston, where the authorities had troops stationed and a fully armed merchant ship at the end of every road and lane leading to the waterfront. After the revolt the British Government gave 200,000 pounds compensation to estate owners. The whites felt that this was ‘conscience money’, as the Assembly reported in 1832 that the interference of the British Government in local laws, and the irresponsible expressions of British Ministers and individuals in the House of Commons, were to blame for the revolt. They maintained that the false and wicked reports of the Anti-Slavery Society were being circulated throughout the island.
The whites turned their vengeance against the missionaries, especially the Baptists, Methodists and Moravians. William Knibb was arrested on a charge of inciting the rebellion. Several other ministers were assaulted. In January 1832, some whites formed the Colonial Church Union, a so called religious body, to prevent the dissemination of any other doctrines apart from those of the Churches of England and Scotland. In a few weeks they destroyed 14 Baptist and Wesleyan chapels. Later in the year, The Colonial Church Union was dissolved by royal proclamation.
The 1831—32 revolt in Jamaica was a very ill-advised attempt by the slaves to try to better their conditions. It served no useful purpose because the British Government was already determined to enforce emancipation throughout the colonies, and even the Jamaican Legislature had accepted its inevitability and was just trying to get the best terms it could for the slave owners. It was a sad event, costly in human lives, and it embittered the already bad relations between whites and blacks. Samuel Sharpe and William Knibb were the heroic figures of the revolt. Sharpe was a Jamaican Martyr who became affectionately known as “daddy Sharpe” to the people. He was an inspiration to the men like Paul Bogle forty years later. Knibb was affine example of everything a missionary should be; utterly devoted to his flock and ready to make any personal sacrifice for them. The Haitian Revolution
There would probably have been a revolution in St. Domingue sooner or later because of the terrible slave conditions, class divisions and racial hatred. However, the Revolution in France triggered off a chain of events which resulted in St. Domingue becoming the independent country of Haiti between 1791 and 1803. The French Revolution
In August 1789, the National Assembly in Paris issued the ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man.’ This document insisted on the freedom and equality of man and gave the French Revolution its slogan of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.’ In France, this meant the ending of privilege and feudalism, and equality between peasant and nobles. In the French Empire, it led to the demands for equal political rights and social equality by the mulattoes. Logically, it should have meant the end of slavery, but this step was not officially taken by the Revolutionary government until 1794. However once the slaves in the French islands in the West Indies had heard the slogan, they did not wait for the decree, but seized their own freedom. The Effects of the Revolution in the French empire
The news of the French Revolution spread slowly through the empire. Most people did not know whether to remain loyal to the King or join the revolutionary cause. Those with property and power were reluctant to support the Revolution because they were not sure of the strength of the movement and thought that if the king regained power they would be in trouble. Others with nothing to lose were inclined to join the Revolution at its outset. Generally, the planters remained loyal to the king and were known as Loyalists. Freedom and equality were dangerous to their position and they felt that they had to resist the movement from the beginning. The mulattoes wanted equality with the whites, politically and socially. The slaves just wanted their freedom.
Each class selfishly pursued its own ends and resisted gains by the other classes. Whites and mulattoes tended to combine to resist freedom for slaves. In the colonies nobody wanted to help the blacks. Help for the blacks came from a group in France known as the ‘Amis des Noirs’. Whites and mulattoes combined with the blacks only when they thought that the added strength of the blacks would save them. The dilemma of the whites was well illustrated in Martinique, where the planters outside St. Pierre were royalists while the whites from the city were revolutionaries. There was fighting between the two white groups in 1789. However, the whites united as soon as the slaves revolted and stayed united in 1790 to put down a rising of mulattoes who were demanding equal political rights.
In both France and the empire, revolutionaries refused to accept orders from the officers who had been appointed by the king. This led to mutinies in the French islands; for example, French soldiers in Tobago mutinied in 1790 and St. Lucia in 1792 the revolutionaries expelled the governor. There was anarchy and revolt in the empire due more to the local population taking advantage of the lack of control from France than to any belief on their part in the Revolution. The Effect of the Revolution in St. Domingue
In 1789 the population in St. Dominique consisted of about 35,000 whites, 25,000 mulattoes and 450,000 slaves. There were rigid legal distinctions between these groups based on color, and there was a mutual distrust and hatred which was far deeper than in other French islands. The whites were not a united group. At the top were the very rich planters, the “seigneurs,” far superior in status to the planters of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Grouped with them socially were the leading civil and military officers. All together they were known as the grands blancs. Some of them had aristocratic origins in France and when the Revolution came they joined the royalists. Earlier, when the grands blancs heard of the calling of the Estates-General, they drew up lists of planters and elected deputies to send to the meeting in an attempt to keep political power in their hands. This action caused their relations with the other classes in St. Dominique to deteriorate.
The merchants and the professional men were cut off socially from the grands blancs. In Martinique and Guadeloupe, the planters were frequently in debt to the merchants, but this was not the case in St. Dominque where the grands blancs free of any obligations, despised them. In the Revolution some of the merchants were royalists and some republican. They all hoped for political and social equality with the grands blancs, but did not want equality extended to the mulattoes.
The third class of whites were the petits blancs. They were the poor whites; the overseers, artisans and small shop keepers. They often had affinities through marriage with the mulattoes, and were republican in the Revolution until they themselves were in mortal danger from the blacks. On top of all these divisions, all Creole whites were despised by those born in France.
The mulattoes, or free coloreds, were known as affranchise in St. Dominque. They were unique among the mulatto population of the West Indies in that not only were they very numerous, but some were also very rich. Some of them had been educated in France and some even chose to live there.
The Code Noir had allowed the mulattoes the rights of free men, but the restrictive laws which came later, especially those of 1766, had taken away much of their freedom. They could not hold public office or any legal position, nor could they be officers in the militia. They were not allowed to carry fire arms and they had to wear different clothes from the whites. However they were free to own property, including land and slaves, and they had made the most of this freedom. In 1789 one-third of all fertile land in St. Dominque belonged to mulattoes and many of them owned very large estates. Property put them on the side of the whites when it came to the question of freedom for slaves.
On the other hand their legal and social disabilities made them closer to the slaves. They were forced to serve in the militia for longer periods than whites and they were conscripted into gangs for labor on the roads. Moreover, because they were of mixed race, they could never aspire to equality with the whites. They were in a dilemma between the whites and the blacks, not liking either. On balance, the desire to keep slavery put them on the side of the whites at first. Later, after emancipation, they felt more affinity with the blacks.
The vast number of slaves in St. Dominque was due to the rapid expansion of the economy, especially the sugar industry. In 1789 St. Dominque was producing nearly 80,000 tons of sugar per year from 800 plantations. This was nearly as much as the combined production of all the British islands. St. Dominque’s economy was also more diversified than that of the other West Indian islands, due to its fertile soil. Coffee, cotton and indigo plantations employed thousands of slaves.
During the 18th century, the French Colonies in the New World imported about one million slaves from Africa. In the early years of the century, only a small proportion went to St. Dominque. As the century progressed, the proportion grew larger, until in the last decade before the Revolution, three out of every four slaves ended up in St. Dominque, either directly from West Africa, or as Creole slaves from other French colonies.
St. Dominque flourished because of her trade with the newly-independent United States and because she supplied Europe outside Britain, with half of its tropical products. To maintain the production which made these exports possible 30,000 slaves per year entered St. Dominque. Of the 450,000 slaves there, most were African born which was unusual in the West Indies. It is sometimes held that Creole slaves led revolts and that African slaves were more servile. In the Haitian Revolution we have examples of leaders from both these groups. Toussaint was a Creole, while Dessalines was African. Dessalines was the second most prominent leader after Toussaint, and he was definitely the most ruthless. However, the other black leaders, including Boukman (Jamaica) and Christophe (St. Kitts) were Creoles.
The conditions and treatment of slaves in St. Dominque was worse than in any other West Indian island, including Jamaica. It had become the extreme example of a slave economy. In the boom, planters were making much bigger profits than elsewhere, to the detriment of the slaves. They were worked excessively hard and were fed poorly. The death rate of slaves in St. Dominque in the 1780s was the highest in the West Indies. On some estates the entire labor force had to be renewed every five years.
The terrible life of the slaves was accentuated by the luxurious life of the planters, both whites and mulattoes. Consequently the hatred felt by slaves towards their masters was correspondingly great. When the Revolution broke out, and anarchy prevailed, the slaves were determined to exterminate the whites.
The French Revolution had a great impact on St. Dominque because of the structure of its society and the great divisions between classes. The whites had been demanding political representation in their own assembly before the Revolution began. Without waiting for authority from the National Assemblies, they set up Provincial Assemblies and denied mulattoes representation in them. At first the whites managed to pacify the mulattoes by allowing them equality with the whites in the militia, but, by January, 1790, the king sent orders that a single Colonial Assembly should be set up. Again the whites denied the mulattoes representation in spite of a decree from France in March, 1790, giving the vote to all free persons over 25 possessing a certain income.
In October 1790, James Oge, arrived in St. Dominque to lead the mulattoes in revolt. Oge had been educated in Paris and on his return to St. Dominque, he became the spokesman for the mulattoes. He went back to France to collect arms and ammunitions for the rising and returned via Britain and the United States. Then with another mulatto, Chavanne, he led a rising which was doomed to failure. Oge wanted to keep slavery so he refused to lead the blacks and his force was easily put down. He fled into the Spanish part of Hispaniola, but the Spaniards handed him over and he was broken on the wheel. An important result of this mulatto rising and Oge’s execution was to turn public opinion in France against the whites. The slave rising around Cap Francais in 1791
In May 1791, the National Assembly decreed that all persons, of whatever color, born of free parents should be equal and have equal political rights in the Colonial assembly. The white Assembly of St. Marc in St. Dominque refused this decree, saying that the laws of the National Assembly had to be ratified by the Assembly of St. Marc. The governor also refused to enforce the decree. Apart from the action of the whites, the mulattoes were annoyed with the decree itself because it insisted that both parents had to be free, and most mulattoes had slave mothers. In fact only 400 mulattoes would have been eligible for political rights under this law. In August 1791, the mulattoes revolted again and this time included the slaves in the revolt. In the slave rising, the blacks were led by Boukman from Jamaica who claimed that he was a high priest of Voudum. Around Cap Francais 2,000 white men women and children were massacred and 180 sugar estates and 900 coffee and indigo plantations were laid waste. In an attempt to suppress this uprising 10,000 slaves and mulattoes were killed or executed but the revolt quickly spread over the whole North Plain.
Matters became worse in September. The whites and the mulattoes united against the slaves. The whites allowed free-born mulattoes into the Assembly. However, The National Assembly in Paris reversed its decree of May and disqualified mulattoes. The mulattoes considered that they had been betrayed and they joined the slaves in a war to exterminate the whites. The white planters appealed to Jamaica for help and a British squadron was sent to Cap Francais to defend the town and evacuate the French women and children. The Jacobin Commission, 1792
In France the Societe des Amis des Noirs (1787), who supported equality for mulattoes and the emancipation of slaves, put pressure on the Jacobins in the National Assembly to pass laws giving equality to the mulattoes as a first step. To make sure that these laws were enforced in St. Dominque, three Commissioners, Sonthonax, Polverel and Ailhaud, were sent with 6,000 republican soldiers. The Commissioners were extreme Jacobins. In August 1792, Sonthonax promised the slaves freedom in order to win their support, as he was meeting resistance from the whites. No doubt emancipation was coming legally from France, but Sonthonax anticipated the Revolutionary government’s wishes and produced a “black terror” in St. Dominque. H epromised the blacks plunder and heavy fighting and bloodshed followed. The evacuation of whites began from all parts of the colony. They settled in the United States, Jamaica Puerto Rico, and Trinidad. The settlement of Mayaguez in Puerto Rico took on a characteristically French appearance from this time.
Leger Felicite Sonthonax behaved like a dictator in St. Dominque. He murdered the new governor, Galbaud and his supporters when they arrived in Cap Francais in 1793 and anarchy prevailed. Cap Francais and some fortified camps in the western mountains were in white hands, but the rest of the north was terrorized by blacks. In the west the situation was more confused. The slaves were in revolt and the whites and the mulattoes were fighting each other. The mulattoes under their very good general, Andre Rigaud, were winning. In the south Port-au-Prince was in the hands of the petits blancs. Outside the city the planters had armed their loyal slaves against the mulattoes. Sonthonax made matters worse in the north by entering Cap Francais and freeing the rest of the slaves, leaving them to terrorize the area. The Revolutionary Wars
The execution of Louis the 16th was regarded by the British as a cause for war, which began on 1 February, 1793. St. Dominque was easily the most important island in the West Indies and Prime Minister Pitt, the son of William Pitt the Elder, realized the strategic importance of its central position in the Caribbean. It could link the scattered British possessions in the east and the west and in alliance with Spain, provide a base for Britain’s defense of the West Indies against France and the United States. Britain was invited to take over St. Dominque by the royalist planters, who thought she would guarantee monarchy, white domination and slavery. In return they wanted the right to continue their trade with the United States. Jamaica also urged Britain to take action in St. Dominque, because she was frightened of the Revolution spreading. Finally Britain saw a chance of revenge against Frabce for assisting the North American colonies in 1778 in their revolt against Britain and so decided to intervene. Early British success in St. Dominque
After the capture of Tobago in April, 1793, and an abandoned attack on Martinique in May, Colonel Whitelocke with a force of 900 men was sent to St. Dominque. They landed unopposed at Jeremie and raised the British flag, warmly welcomed by the French planters. The British then occupied Mole St. Nicolas in the north. Leogane surrendered, and in January 1794 Tiburon was captured. Other towns also fell to the British; some surrendered willingly, while others had to be fought for. But in the north the mulatto army of General Riguad, fighting for the French, was in control. British losses were heavy, caused mostly by disease; 40 officers and 600 men had died. Luckily for the British, General Rigaud’s army was suffering from the same yellow fever epidemic. When reinforcement arrived From Britain, Port –au Prince was captured in June 1794 and the British appointed General Williamson as Governor.
However, in spite of all the reinforcement they had sent, the British were not really in control. French and mulatto forces still held towns in the south. General Rigaud recaptured Tiburon in December 1794 and the French held Jacmel and Les Cayes, two towns on the south coast from which privateers could operate against Jamaica. A further setback was the second Maroon War in Jamaica in 1795. Because of this, the British were unwilling to release more troops from Jamaica. In the North of St. Dominque in 1794-5 a new figure had appeared. He was Pierre-Dominque Toussaint L’Overture. Pierre-Dominique Toussaint L’ Overture Toussaint’s rise to power
Toussaint was the son of a coachman on the plantation of a Monsieur Breda in the north of St. Dominque. Monsieur was a kind master who permitted Toussaint’s father to marry and raise a family in which Toussaint was the eldest of 8 children. His father held a responsible position for a slave and he managed to have his son, Toussaint, educated in French, Latin and Mathematics by his godfather. His father’s occupation enabled Toussaint to become such an expert horseman that he was later nicknamed ‘the centaur of the savannas.’ Toussaint also became a coachman, but later he was put in charge of all the livestock on the estate. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was 45 years old.
Toussaint was loyal to France and played little part in the rising of 1791. However he wanted emancipation more than anything else and when the possibility of this arose, he was prepared to fight France to secure freedom for the slaves. In 1792 France declared war on Spain and Toussaint joined the Spanish forces as a mercenary because he thought that the French would preserve slavery. The Spanish allowed him to command his own force of 4,000 blacks, by whom he was called ‘Physician to the armies of the king’ because of his knowledge of herbal medicine. Other black leaders like Biassou had joined the Spanish, and they provided the core of the Spanish armies in Hispaniola.
When the Convention government in Paris abolished slavery in 1794, Toussaint felt that he had to join the French republican forces in the west. He fought his way out of the Spanish army, defeating Biassou in the process. By 1795 he was in command of 20,000 black soldiers in the north of St. Dominque, fighting against the British for freedom from slavery. Toussaint’s army was formidable because it was not just the black rabble that had been roaming the north before, but a well-disciplined, well-armed force. Toussaint had become known abroad and he won the friendship and support of John Adams, the Vice-President of the United States in 1795, and President in 1797. Through Adams, Toussaint imported 30,000 guns for the black forces and ships and other supplies were sent to help against the British. As he distributed the guns, he told his black forces ‘the gun is your liberty’. They knew that they had to win or become slaves again.
Toussaint soon became the real leader of the French force. He drove the British from the right bank of the Artibonite River and he threatened their stronghold of St. Marc to the south. By 1798, the British were in a desperate position, as a result of disease and Toussaint’s attacks. Colonel Maitland, the commander of the British forces, was forced to make an armistice with Toussaint. The British would withdraw from St. Dominque, if Toussaint would agree to protect the French inhabitants, refrain from attacking British trade and from trying to spread the revolution to Jamaica. Toussaint himself kept the terms honorable. By October 1798, the British who had lost 40,000 men from fighting and disease in five year campaign in St. Dominque, withdrew from their last town, Mole St. Nicolas. Independence
On 29th November, 1803, Dessalines, Christophe and Clerveaux; the commander of the black forces in eastern Hispaniola, declared the independence of St. Dominique. Then on January 1st 1804, at a meeting of blacks and mulattoes at Arcahaye, Dessalines, the General-in-Chief, renounced all connection with France and renamed St. Dominque Haiti (the arawak word for land of mountains). He tore the white out of the tricolor, the French flag and left the red and the blue. He replaced the letters, ‘R. F.’ (Republique Francaise) with the words ‘Liberty or Death.’ In May, 1804 Dessalines was made Governor-General for life and during his two year regime the remaining whites were assassinated. He was an extremely ruthless and bloodthirsty man who had been brought from Africa to be a slave on a plantation of a free black. In the rising of 1791 he had murdered his master and taken his property and his name. He soon became the scourge of the mulattoes and the whites, leading the massacre in the south in 1800. End of Unit

BGCSE Past Paper Questions
Study the source about Slave Register 1822. Then answer the following questions. SLAVE REGISTER 1822
A Slave Register gave the record of slaves in The Bahamas in 1822 and also a record of the names of the owners of persons licensed to export slaves from the said Islands and the names and description of the slaves exported in 1822.
In 1822, The Bahamas Legislative passed the Registration Act for the Registration of all slaves in The Bahamas. This was pushed by the Abolitionists to prevent the illegal transportation of slaves from place to place. (a) What was the route from Africa to the New World known as? (b) State THREE effects which the Slave Trade had on West African society. (c) Explain the level of development which West African Kingdoms reached before the arrival of the Europeans. (d) Why were the slaves in The Bahamas less likely to revolt than slaves elsewhere in the Caribbean? (e) How similar were the slave revolts on the Hunter and the Johnson plantations t Pompey’s revolt on the Rolle plantation? (f) Name a West African tribe from which slaves were taken. (g) State THREE ways in which West Africans were made slaves in Africa. (h) Explain the methods of sale used for slaves in the Americas (i) Compare and contrast the work of Bahamian slaves with that elsewhere in the Caribbean (j) “The Haitian Revolution had a great impact on the movement to end slavery.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer (k) From which part of Africa were most American slaves taken? (l) Give reasons why African slaves were needed in the Bahamas. (m) Explain how Africans were captured and transported to the New World. (n) Compare the life of field and domestic slaves in The Bahamas. (o) “In The Bahamas, the relationship between master and slaves was cruel and inhumane.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (p) In which year did the European slave trade begin? (q) Which goods were traded on each leg of the Triangular Trade? (r) Explain why West Africans were taken as slaves. (s) Explain why slave conditions in the Bahamas were better than conditions elsewhere in the Caribbean. (t) “Plantation owners preferred African slaves to European bond servants.” Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. (u) Name one form of punishment for slaves. (v) State THREE reasons why slaves revolted. (w) Explain, with examples, the difference between active and passive resistance used by slaves on the plantations. (x) Compare Coffy’s rebellion in Berbice with Sam Sharpe’s rebellion in Jamaica. (y) “Slave rebellions had little chance of succeeding,” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (z) Name the European country which started the Triangle of Trade. ({) State three classes of slaves that could be found on the plantation. (1) Explain how Europeans controlled the slaves during the voyage through the Middle Passage. (2) Compare the planters’ benefits of using African slaves with those of bond servants (indentured laborer) (3) “Africans and Europeans were equally responsible for slavery.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (4) What was the name of the largest slave trading station in West Africa? (5) State THREE economic reasons used to justify using West Africans as slaves. (6) Explain why sailors on slavers were more efficient than sailors on merchant ships. (7) Compare and contrast the society and culture of West Africa before and after the West Indian slave trade. (8) “African slavery was the only logical choice for West Indian planters.” How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (9) Name the owner of the slave plantation in Eleuthera. (10) Give THREE examples of passive resistance of slaves on plantations. (11) How similar was the resistance of slaves on Lord Rolle’s and William Johnson’s plantations? (12) “Slaves in the Bahamas were better off than slaves in the West Indies.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (13) Name one West African kingdom. (14) Why did West Africans make good slaves? (15) Explain the methods used to sell slaves in the Americas. (16) How similar was the treatment of the slaves in Africa and African slaves in the British West Indies? (17) “The slave trade was responsible for the development of West African culture.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer fully. End of Questions

Theme: Five
Movement towards Emancipation: Control and Treatment of Slaves
The Law and Slaves.
On the whole, slaves were treated better in the colonies of the catholic and Latin countries, Portugal, Spain and France, than those of Protestant countries, Britain Denmark and the Netherlands. These are for three reasons. (1) The link between the Mother Country and the colonies was much closer because of their strong centralized government. For example, Spain, Portugal and France all produced detailed slave codes of law. The Spanish code was particularly mild. In the British colonies there was a large measure of self-government by assemblies of white settlers who passed laws, such as the Barbados slave code, which were extremely stringent. (2) The clergy assisted in drafting the slave code and exerted their authority over the slave owners on the spot. This influence was considerable through the pulpit, the confessional, and ultimately, excommunication. For example the catholic encouraged the marriage of slaves and opposed the separation of slave families. In the British islands, the law expressly forbade slave marriages. (3) The Portuguese and Spaniards had far less race and color prejudice than the British. Mating between blacks and whites was common in all their territories. Everywhere the rule was that a child took the status of its mother but in Latin colonies the master usually manumitted the child and sometimes the mother. In British possessions, a person with the smallest strain of African blood was considered black whether slave or free. It was rare for a master to manumit children born of a white father and slave mother, and he almost never manumitted the mother. In fact, in some British colonial codes, manumission was prohibited or made very difficult.
The power and responsibilities of the master over the slaves
Although slave laws varied from island to island, basically a master had absolute authority over his slave with some important reservations. A slave was a property, a ‘thing’; a law of 1674 in Jamaica spoke of slaves as goods and chattels. A chattel is defined as movable possession, or something to be used for a mortgage for a debt. Slaves were referred to as though they were inanimate objects, for example, ‘one tone or three slaves’ in a contract of 1676. The slave was the personal possession of his master who had almost absolute power over him. He could sell his slave, transfer him as payment of debt, use him as a security for debt, and make all these transactions against the will of the slave. Usually, the value of an estate included the slaves on it, and a slave was sold with the land, building and equipment. The power was almost absolute, because the master did not legally have the power of life and death over his slave. Some planters found this to be an unwelcome interference with property rights.
This is a process where a slave could purchase his or her freedom. Slavery was for life in the British islands and manumission was entirely dependent on the owner. In Barbados by a law of 1739, deposit had to be paid before the slave is manumitted. The British however discouraged it to make sure that the slave did not become a burden on public funds. Manumission was not always popular with slaves because life was very hard for them. A slave could buy his manumission with his owner’s consent and the price was fixed by the owner.
Manumission in The Bahamas
Manumission, as well as exports, negatively affected the growth of the slave population. Slaves were freed in The Bahamas at least as early as 1733 and manumissions increased after 1827, especially in the last few years of slavery, probably because of economic reasons. The soil and the plantations had failed and it was no longer economically viable to keep large holding of slaves.
In order to gain freedom for the slaves, the master had to go through various processes of law which were tedious and could be expensive. Much therefore, depended on the status, vigilance and good-will of the slave master and the age, color or sex of the slave. An act of 1784 put a fee of 90 pounds on the manumitter. This deterred some because of purely economic reasons and it was not until after 1827 that slave could be manumitted without a tax. Any slave wishing could purchase his own freedom. Between 1774 and 1806 at least 653 slaves were manumitted. This increased to 1,588 between 1807 and 1834. Towards the end of slavery, more slaves were manumitted, for example, from 1827 to 1830, the number manumitted totaled 235 and between 1831 and 1834, 339. In every case the highest number were freed by manumission.
The highest percentage of slaves was manumitted on New Providence. It was true that slaves of any color had more opportunities for acquiring freedom on New Providence and especially in the town of Nassau than on the Out Islands. In the town of Nassau many of the slaves were sea-faring and most were non-praedial. Domestic and quasi-independent slaves were able to accumulate cash regardless of color. The slaves paid a fixed sum of money to their owners and made what they could through their work in order to pay for their freedom. It was much more difficult to do this on most of the Out Island because of the lack of commerce and trade.
Freeing a slave involved a written statement under seal, and it had to be witnesses and registered. Over a hundred such documents are to be found in the Registrar General’s office in Nassau. As indicated, most slaves were freed by manumission. Other reasons given included: by Proclamation, by request, by purchase, because of faithful service, by the Governor’s certificate and by military service, good evidence, last will, natural love, gift and because of coming within the British law. One slave owner, Christopher Neely in 1807 freed all twenty –six of his slaves by his last will. Another, Aaron Dixon in 1809 not only freed his slave or faithful servant but bequeathed him a lot in the eastern district of New Providence.
It was easier for urban slaves to acquire freedom than rural slaves. However, manumission did not seem to be an essentially urban experience. Although numerically more, slaves were freed on New Providence than on any of the other islands, compared to Turks and Caicos, the difference was insignificant. Towards the end of slavery, colored females especially, stood the best chance of being manumitted.

Slavery Challenged
Slavery had in the past, been part of normal society in most countries. In some ancient and feudal societies, it was very difficult to draw the line between slaves and free. Slaves could be acquired legally, either in war or as a penalty for crime. It was considered just to enslave a man who had taken up arms against you and a person who had committed an offence had to pay for it by loss of freedom. African slaves were acquired in three ways: in war; as a punishment for crime and by purchase. West African slave trade regarded the first method as just if it really was in war, but later doubts were cast on this. Then the English philosopher John Locke said that this method of acquiring slaves was justified only if the war was just.
Some Catholics before the 18th century questioned whether slavery was right but they still practiced it. They argued that slavery, although wrong and contrary to the natural rights of man, was a necessary evil
Ferdinand and Isabella tolerated slavery because they believed that the empire could not be developed without it. To mitigate this necessary evil, the Spanish made the conversion of slaves compulsory. They also acknowledged the rights of slaves to seek their freedom.
Anti-slavery feelings were common among the Quakers and they were the first group to organize protest against slavery. They were very unpopular in the West Indies because they would not bear arms in the militia, and also because sometimes they freed their slaves and always converted them to Christianity.
There was a genuine conviction that it was better for an African to be a Christian slave than a free pagan. In the case of the Catholics, this was sincere as they did attempt to convert their slaves to Christianity. Protestants also used this argument, but did nothing to make their slaves Christians. Another justification used for enslaving Africans was that the slave’s life was being saved by being brought to the West Indies. The unpleasant racial attitude that Africans were a degraded race and so deserved their slavery was widespread in England and France but not so common in Spain. Such phrases about Africans as ‘the baseness of their condition’, ‘dirty stinking animals’ were common. Europeans with this attitude thought that they were helping the Africans they enslaved by raising them from their natural degraded condition.
Different attitude towards slavery arose because the usual authority on all moral issues in those days, the- Bible- was ambiguous on this subject and it was used to support the views for and against slavery. Those who supported slavery cited the Old Testament, and the passage about the curse of Ham and his posterity, and their ‘blackness’ giving them inferiority and making them slaves forever. Even the New Testament, justification for slavery was found by Bishop Bossuet, the confessor of Louis the 16th who said that the Holy Ghost speaking through St. Paul, was telling salves to accept their status.
On the other hand, the idea of Christian brotherhood made Christians condemn slavery. The Quakers held that if slaves were men, they had immortal souls which were capable of salvation as the souls of whites. From the Bible, the planters took the doctrine of obedience and used it to reconcile slavery with Christianity. Men owed obedience to the commandments of God; a subject owed obedience to his king; children owed obedience to their parents, a slave owed obedience to his master-a man could be a good Christian and a good slave. Arguments for slavery (1) Slavery was supported by the scriptures and was not incompatible with Christianity. (2) Blacks were unprepared for freedom and would be harmed by it. When free they would be more abused and discriminated against than when slaves. (3) Men were not born ‘free and equal’. It was nonsense to talk of inalienable rights for slaves because they were from a degraded race. Negroid Africans were considered a different species to whites and could be treated as animals. (4) Slavery was a kind of benevolent socialism in which the blissful plantation salve was nurtured from the cradle to the grave. In a capitalist society without slaves the blacks would be poor and downtrodden and this would lead to revolution. (5) There was paternalism in a slave society which benefitted the slave. Slave owner valued their slaves highly and wanted to look after them well. (6) The temperament of blacks enabled them to adjust to their life of drudgery and menial work and be happy in it. (7) Then there were the necessary evil arguments. These accepted that slavery was morally wrong but that it was better to keep it since it already existed than to end it. Also they held that its benefits outweighed its evils. (8) Sugar, cotton and certain other tropical crops had to be grown on plantations which were worked with slave labor. Slavery might be wrong but it was necessary for the production of these crops. (9) Slavery provided the basis for a superior culture. There had to be a class of slaves to perform the menial duties so that the white, leisured class could confine itself to government and culture. (10) Slavery already existed in Africa, so Europeans were not introducing it as a new evil. New World slavery was better than African slavery. (11) Slavery might be wrong, but it gave the opportunity for conversion to Christianity. There were a group of arguments on economic grounds (1) Slavery provided a cheap labor force than wage labor. Also slaves were cheaper than machines, or even sometimes than animals, as a means of production. (2) Slavery was not necessarily suitable only for a plantation economy. It could be adapted to a manufacturing economy. (3) Slavery could lead to diversification in agriculture. Slaves were as capable of producing food crops as plantation crops. They were also capable of handling cattle. (4) Poor whites were committed to slavery and racial superiority theories in order to preserve the little status they had. The threat of free blacks made poor whites hate the blacks more than anyone else.
Arguments against Slavery (1) Slavery was contrary to reason, justice, nature and the principles of law and government, the whole doctrine of natural religion and the revealed voice of God. (2) It was morally wrong for Christians to traffic in or keep slaves. (3) If people bore in mind the maxim ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, they would condemn slavery. (4) Slavery was a denial of civilization. In a slave society a minority might appear civilized, but it was impossible for them to be really so while denying civilization to others. ‘Civilization and slavery were contradictory terms.’ (5) Freedom is the true natural state of man. Only with freedom can man attain true greatness. (6) It was admitted that in free society the poor suffered and if free the blacks would probably be poor, but the horrors of slavery far outweighed the horrors of poverty. (7) Slavery made the whites lazy and ignorant. (8) Slavery made slaves a reluctant labor force. Slaves felt that their labor was useless as all the profits went to the master.
The campaign for the abolition of the slave trade
The West India Interest
London merchants and English land owners with interest in the West Indies had always had considerable influence at Court and with Council for Trade and Plantations. At first their interest was not concerned with slavery, but with such matters as the selection of colonial governors and colonial policies. The West India interest was a growing force in English politics. Some West Indians or Englishmen with plantations in the West Indies were members of Parliament. Others could control votes in the House of Commons through the system of patronage which existed in English politics in the eighteenth century. In 1766 there were 40 members of Parliament who were either West Indian Planters themselves or were related to planters. Later in the century they could count directly on 50 votes and with influence over other members they made up the single most powerful interest group in English politics.
The strength of the movement against slavery took them by surprise. As late as 1783, they were chiefly concerned with the resumption of trade between the West Indian colonies and the newly independent United States, and won concessions from the government to partially re-open this trade. In the same year Lord North, the ex-Prime Minister, said it would be impossible to abolish the slave trade for it was a trade which had in some measure become necessary to every nation in Europe. When the West India interest realized the threat presented by the abolitionists, they made slavery their chief concern and managed to defer abolition until 1807.
Realizing that the battle was lost in the House of Commons, they relied on the House of Lords to protect their interest and the Lords did so until 1805, when they passed the Abolition Bill. The West India interest then realized that unless they did something quickly, emancipation would be passed as well. The planters in the West Indies and the West India interest in London differed over what to do. The committee in London advised the planters to ameliorate the conditions of their slaves as a last means of preventing complete emancipation, and actually drafted amelioration proposals which were put before the Secretary, Lord Bathurst, in 1823. These were adopted by the British Government, but the colonial Legislatures made almost no attempt to enforce them.
Finally, by 1831, the planters realized that emancipation was inevitable, and in spite of their bitterness over the disregarding of their advice, on amelioration, the West India interest persuaded the British government to turn a loan of 15,000,000 pounds into a gift of 20,000,000 to compensate the owners of freed slaves. The apprenticeship system was another palliative that they helped to secure. Thus the West India interest was a powerful force which did not prevent emancipation but succeeded in delaying it for about 50 years. The Quakers
‘Quakers’ was a name given by outsiders to a religious group called the ‘Society of Friends’ founded by George fox in 1648. They acted as a pressure group in the movement for the abolition of slavery. Until 1755, Quakers could legally own slaves, but it was against the principles of many to do so. In 1755 they were forbidden to do so by the rule of their society, and they were required to use all their force to bring about abolition. Their strategy was to win over public opinion by carrying the arguments for abolition into every home in Britain through pamphlets, the press and the pulpit every Sunday. When public opinion had been won over, they would then introduce abolition into Parliament.
The Quakers most enthusiastic worker was Granville Sharpe, who, from 1765 devoted his life to abolition and emancipation. In the second half of the 18th century, abolition became a religious crusade for the Quakers. When the ‘Society for effecting the Abolition of Slaves’ was founded in 1787, eleven out of twelve of its committee members were Quakers. The society became more representative, but the Quakers were always the leading force in the movement outside Parliament. The Clapham Sect, or The Saints
The Church of England was the established church in England and her colonies. In England it was associated with the land owning gentry and the Tory Party, and in the West Indies it was the church of the planters. It kept aloof from the abolition movement. In the 18th century, an evangelical movement grew up within the Church of England. The members wanted less emphasis on salvation through sacraments and more on salvation through good works and morality. One group in this movement was known as the ‘Clapham Sect’ or ‘The Saints’, because they worshipped in Clapham, the South of London between 1792 and 1813. Among them were William Wilberforce, Granville Sharpe, Thomas Clarkson, James Ramsay, James Stephen and Zachary Macaulay, all famous names in abolition. All three of these men had first-hand experience of the evils of slavery: Ramsay had been a clergyman in St. Kitts for 19 years; Stephen a lawyer in St. Kitts for ten years; and Zachary Macaulay the under-manager on a Jamaican sugar estate for four years. They gave practical supporting evidence to the other members of the sect who had considerable influence in public affairs, men like Wilberforce, Lord Teignmouth and Henry Brougham. In Parliament the contribution of the Saints to abolition was great, and they complemented the Quakers who had done so much to arouse public opinion in the same cause. However the Saints were mainly concerned with the abolition of the salve trade. Some of them did not want to interfere with slavery on the plantations and left the movement before emancipation. Indeed, some of them did not want emancipation.
The abolition movement coincided with the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The new industrialists were producing textiles, pottery, iron and steel goods more cheaply and in greater quantities. They were primarily interested in getting cheap raw materials, and they turned from British West Indian sugar to other sources which were cheaper. The flood of cheap goods which they produced needed wider markets and although slave-populated islands of the West Indies did not provide a good market, the industrialists thought that after abolition they would do so. Whereas the commercial interests in Britain had supported slavery in 1760, by 1800 they were becoming indifferent, and later were actively against it. The British anti-slavery movement
The general public in Britain was indifferent to slavery, and the first task of the abolitionists was to win them over to support for abolition. Moreover, upper-class people had to be persuaded that slavery was not respectable. For example, even after all the propaganda against slavery, William Ewart Gladstone, later Prime Minister and renowned for his uprightness, spoke in support of slavery in his maiden speech in the House of Commons in 1832.
West Indian planters on leave in England, or retiring there, often brought slaves with them and there were a few thousand black slaves in England when the Law Officers of the Crown assured the planters that slavery was allowed in England in 1729. In 1749 the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hardwicke, ruled that a runaway slave could be legally recovered in England. In 1765 a Barbadian slave, Joseph Strong had been abandoned in England as been unfit to work. Granville Sharpe’s brother, a doctor helped Strong to recover, whereupon his master David Lisle, claimed back his property and sold him to a Jamaican who put him on board a ship for Jamaica. Granville Sharpe rescued the slave and secured his release.
By 1770, it was calculated that there were 10,000 black slaves in England. Sharpe wanted to establish that slavery was illegal in England and set these slaves free. His victory came with the case of James Somerset, a Jamaican slave who had been ill-treated and abandoned by his master. When he had recovered, his master claimed him back, and Sharpe took the master to court. The case was heard by Lord Mansfield, who had become Lord Chief justice of England in1756. On June 22nd 1772 Lord Mansfield made the decision which is commonly known as the Mansfield’s judgment, that slavery was illegal in England. As a result of this decision there were over 10,000 ex-slaves in England without means of support. This led Granville Sharpe to start his scheme for resettling them in Africa, and the colony of Sierra Leone was founded in 1787. In 1778 the Scottish judge faced a similar case, with a slave, Joseph Knight, and followed the decision of Lord Mansfield.
These victories led Granville Sharpe and the abolitionists to press for emancipation of the slaves throughout the British Empire, but later they realized that emancipation was too big a step to expect and they settled for the abolition of the slave trade instead. This was a more widely accepted cause and one for which public opinion was prepared. The Campaign in Parliament
The main task of the ‘Society for effecting the abolition of the slave trade’, founded in 1787, was to change the law of slavery. Some of its members were Members of Parliament who could introduce the abolition issue into debate in the House of Commons; the most famous of these were William Wilberforce.
Wilberforce entered the House of Commons as a member for Hull in 1780 at the age of 21. Early in his career he was converted to evangelical Christianity and joined the Clapham Sect. He even considered taking Holy Orders, but was persuaded to do his good works in Parliament instead. In 1787, he was approached by Thomas Clarkson to take up the cause of abolition, and he held Abolitionist Society meetings at his home in London. Clarkson furnished Wilberforce with evidence against the slave trade and Wilberforce canvassed other members of Parliament to support abolition. He had many useful connections in Parliament, including friendship with William Pitt, the future Prime Minister. His influence in Parliament and his speechmaking were his great contributions to abolition. He spoke so regularly on abolition that it became known as a perennial resolution. It became his life’s work.
The first motion against the slave trade came before the House of Commons in 1776 and was easily defeated. This made it clear to the abolitionists that much more preparation had to be done. In 1787 and 1788, 100 petitions against the slave trade reached Parliament and an impartial report by the Trade Committee of The Privy Council on the present state of the African Trade was published, which helped the cause by providing valuable evidence for Wilberforce. Thomas Clarkson provided more evidence in a pamphlet, ‘A summary view of the Slave Trade and the Probable consequence of its abolition’. On May 9th 1788, William Pitt introduced a resolution against the slave trade in the House of Commons. Charles Fox and Edmund Burke, two other great statesmen, spoke in favor of abolition. A resolution to consider the slave trade in the next session was carried. In the mean time a law was passed to limit the number of slaves carried according to the size of the ship.
Most of the evidence against the slave trade was supplied by Thomas Clarkson, who could be called the ‘eye and ears’ of Wilberforce. He devoted his life to collecting evidence against the slave trade and to urging people to take action against what was morally wrong. He worked closely with the Quakers to abolish slavery. In 1788 he visited Liverpool, Bristol and Lancaster, collecting evidence, and he continued to travel extensively until 1792 when his health failed and he had to retire.
On May 12th 1789, Wilberforce condemned the slave trade in mastery 3 hours speech, but the resolution was defeated. On 18th April, 1791 he introduced a bill abolishing the salve trade. Again it was easily defeated. In 1792, 500 petitions poured into Parliament and the abolitionists had partial success when the House of Commons passed a resolution, ‘That the Slave Trade ought to be gradually abolished’. In 1792, also a bill was passed in Denmark abolishing the slave trade from 1802. This was a great boost for the abolitionist. However, the House of Lords blocked the bill for gradual abolition.
The West India interests began a serious counter-propaganda in 1792. Its members organized their own opposition in Parliament and printed their own pamphlets for circulation. They found it difficult to attack Wilberforce as he was such a respected figure, and they concentrated their attack on people like the Reverend James Ramsay who had just published an essay on ‘The treatment and Conversion of African slaves in the sugar colonies.’ They spread tales of Ramsay as a depravity in St. Kitts and poured scorn on his campaign. When abolitionist s’ parliamentary campaign began again after 1802, they were strengthened by 3 new members from the Clapham Sect, James Stephen, Zachary Macaulay and Henry Brougham. The first two brought their West Indian experience and the third, cleverness and influence. Surprisingly Pitt was almost a handicap to the movement because there were some members in his government who were against abolition. He could not adopt abolition as his policy because it would split his government and bring about his downfall.
In 1804 Wilberforce introduced a bill for the abolition of the slave trade in the House of Commons. The bill was carried in the Commons but defeated this time in the Lords. An Order-in-Council was issued in September, 1805, which prohibited the slave trade in the newly occupied colonies of Trinidad, St. Lucia and Guiana. This measure showed the support of the crown for abolition. Pitt died in 1806 and Charles Fox was prepared to commit the new government to abolition. A new abolition Act was passed by the Commons in 1806 and by the Lords in 1807, with substantial majority in both Houses. The Act received the Royal Assent on March 25th 1807. The abolitionists had won their first great victory.
The act of 1807 declared all trading in African slaves from January first 1808 to be utterly abolished, prohibited and declared unlawful. The Emancipation of Slaves AMELIORATION
In 1798, a slave amelioration Act was passed in the Leeward Islands which was considered very humane at the time. Finally the treatment of slaves in Barbados was reported as being the best in the British West Indies. All this belied the facts. The psychology of the planters seemed to be exactly the opposite of that postulated by the abolitionists. The planters, especially those in Jamaica, took the attitude that if abolition was coming the slaves must be made to suffer for it. They were crueler, worked the slaves much harder and looked after them less well than ever before. In fact some of the worst treatment of slaves took place in the first 30 years of the 19th century.
Many of the Clapham Sect had left the abolition movement because they did not want emancipation and the remaining abolitionists felt that they could not press for abolition immediately. They felt that the next step should be amelioration. This was supported by the west India interest which felt that better treatment of slaves would persuade the abolitionists to drop emancipation. By 1815 the British government, too was in favor of this policy.
In the British West Indies, there was a distinction between the new Crown Colonies and the old colonies which were almost self-governing. The British Government, by Order-in-Council, could pass slave amelioration measures for the Crown Colonies, but only the local Legislature could pass such measures for the other islands. The Registration of Slaves or Registry Bill, which was intended to stop excessive punishment as well as prevent the illegal sale of slaves, was passed for Trinidad and St. Lucia. In 1815 the abolitionists began their new campaign against slavery. In 1823, the ‘Society for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery’ was formed, aimed at making amelioration part of government policy. They campaigned for its immediate enforcement by law followed by abolition at an early date.
A letter was sent to the WI. Islands urging them to adopt and effect positive measures for amelioration rather than have the British Government force a law on them. In details, the measures suggested were: (a) No flogging for women (b) A day should be allowed to elapse between the offence and the flogging (c) Records of all flogging over three lashes should be presented to the magistrate at the quarter sessions (d) Slave families should not be divided (e) Slaves should not be sold for the payment of debts (f) Adequate religious instructions should be given to slaves (g) Slaves should be allowed to give evidence in court if a minister would vouch for the slave’s character (h) Saving banks for slaves should be set up to encourage thrift and enable slaves to buy personal possessions.
The Failure of Amelioration
Although the amelioration measures were the proposals of the West India Committee, once again the Legislature of Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent ignored them. In 1826 the revised slave code in Jamaica forbade slaves to receive religious instructions, and also said that no church service could be held between sunrise and sunset. Slaves could be whipped or imprisoned for preaching without their owner’s consent. These laws were directly contradictory to the Colonial Secretary’s request and he protested to the Jamaican Assembly. This attitude and the ill-treatment meted out to missionaries in this region angered the abolitionists in England and turned public opinion against the planters.
It was finally recognized in England that the planters had no intention of ameliorating their slave laws. The policy of amelioration was deemed a failure after about 1826 and in 1830 was definitely abandoned in favor of complete emancipation. The Emancipation of Slaves
Amelioration had been rejected as being unworkable and evidence of planter brutality came not only from the West Indies but also from Mauritius. In May 1830 at a public meeting in London a resolution was adopted for the immediate emancipation of slaves in British colonies and intensive campaign began in 1831.
In Britain, reform was in the air and abolition was a part of it. There was a strong movement to give more people the vote and increase parliamentary representation of the new industrial towns. These political reforms would help emancipation by increasing the parliamentary influence of the evangelicals and the new industrialists who were already changing their ideas about slave-production of sugar.
It was however the attitude of Jamaica planters which showed the British government that there could be no compromise with slavery. In 1831 they offered lower duties on sugar in return for amendments to slave laws by the colonial Legislatures. Then they put forward the idea of compensation to the slave owners for freeing their salves. This proved to be the incentive that the planters needed to accept emancipation. By 1831, even the Jamaican planters faced the fact that emancipation was inevitable. Emancipation Act, 1833
Thomas Buxton introduced the Emancipation Bill in 1833. Wilberforce, its former champion, was approaching his death. By the time he died on July 29th 1833, he was assured that emancipation would go through, as it had already passed its second reading. The act stated that: ‘Slavery shall be and is hereby utterly and forever abolished and declared unlawful throughout the British colonies and possessions abroad.’ However in 1833 emancipation was not complete as these words would suggest, because there was a clause in the Act about an apprenticeship system which delayed complete emancipation until 1838.
The Bill originally proposed a loan of 15,000,000 pounds to slave owners from the British government, and an apprenticeship period of 12 years. This meant that most slaves in 1833 were likely to die in slavery. These two clauses were amended and the final Act was basically as follows. (1) Slave children under six years old were to be freed immediately (2) Slaves over six would have to serve an apprenticeship of six years in the case of praedial slaves, and four years in the case of all others. (3) Apprentices should work for not more than forty-five hours per week without pay and any additional hours with pay. (4) Apprentices should be provided with food and clothing by the master. (5) Compensation in the form of a free gift of 20,000,000 pounds should be paid to slave owners throughout the British Empire on condition that the local Legislature passed laws to bring emancipation. (6) The apprenticeship period could be shortened, but no alternative to apprenticeship would be allowed.
On August 29th, 1833, The Act received Royal Assent. Emancipation was to come into effect on 1st August, 1834. Order- in- Council enforced it on the Crown. In the other colonies, the local legislature was expected to follow suit, and since they wanted their compensation, they enacted emancipation laws quickly. The Jamaican planters had been very worried when they first heard that compensation was supposed to be in the form of a loan, but after this was changed to a free gift, by the persuasive effort of the West India Committee and the amount increased, they too passed emancipation quickly. Complete freedom for all was scheduled for 1st August, 1840 but in the event it was brought forward to 1st August 1838, when it was decided to end apprenticeship two years earlier.
On 1st August 1834, 668,000 slaves were set free, or partially free because of apprenticeship. The slaves disliked the apprenticeship system, but they accepted it with patience. At midnight on 31st July, 1838 complete freedom was received with great rejoicing, but with little or no excessive exuberance in the form of drunkenness or violence as the whites feared.
Antigua was the only British West Indian Island not to have apprenticeship. Reasons for Apprenticeship
There are many justifications given for apprenticeship, however, there was only one real reason. It was used to soften the blow of emancipation by giving the planters a few more years of free labor, while conceding to the slaves their right to freedom. Humanitarians had accepted the system as justified in that the ex-slaves needed time to adjust to looking after themselves, handling money and supporting their families. However it was soon apparent that apprenticeship was not designed to do this because food and clothe were still provided by the master and the slaves’ opportunity for earning money was very limited.
It was also argued that the planters needed more time to adjust to wage labor. There were no banks in Jamaica and planters were not used to transactions in cash. However, the planters did not use the apprenticeship period to adjust to a cash economy. Apprenticeship was over before the planters’ bank in Jamaica was established. Apprenticeship at work
There were two drawbacks to apprenticeship, firstly that the planters would behave as if they still had slave labor and secondly, that the ex-slaves would think that they were completely free and refuse to work. The planters tried to exact as much work as possible from the ex-slaves. They were unwilling to pay for labor beyond the forty-five hours’ free labor per week and tried to bring cases against ex-slaves so that they could be forced back into conditions of slavery. The ex-slaves often played into the planters’ hands by refusing to work. Thus they were breaking the law and could be put in the workhouse or ‘House of Correction’, where they were treated as plantation slaves again.
In the apprenticeship period, the treadmill a new form of punishment for the West Indies was introduced into the workhouse. Probably the Marquess of Sligo introduced it during his governorship of Jamaica, 1834-36, as an humanitarian punishment, but in practice it was just the opposite. The ex-slaves were strapped by their wrists to a high bar with their legs working a revolving drum by continuous stepping on the steps. If they stopped the board would come round and hit their shins a painful blow, so they just had to keep walking. A man with a whip stood by to keep them toiling. Special Magistrates
The job of seeing that the apprenticeship system was not abused could not be entrusted to the justice of the peace because they came from the planter class. New magistrates called ‘stipendiary’ or ‘special’ magistrates were appointed. Soon there were 150 throughout the British West Indies, including sixty in Jamaica. Usually retired army or naval officers from Britain were appointed to ensure impartiality, but some West Indians had to be appointed to make up the numbers. For example Richard Hill, a Jamaican of mixed race, was head of the special magistrates in Jamaica until his death in1872.
Part of their job was to answer appeals from ex-slaves who complained of ill-treatment, although sometimes it was the planters who complained that the ex-slaves would not work. This entailed visiting the estates on horseback. In one month in Jamaica fifty-six magistrates visited 3,440 estates, and covered 22,720 kilometers. With this sort of hard work it is not surprising that 20 special magistrates died in the first two years. Moreover their salaries were low; 300 pounds per year in 1834, rising to 450 pounds per year later, out of which they had to pay for their own accommodation and horses. Because of their work and the fact that most of them were foreigners, they found themselves friendless in a hostile environment.
No new laws were enacted for apprenticeship. Plantation discipline and punishment still continued, and the special magistrates had no jurisdiction on the plantations. It was up to an ex-slave to complain about his treatment, and there must have been many cases of cruelty which never came to light.
Special magistrates were unpopular with the planters because they listened to the appeals of the ex-slaves and frequently upheld them. But they could also be unpopular with the slaves for agreeing that the planter’s punishment was justified. If the ex-slave broke the law, for example by refusing to work, he passed out of the jurisdiction of the special magistrate into the hands of the old magistrate from whom he could expect no mercy and usually ended up on the treadmill. However special magistrates probably favored the ex-slaves because they felt that they were appointed to protect them.
The special magistrates were praised for their work by the colonial governors, especially the Marquess of Sligo. They did a very good job under the most difficult conditions. They worked on two-year contracts and therefore could be dismissed if the authorities were not satisfied. Some were dismissed but most continued in their jobs until their deaths, which shows how well the authorities were satisfied with them. Indeed, special magistrates were still at work in the West Indies long after the apprenticeship period ended, even as late as 1870s.
The end of Apprenticeship
The apprenticeship system was judged a failure and brought to an early end. To the slaves it seemed just a continuation of slavery and it was unpopular with the planters, even though it was designed to help them. They often tried to make things worse for the ex-slaves, by making them work on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, the traditional free time, or by taking away the ‘grounds’ of the slave or by removing other privileges.
In 1836 a Quaker humanitarian, Joseph Sturge, visited Jamaica and reported on the apprenticeship system. He emphasized the cruelty, especially in the workhouses, and even accused the special magistrates of corruption and siding with the planters against the slaves. In spite of its falsification, his report had a very considerable influence on public opinion in Britain and on Parliament. The West Indies in 1837 by Joseph Sturge and Thomas Hardy helped to bring apprenticeship to an early end.
In 1838 the British Parliament amended the Abolition of Slavery Act by forbidding the flogging of females or punishment on the treadmill, and by allowing colonial Governors to supervise the treatment of apprentices in workhouse. However they were still willing to keep apprenticeship, regarding it as additional compensation to slave owners for the loss of their slaves. They would not agree to an early end to the system unless the colonial legislature wanted it. The legal question of the status of artisan slaves finally decided the matter. Domestic slaves were to receive freedom in 1838. The artisan slaves, who maintained the machinery on the estates and did other specialized jobs, insisted that they should be classed as domestic slaves. However, without the labor of artisan slaves, the plantation could not keep running, and so when it was decided that artisans could not be forced to work after 1838, complete freedom had to be given to all slaves on the plantations, and apprenticeship came to an end. Everyone was pleased except those ex-slaves who had struggled hard to save enough money to buy their manumission only to find their freedom would have been theirs without payment if they had waited a little longer. Abolition and Emancipation in the French and Spanish islands
In 1818 the French government promised to abolish the slave trade, but in fact the number of slaves in the French colonies increased. Like the British, the French had revolts demonstrating the resistance to slavery. The French too decided to adopt a system of amelioration before thinking about emancipation. Thus the French emancipation movement seemed to be following a parallel course to the British although fifteen years later. However, many of the laws passed in Paris did not become effective in the French colonies due to local resistance by the planters. In 1832 the tax on manumission was abolished and the process simplified and in1832 the registration of all slaves was made compulsory and the mutilation and branding of slaves were abolished.
However, public opinion in France was not satisfied with amelioration and demanded complete emancipation. In France, ‘The society for the abolition of Slaves’ was formed in 1834, achieving minor victory in 1836 when it was decreed that any slave setting foot in France must be free. In 1838 it drafted an emancipation bill but the opposition from the West India Interest in the French Assembly was much greater than in the British Parliament. It defended slavery as economically necessary and socially desirable because of the savagery and idleness of slaves. Meanwhile the situation in the French islands was becoming desperate, for, after 1838, thousand of French slaves escaped to the neighboring British islands.
Unlike the English abolition movement, it was not linked to any religious group. The French movement was rational and secular. In the early 1840s, the industrial workers of Paris and Lyons joined the movement. In 1847 a national petition called for immediate emancipation. On April 27th 1848 French slaves were liberated. The bill which liberated them incorporated the idea of compensation and 126,000,000 francs were paid to the owners of 258,000 slaves in the French colonies of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Cayenne and Reunion. The Spanish Islands
In the last 25 years of the 18th century there was slump in tobacco production in Cuba and a boom in sugar production. With increased sugar slavery grew and at first the Cuban planters could not obtain enough slaves due to trade restrictions. Therefore, in 1791, the Cuban slave trade was declared open and duties on slaves were reduced. Traders from any country who imported slaves into Cuba were allowed to export any commodity without duty. By 1817 the number of slaves in Cuba had risen to 224,000, over a third of the population. The authorities became worried about the ratio of the slaves to free. They tried to attract European immigrants by offers of free land but they did nothing to stop the slave trade.
In Cuba in 1840, the majority of slaves were entitled to their freedom if they could prove to the Anglo-Spanish commission in Havana that they had been imported after 1820, but as this was difficult, all but a few remained slaves. In 1843 there was a series of revolts in the Matanzas region by slaves who thought that their freedom was being withheld. The British urged emancipation in Cuba for humanitarian and economic reasons. Slave produced sugar from Cuba was underselling the sugar produced by the British islands. Britain also wanted emancipation to keep Cuba out of the hands of the United States. If slaves were free there would be no more looking to the United States for protection. The United States had offered to buy Cuba in 1848. The British Prime Minister Palmerston, thought that emancipation was essential to stop this happening.
The American Civil War, 1861-65, brought emancipation to slaves throughout the United States. There could be no thought of Cuba wanting to join the United States now. Cuba was on its own and the liberals urged emancipation and independence. The movement was supported by Cuban exiles in the Unites States who supplied guns and ammunition. In Cuba, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes led the independence movement. He started by freeing his own slaves in 1868 and the Ten Year War followed. The Spanish government was not able to put down the rebels until 1878 when the Treaty of Zanjon promised the gradual emancipation of slaves. In 1880, this policy was changed by a decree from Spain for emancipation without compensation. Emancipation for all slaves in Cuba was completed by 1886. The intervening six years had been used to allow emancipation to be accompanied by a policy of large-scale white immigration from Spain. Summary of the movement towards Emancipation in The British W.I Islands
Slaves arriving in the New Word did not accept their condition as permanent and were always seeking ways and means to end their condition. They protested against their enslavement by using many passive and active methods. Foremost among their concerns was the desire for freedom especially because of the harsh treatment meted out to them. As stated in class, the Absenteeism spelt harsher treatment for slaves since overseers were only interested in making a quick profit. Methods of protest include: a. Desertion b. Malingering c. Suicide d. Refusal to work e. Feigned laziness f. Stealing g. Self-mutilation h. Murdering of Whites i. Rebellion or Revolt
The Quakers were the first organized group to protest against slavery in 1671. The main strategy they used was to awaken in the minds of the general public sympathy. They used the press, pulpit and circulated pamphlets. The issue of slavery became really active when Granville Sharpe found a Negro Jonathan Strong who had been flogged by his master and put in the street. Sharp along with his brother saw that he received medical attention. After he was discharged, his old master found him and sold him to a Jamaican planter for 30 pounds. Sharp got Strong released. Being convinced that slavery was illegal in England Sharp asked Lord Chief Justice Mansfield to make a public decision as to whether slavery was illegal or not in England.

In 1772 another case was brought before Mansfield. James Somerset was turned into the streets after he became ill. Sharp helped him and when he became well again, his master claimed him. In his judgment, Mansfield said that slavery was not allowed nor approved by the law of England. From this time all slaves in England (about 14000) were free. Somerset case marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the British Empire.

Plan to get first hand information and so he visited two of the leading slave ships and measured the space allotted to each slave. He also examined the shackles, thumb screws, mouth openers and other cruel instruments and asked questions of everyone concerned. He aroused the public interest and sympathy and showed men and women the wrongs of the slave trade.

Someone in Parliament was needed to champion the cause of the Abolitionists. This was where Wilberforce came in the picture. In 1780 he entered Parliament for the City of Hull. He was instrumental in helping to get a bill pass limiting the number of slaves to be carried by ships in proportion to their tonnage. In 1789 he gave a three hour speech in Parliament supporting abolition however the house did not vote on the matter. In 1790 he introduced a bill to stop the importation of slaves. The Bill was defeated but the campaign gained strength. In 1792 he introduced another Bill for abolition and petition poured in from all parts of England and Scotland in favor. In 1792 Parliament decided that the slave trade ought gradually to be abolished. Britain went to war with France and the matter was thrown aside.

In 1804 Wilberforce successfully got the abolition bill through the House of Commons, but it was defeated in The House of Lords. In 1806 Pitt secured an order in Council which forbade the importation of slaves into Trinidad and British Guyana. In 1807 the Abolition Bill was passed and this came into effect in 1808. It declared that all manner of dealing and trading in Africans or their transport to another place to be utterly abolished. Any British subject acting contrary to the law would be fined 100 pounds foe every slave purchased, transported or sold.

Factors favoring Emancipation. The influence of the Proprietors (absentee) was declining. The policy which enabled them to buy their way into Parliament was stopped. The Somerset case and Lord Mansfield judgment paved the way for future progress. The effects of the Industrial Revolution mean that rich manufacturers and business men who were influential had no interest in the landed class and consequently no sympathy for the West Indian situation. Moreover, slavery had become uneconomical.
The Emancipation act became law august 29th, 1833 and was to take effect on August 1st 1834. Children under 6 years of age were to be free from 1st August while older slaves were to serve a period of apprentice. For field slaves this period was for 6 yrs and for house slaves it was for 4. Slaves were to work for 40 and a half hours per week for their masters and if they worked for the remaining 13 and a half they should be paid.
In the Bahamas it was Lieutenant Balfour who issued the proclamation to both slaves and masters informing them that on the last day of July 1834, slavery would come to an end. The Whites became fearful as this great day approached. They feared that the slaves may rebel after they were freed. Balfour did a marvelous job. He ordered both Blacks and Whites to remain orderly. The clergy of all denominations toured the islands explaining to the slaves that they should expect no sudden and dramatic changes, that emancipation was the first step in their rise to freedom. They were also told that they had to serve as apprentices to their former masters a few more years. But despite this most momentous day in our history, 1st August 1834 the day passed quietly by. The Imperial government paid compensation to slave owners averaging about twelve pounds for each slave.
The apprenticeship period was a transition between slavery and freedom. The freed salves had to work for their former masters for a fixed number of hours per week. But they should obtain land use, clothing and other allowances. They kept the same house they once lived in as slaves. At first they retained much of the same relationship with their former masters but the new terms employers and apprentices soon generated new ideas. Sometimes regular wages were paid for their labor. Sometimes time off and land use were substituted for food and clothing. All agreements were equitable. This system was designed to last for the time stated above for all British Caribbean countries. The Assembly decided that all should be released at the same time, therefore on August 1st, 1838 the former slaves became legally free.
We must now consider those slaves who were brought to The Bahamas from slave ships captured at sea. The total number landed at Nassau between 1808 and 1838 was probably about 3000.
When the above slaves were brought to the Bahamas, they were technically free but totally incapable of looking after themselves in a strange land. The government then had to assume the responsibility for them.
It was Sir James Carmichael Smyth who conceived the idea of using ungranted Crown Land where they might be settled. He reasoned that with farming and fishing and with what local industries they might develop, they could become self-supporting. In New Providence, the villages of Headquarters (Now Grant’s Town), Adelaide and Carmichael were founded for this purpose.
Some of the freed slaves were also settled on Highborne Cay in Exuma, however it was Smyth’s successor, Colebrook who generally expanded the experiment as far as the Out Islands were concerned. Free settlements were set up at many islands, including San Salvador, Rum Cay, Ragged Island and Long Island. Only Headquarters was successful as some of these settlements were quickly abandoned and others only carried on for some years with government’s help. These Negroes were hardly fitted to make their own way in isolated communities. They had no common language, and they did not possess that ingrained knowledge which is essential to wrest a living from the Bahamian soil and sea.

It was also found that the best way for them to learn the English Language, become adapted to Bahamian life and eventually self- supporting, was to place them as indentured servants for a number of years. In 1838 however, when the apprentices were released, the feeling against any form of involuntary servitude was so strong in Britain that the governor was instructed to cancel all outstanding indentures. As a consequence, in the fall of that same year, all bonded Africans were given their liberty.
There were lots of problems ahead to face the Bahamian people, but from 1839 onward they were faced by a people who were all free.
After slavery was abolished, the Bahamian economy came to a virtual halt a condition which until the establishment of year round tourism in 1950, was interrupted only briefly by booms fostered by running liquor smuggling, sponging and World War two military training payrolls.

A lot of the ex-slaves settled on lands provided by their masters which meant that the beginning of subsistence farming was the bed-rock of the colony’s economy. The land was often worked out, and many former slaves drifted to other islands to which no clear title could be established.

On New Providence Island today there are few physical remains of the Great Bahama slave era. There is a symbol of that dark period on the Southwestern tip of the island near Clifton Point, 18 miles from Nassau, in lonely crumbling ruins. This was once the mighty estate of William Whylly, a controversial but colorful former Attorney General and slave owner who preached abolition. A courageous stand on the burning issue of human bondage by Whylly, remains as a bright emblem in Bahamian history.

End of Unit
BGCSE Past Paper Questions (1) Name the first religious group to oppose the slave trade. (2) State THREE ways by which the British public was made aware of the horrors of the slave trade. (3) Explain the arguments used by the Planters to justify slavery. (4) Explain why Planters refused to administer the Amelioration Laws. (5) Do you agree that Missionaries were responsible for encouraging slave uprising? Explain your answer. (6) What law did the British Parliament enforce on August 1st, 1834? (7) State THREE reasons why slaves could be given their freedom before 1838. (8) Explain how public opinion changed to support abolition (9) Compare and contrast the role played by abolitionists before 1807 and after 1823. (10) “The apprenticeship system was a failure.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (11) Name the group which fought for emancipation. (12) Give reasons why the West India Committee proposed Amelioration. (13) Explain the terms of the Emancipation Act. (14) Explain how the reaction of the planters made life difficult for the Stipendiary Magistrates (15) “The apprenticeship System was doomed to fail” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (16) Name one Out Island on which rebellion occurred during the 19th century in The Bahamas. (17) Give THREE reasons why slave owners in The Bahamas resented the Amelioration Act. (18) Explain why the Apprenticeship System did not work. (19) How similar were the social and economic conditions of slaves in The Bahamas before and after slavery? (20) “The Emancipation Act brought full freedom to the slaves.” Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. (21) In which year did the British Empire abolish the slave trade? (22) State the names of THREE abolitionist groups (23) Explain why planters opposed the abolition of slavery (24) How far did amelioration and apprenticeship fail for the same reasons? (25) “Emancipation brought little significant changes for blacks in The Bahamas.”Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (26) In what year did the British abolish slavery in England? (27) State THREE reasons why slavers believed that the slave trade should continue. (28) Explain why missionaries were often blamed for slave uprisings. (29) Compare the attitudes towards slavery of the Anglican Church and the Non-Conformist Churches. (30) “Wilberforce was responsible for the abolition of the slave trade” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (31) Name one of the leading reformers of the abolition movement. (32) State THREE reasons for the start of the abolition movement. (33) Explain the conditions under which manumission was granted. (34) Compare the abolition movement before and after 1823. (35) “If it had not been for the work of missionaries, slavery would not have ended.” How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (36) In which year was the emancipation act introduced? (37) State THREE roles of the Stipendiary Magistrates. (38) Explain the terms of the Amelioration Act. (39) How similar were the difficulties faced by the Stipendiary Magistrates and the missionaries? (40) “The apprenticeship system was beneficial to master and slave.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (41) Name one abolitionist group found in England during the 1800s. (42) Why did amelioration fail in the British West Indies? (43) Explain the problems encountered by the Abolitionists fighting for emancipation in the British Parliament. (44) How successful were the 19th century Abolitionists in educating the British public about the evils of slavery? (45) “Emancipation was a revolutionary change in the British West Indian Society.” How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer fully.

Theme 6 The economic and social development of The Bahamas in the late 19th and early 20th Century
Major sources of income:
Industries: wrecking Sponging Conch shell export—jewellery Agri—Industries World War One & Two The Project/ Contract labor to Florida Migration To The Bahamas
Hard time came to The Bahamas after the excitement of Emancipation. It was difficult for the freed slaves to buy much land for themselves because Crown Land was sold only in amounts too large for their means and at too high a price. Some families were luckier than others. Chief Justice Sandilands owned 1200 acres of land in Fox Hill area. In 1840 he laid out a village, making about 100 grants of land to different African individuals who paid either in money or in labor to the value of ten dollars. In Exuma, Lord Rolle’s estate was left to his slaves in common so that they had land to work on but did not own it. Many families worked the Crown Land but never paid the rent. The result in most of the Out Island was that the people managed to grow food for themselves but could not improve or develop land which they did not own. Perhaps the luckiest people in this matter were those seized on captured slave ships and set free in The Bahamas. These people received free grants of Crown Land in Carmichael, Adelaide and Grants Town. Carmichael was first laid out in 1825 for the use of freed African apprentices. Many of them found it too far from the Nassau market and moved from Headquarters, as Carmichael was called, to Grants town to be nearer to Nassau. Adelaide, located 16 miles from Nassau on the coast of South West Bay was founded in 1831 by Governor Smyth. In that year, 137 liberated Africans were settled there.
From time to time men experimented with new cash crops including pineapples, sisal and tomatoes. Each crop seemed successful for a while, but the difficulties of finding markets and transporting the goods eventually proved too great. There was always another country which could produce the crop cheaper or on a larger scale. Conch shells were exported to France and Italy for making cameo broaches. This too did not last for long as cameo soon went out of style.
Beginning in 1875 tobacco was grown. The first cigars were exported in 1878 but were found to be inferior to those of Jamaica and Cuba. Tomatoes were easily grown in Eleuthera and Cat Island, but shipping presented problems. This industry reached its peak in 1879 when 8,130 boxes were exported. Pineapples were also grown for export, mainly on Eleuthera and Cat Island. The first cargo of Bahamian pineapples was exported to U.S.A. in 1842 and the first canning factory was opened in 1892 when almost 700,000 dozens were exported for a value of nearly 60,000 pounds. In 1900, there was a glut on the market. Added to this, the U.S imposed restrictions on pineapples into the U.S.A. and this helped to stifle the trade. By 1902 the exports of pineapples had dropped significantly. From then on, the industry declined until 1946 when the export of pineapples brought in only, 820 pounds. The pineapple industry had too many obstacles. Either there was too much rain or there was a drought. Rats and land crabs devoured whole fields in a night or two. Bush fires also helped to destroy the plantations.
Bahamas next turned to sisal in the 1890s. By 1899 about 400 tons of sisal was exported annually. By 1902 the value of sisal exports rose to 37,574 pounds. By 1903 the sisal boom was over. The world price fell and the Bahamian estates went bankrupt.
Many men found their best livelihood in wrecking. This had been carried on in The Bahamas from the earliest days, but it became a serious business in the middle of the 19th century. Originally wreckers were men who sailed among the islands seeking ships broken up by storms and reefs. They would strip the hull of everything they could find of value, dive for valuable objects from under the water and salvage barrels of food, bales of cloth or whatever was cast up on the shore. Due to the shallow waters and rocky reefs among The Bahamas, sailing ships were wrecked there. It was only one step from salvaging wrecked materials to actually causing wrecks in order to seize their cargoes. It was said that shipmasters could sometimes be persuaded to run their vessels aground if promised a share in the salvage. Wrecking was a wicked occupation when it meant putting out false light to lure ships on the rocks. Often lives were lost and merchants’ cargoes were stolen.
In the middle of the 19th century, The Bahamas were notorious for wreckers. As far as the government was concerned, wrecked goods were regarded as regular imports on which duty had to be paid. In 1856, wreck goods amounted to 96,304 pounds or more than 50% of total imports. As for exports, considerably more than two-thirds of these were comprised of wrecked goods during the 1850s. The variety of articles shipped abroad would have led an unknown observer to believe that The Bahama Islands were dotted with factories.
All salvaged goods were required by law to be brought to Nassau and disposed of by auction at Vendue House. But it should be noted that there were certain items such as clocks, barometers, steering wheels, and chests of drawers, which wreckers looked upon as trophies. Of the bulk of salvage which went through legitimate channels, the government put in a prior claim for 15% customs duties to be paid at the time of sale. Apart from the division of the spoils, the wrecking industry provided employment for those who built the vessels, and those who rigged them and kept them in repair. Food, clothing and almost every article of domestic and industrial use flooded the country at a cost far less than if they had been regular imports. Lawyers benefitted from the necessary legal work involved in drawing up papers, adjusting claims and appearing in court.
In the middle of the 19th century, two changes were made which helped to put an end t this trade. First the steam ships were invented and gradually began to replace sailing boats for carrying cargo. Since steamships are not so much at the mercy of the wind and current as sailing ships, fewer ships were blown onto the reefs or drifted off-course. Then the British government took notice of the wreckers in the Bahamas, just as it had taken notice of the pirates. Gradually the islands were surveyed and mapped and places were chosen for lighthouses and automatic lights.
Bahamian wreckers looked upon the erection of lighthouses with dismay. After all, they reasoned, the Lord put the reef there and he made the wind to blow and the sea to rage. Lighthouses were the works of man, and all things considered, they preferred to be on the side of the Lord.
On a more serious note though, without Bahamian wreckers, hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of imperiled merchandise which was saved, would have been swallowed up forever by the sea. And, this merchandise proved to be a great boom to the Bahamian people. There were many to say that far too little of the proceeds found its way to the rightful owners of the goods. But we must remember that except for the efforts of the wreckers, the owners would have received nothing.
Towards the end of the 19th century a number of industries were tried and some thrived for a number of years. Sponging was perhaps the longest lasting and most successful industry of this period. It was well organized. An individual could sign up with a boat captain as a sculler. The voyage to and from the sponge beds might take as long as 4 months. Each man was given some money in advance to buy food for his family before leaving. Advance was made in cash and credit. Some individuals took all their advances in goods but this was unwise because the goods were often sold at very high prices for poor quality provisions.
The sponge grounds were located off the north coast of Andros called “The Mud” where there could be found plenty of wooly variety of sponge. These were said to be the most valuable of all. The captain of the boat kept a good watch on the sea-bed with a water- glass to see when a good area was reached. This was not easy to tell because the sponges were mostly hidden in the mud and only a small part showed above the sea floor. From the central location of a large boat, men with dinghies (usually 2) one with an oar to scull and one with a long slender hooked pole and water glass, the second man was called the hooker, kept watch on the sea bed. When the sponge is spotted the boat stops and the hooked pole is lowered to wrench it from the bottom. When it’s taken from the sea bed it looks like a black jelly-like mass. As soon as sufficient sponge is had, it is taken ashore for cleaning. The sponge fishers would cut stakes to make an enclosure in about three feet of water to hold the sponges. These enclosures were called ‘kraals’. The tide washed through them and carried away all the decayed flesh from the sponges. When the sponge would have looked as if they were ready for drying short wooden bats called ‘glats’ or ‘clappers’ would be used to beat the sponges one at a time to clean them of any remaining traces of flesh left inside. With beating and washing, each sponge soon became clean.
Sponging was carried on in The Bahamas until 1938 when the sponge beds were attacked by diseases (Fungus). When the sponge recovered and the beds were reopened in the 1950s the market for natural sponge was no longer good because synthetic sponges could be purchased much more cheaply.
The sponge fishermen made very little profit from their voyages, partly due to the system of advances (truck system) and payment in kind This meant that the sponger was paid part of his wages before the voyage, but he was usually bound to take at least part of his advance in goods. The goods offered, such as flour, sugar, meal and clothes, were of very poor quality. If the sponger needed money urgently he would try to sell some of these goods, but he would receive very little money for them. It was this system of payment with goods which encouraged Bahamian sponge fishers to migrate to the Unites States in the early 20th century where they were paid direct cash. This you will read about later when we look at ‘The project/ contract laborers to Florida.’
The Sponging Industry.
The sponge is an animal that anchors itself to the sea floor. Its porous and elastic skeleton, which retains the name of the animal, has found wide use and certainly The Bahamas had used it for generations. A creature of the shallow banks, the sponge grew most abundantly in that large underwater area to the southwest of Andros known as the Mud. Great quantities were also found on The Little Bahama Bank west of Abaco. Other significant sponging areas were the Exuma sound, the Bight,off Acklins and Bimini Bank. But, it took a shipwrecked Frenchman, (Gustave Renouard) to see the commercial possibilities of the sponge. He made the first overseas shipment in 1841, and a tiny, but steady industry had begun. By the end of the century, sponging was the catalyst of The Bahamian economy and it reached its peak in 1917.
The sponge was sold by sealed tender, which seems to have been a very good method. Expert buyers would look over the lot, estimate the weight and quality and place their bids. Theoretically, the money received was shared between the owners of the vessels and crew according to custom or agreement. In practice those merchants owning both sponging vessels and supply houses would insist that a part of each seaman’s share be taken in provisions. This “truck system” obviously was open to abuse and was resented by the seamen who had no option but to go along with it. After making seven vogues per year, a sponger would receive up to 300 pounds sterling. Those employed in preparing sponge for export earned fifty to seventy-five pence for a ten hour day. Even with the truck system this was better than wrecking had been and better than anything available at the time.

Sponging was a great boom to the shipbuilding industry. More boats were launched than at the height of the wrecking industry (You Can read pages 49-50 in Albury’s book on Wrecking). By the early 20th Century 587 sloops and schooners ranging in weight from one to 43 tons with their 2517 dinghies were engaged in harvesting sponge out of Nassau. Some 2091 boats were operated from the Out Islands. More than five thousand men and boys were engaged in harvesting sponge at sea and 260 men and women were employed in sorting clipping and packing on shore.

Sponging was the second largest sustained industry in the Bahamas next to wrecking. But the two were to end within a short time of each other. Wrecking for all intent and purpose was finished by 1900. Thirty eight years later, a mysterious disease invaded the sponge beds and killed the sponge where they lay (1938). The sponging industry like other successful industries in the Bahamas had ended in failure.
While sponging was riding its wave of success, an interesting revival in the production of citrus fruits began to take place in the Bahamas. When Bahamian wreckers began to settle in Key West in the 1820s and 1830s, they took citrus seeds with them to establish the kinds of gardens to which they were accustomed. The Florida Keys, like the Bahamas was equally resistant to intensive cultivation and presented no real competitive threat. After the Civil War and the so-called “reconstruction period “however, the northern part of the State was opened to fruit growing on a large scale. Great citrus orchards were established and Bahamian growers found it difficult to find a market.
Nature intervened on the side of the Bahamas during the winter of 1894-95. The people of Florida still refer to that year as the great freeze. Their citrus groves were largely destroyed and some of the growers moved to the Bahamas where the menace of frost was unknown. This stimulated a great revival in the industry, locally. More citrus fruits were shipped abroad than would seem possible today. From 1870 t0 1900, an annual average of nearly three million oranges were sent to American markets. Towards the end of the century, grapefruits gained popularity and three hundred thousand of these were exported in 1900.
Pineapples which had been introduced many years earlier, was also making remarkable strides at this time. In 1772 six thousand dozens were exported to the Americas. In 1842, the first shipment to England was a success and by 1876, three hundred thousand dozens were exported to London, New York and Baltimore. Areas of red loam which is considered to be the oldest and most fertile Bahamian soil is the only local land that has been found suitable for its cultivation, but even so, after 3 crops the soil nutrients were almost exhausted. The only satisfactory solution for the farmer was to move to a new area, which had not been cultivated or had not been cultivated for 15 – 20 yrs. Canning was introduced to take care of the poorer or surplus fruit which ripen between shipments. Beginning in 1876, factories were established at Harbour Island, Abaco, Eleuthera and New Providence. In 1900 seven million dozens pineapples were exported, plus 37 thousand cases of canned fruit.
But of all the Agricultural pursuits that came to maturity after Blockade Running and Wrecking, nothing inspired so much hope as Sisal. When Sir Ambrose Shea, came to the Bahamas as Governor in 1887, he immediately became excited about the economic possibility of the fiber contained in the leaves of the agave rigida sisilana. The statistics were favorably impressive. The hardy plant would live for 14 yrs, grow like a weed and produce thousands of offspring. From the 4th year onward a semi-annual cutting of leaves would yield from one-half to a ton of fiber for each acre under cultivation.
The amounts invested were huge. One English company put one hundred and fifty thousand pounds into several plantations. The Chamberlin family staked fifty thousand pounds into a plantation in Andros called Fiber Company. But these outlays were small compared to the anticipated returns. Mr. Joseph Chamberlin may have calculated that he could recover his investment within 5 years on five thousand of his seven thousand acres planted in Andros. Sisal was dazzling prospect and quickly overtook citrus and pineapples as the second most important economic earner next to sponging.
Towards the end of the 19th century, it appeared that the Bahamas was emerging from economic turbulence and insecurity and could look forward in the new century to a stable and sustained progress. But this hope was short lived. The “Great Freeze” of 1894-5 convinced railroad and hotel tycoon Henry Flagler to venture farther south and his firs train rolled into the little town of Miami in 1896. Florida again presented severe business competition. If that was not enough, California entered the citrus business. The United States government in a bid to protect its own farmers imposed a duty of 1% per pound on imports, which placed Bahamian growers at an additional disadvantage. Those who struggled on their oranges and grapefruit could only expect a market when the Florida production was severely diminished by frost.
A tax of $7 per thousand was placed on pineapples. This was more than the local industry could bear. Also, Jamaica, Cuba, Florida and Hawaii all went into pineapple production and some of their larger improved varieties were preferred over the little Bahamian Varity. Sisal proved the most disappointing of all. In 1896 when the plants were 4 years old and should have shown long and dark green leaves, ready for cutting, Neville Chamberlain wrote to his father that the leaves were yellowish and stunted, “ as bad as can be. I no longer see any chance of making the investment pay.” Even sisal would not grow in the rock. The plantation owners soon discovered that they could not compete with the growers in Mexico where the plants grew more luxuriantly and labor was cheaper. Some farmers made a handsome sum on sisal production but all the large plantations failed. The closure of the Andros Fiber Company resulted in 800 people being put out of work. Throughout the Bahamas, thousands of others who had become accustomed to a daily wage were likewise affected and those who were not attracted to sponging could see nothing before them but a return to the subsistence they had known before.
The Volstead Act of 1920 in the USA became the Eighteenth Amendment to the country’s constitution. What did this act do? It made it a Federal offence to manufacture, sell, transport, export or import or consume alcohol. Americans found themselves unable to access their favorite brand of liquor. The term given to this period was Prohibition
Enter The Bahamas
English and Scottish liquor manufacturers who had become accustomed to small orders from the Bahamas were soon shipping vast quantities. The steamers that brought it were too large for the Nassau harbor and had to anchor off the bar or other nearby anchorage and the cargo had to be taken ashore by tenders. Warehouses were built all along the waterfront as in Blockade Running days, to accommodate the flood of cases and barrels. Getting this liquor into the USA during Prohibition was called ‘Bootlegging” or Rum Running. In the beginning a number of Bahamians tried this, but in general, the Bahamas share of the trade was to operate supply depot and make the liquor available as close as possible to United States territory. Americans took it from there and performed the actual smuggling.
In 1917 before Prohibition, thirty eight thousand gallons of liquor was imported into The Bahamas. By 1922 the number had increased to one million three hundred and forty thousand gallons. From every imported case and barrel of liquor, the Bahamas government exacted a duty. At one time this amounted to twenty four shillings a case, but because of fears that such a high tariff would place the colony in an unfavorable trading position, it was reduced to the former value of 12 shillings. One hundred thousand pounds sterling seemed the best the colony could do in revenue for liquor in the ten years preceding Prohibition.
The year ending 31st March 1920 showed that revenue exceeded expenditure by ninety five thousand pounds sterling. This surplus was more than enough to wipe out the public debt of sixty nine thousand pounds sterling. In 1922, revenue rose to four hundred and seventy one thousand pounds and in 1923 to eight hundred and fifty three thousand, seven hundred and sixteen thousand of which represented import duty on liquor. The surplus to the treasury stood at two hundred and sixty five thousand pounds sterling.
During the prosperity of the Prohibition era, Nassau saw great improvements in public utilities and in visitor accommodation and amenities. An electric plant put in service in 1909 was greatly enlarged and improved. A city water supply and a sewerage system were installed. The harbor was dredged to depth of 25 ft and the Prince George Wharf was built. Ten-year contracts were signed and subsidies paid for a year round steamer service from New York and a winter service from Miami. The government also provided a loan of four hundred and thirty thousand pounds sterling for building the New Colonial Hotel in 1922 and fifteen thousand pounds sterling for the construction of a golf course. In the late 1920s, a gambling casino was opened and the Bahamian Club on West Bay Street in 1925. One hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling was loaned to a local company towards the erection of the Fort Mantague Hotel. From 1926 to 1930, treasury receipts topped the million pounds mark each year and did not show any appreciable decline until 1931.In 1933 the Volstead Act was repealed and the booming liquor smuggling business came to a screeching halt. The Great Depression followed but Bahamians were used to hard times, although these times were harder than usual as there was just not enough money for anything. However, the future of the Bahamian economy was quietly taking shape evidenced by the thirty four thousand three hundred and fifty one winter arrivals to the colony in 1937, its best tourist season at the time. Reason for World War 1
A Serb national by the name of Gavrilo Princip took an automatic pistol and killed the Archduke of Austria. Austria ruled many nationalities who wanted their independence and assassinating the Archduke was a way of protesting against Austria’s rule. Austria blamed Serbia for killing the Archduke since Serbia wanted its independence too, and Princip was a Serbian national. The Austrian government wanted to demonstrate its military might and so it thought that by crushing Serbia, it would set an example for those other nations who were seeking independence from its rule.
A mixture of fears, war plans and treaties turned Austria’s quarrel with Serbia into a war between the great powers of Europe who had made alliances to support one group or the other in case there was a war. This situation gave them the opportunity to work out old grudges and settle disputes which were pending. Since Britain had agreed to side with France (Britain, France & Russia fought on one side called the Allied Forces) in case of a war, the opportunity came when France decided to support Serbia. The first shots in the quarrel among these great powers were fired on the evening of August 28th, 1914. Because The Bahamas was a British colony it was called upon to support the war efforts. On September 1st, 1915, the first of several hundred Bahamians volunteers left Nassau, to fight with the British West Indies Regiment.
The effect of the war was felt mostly in the controls of food which included fixed prices on bread, flour and kerosene and the compulsory addition of rye and corn flour to bread. Food was not seriously short except on Inagua where there was so much unemployment due to the loss of the German ships which use to employ laborers from Inagua. At the end of the war, when the soldiers returned, from overseas, there was once again very little employment. World War 11 Adolf Hitler conquered Poland and Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939. A Bahamas Volunteer defense Force was formed to guard strategic points on New Providence; this consisted eventually of five hundred men. In 1940, the USA provided Britain with 50 World War one destroyers, and in return was given 99-year leases on naval bases in the British West Indies, including ones at Great Exuma and Man-o-War Cay. Again Bahamians went abroad to fight, while others helped to contribute war materials. The Bahamas was also used as a training ground.
Many Bahamians joined the armed forces of Britain, Canada and the U.S,and three hundred fought with The Bahamas Battalion in Egypt and Italy. Meanwhile, Etienne Dupuch, editor of the Tribune newspaper, became chairman of the War Materials Committee, which collected metals from old cars and ships, Cannons and rails for conversion to war machinery. They also contributed canned goods. Using two airfields on New Providence, No. 111 Operational Training Unit took advantage of the clear skies to teach more than 5000 airmen to fly Mitchell and Liberator bombers. At the same time the clear waters of The Bahamas were perfect for members of the Sea Reconnaissance Unit to be trained in under water diving skills.
Once again food rationing was very slight in The Bahamas during the Second World War. The Bahamians who felt the effects of the war most closely were those whose relatives went to serve overseas, but these were volunteers and so most families were not affected.
The Project/ Contract labor to Florida
Henry Flagler’s Rail Road to Miami brought investors who wanted to become part of the development of the new area. This resulted in a building boom in Florida and there was a shortage of labor there. Opportunity was provided for Bahamians who wanted a job and thousands immigrated to Florida. The collapse of the Sisal boom led to great unemployment in The Bahamas and these men flock to Miami. One in every five Bahamians migrated to Florida at this time. The citrus industry required many unskilled labors as fruit gatherers.
The opportunity for Bahamians to work in South Florida offered the Bahamas mixed blessings. This opportunity came at a time of great financial distress and a welcome relief especially to Bahamians living on the Family Islands. However, one must understand that for every gain in life there is a corresponding loss.
The opportunity to go to Florida for a better way of life and greater opportunities was seen as a blessing to labors especially those who had to face the ravages of the 1919 hurricane and its aftermath. The fact that the trucking system was open to abuse and workers wanted their money in cash, some of the most industrious Bahamians went off to embrace what Florida had to offer. The workers who were left were the more incompetent and lazy ones. They were not keen on becoming gainfully employed and therefore the islands were left underdeveloped with none of the more competent farmers to contribute towards improving the domestic economy.
As can be observed, from source documents, there was a general increase in moneys which were repatriated to the Bahamas. Husbands and relatives sent money to their wives and children. There are two negative issues which are overlooked by historians sometimes. The fact that there were more imported goods to the Bahamas is an indication that more money was available for people to spend but on the other hand it indicated that the money coming into the country was repatriated back to Florida to pay for imported goods. Those who lived in Florida for a while and returned developed a taste for American good. More money now has to be spent on imports as locally produced goods were substituted for the American variety.
Again, from the statistics in source document, many people did not return to the Bahamas. It is for that same reason why we have such a large contingent of Bahamians in areas such as Key West and Coconut Grove. Many Bahamians living in that area can trace their heritage back to the Bahamas.
From a cultural standpoint, the contract period caused many Bahamians to lose their sense of identity. There is hardly anything which is distinctly Bahamian. This seems to erode certain aspects of our culture which is replaced by American culture.
One has to agree that the contract period did cause some benefits. It introduced Bahamians to a higher standard of living especially at a time during the worst financial hardships that the country was facing. It created relief from the tyranny of the merchant class who abused the trucking system and changed the way workers were treated. They realized that they had to compete with Florida for laborers and so they were forced to offer higher wages and cash in return for labor.
It also introduced Bahamians to a new way of life. The bright lights and the entertainment offered by Florida caused some Bahamians to move away from the Family Islands and migrate to Nassau where they can get at least some type of the lifestyle they had become accustomed to. The negative effect of this though is that Nassau/ New Providence become crowded while the Family Islands are sparsely populated. Because they could not find the amenities that they were exposed to on the Family Island they came to Nassau in search of these.
By lacking the foresight into this problem, the government inadvertently encouraged this migration by not putting the infrastructural development in these Family Islands so that they could attract returning Bahamians. Because of this New Providence has become congested while the Out Island remained sparsely populated and underdeveloped.
In conclusion, we can say that, the period under discussion, remains one of the most important one in the economic and social life of the Bahamas. It strengthened the Bahamian –American connection and creates a historical link that makes it possible for Bahamians from all over the archipelago to link their past with the period which is fondly remembered as the ‘Contract.’

Migration to The Bahamas of other nationals
After 1943, immigration to The Bahamas increased. The census of 1970 shows that 18.4% of the population of The Bahamas is foreign born. West Indians comprise the largest group of immigrants during this period. Immigrants came mainly from Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica, U.S.A. and Britain. They settled mainly on New Providence and Grand Bahama. Over 50% of Haitian and British immigrants are found in New Providence. The others live mainly in Grand Bahama. Americans and Haitians and Americans also live in Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera. The foreign born population of The Bahamas is mainly young adults. Generally, almost a half of the population for each nationality is between 20 & 34.
The oldest migrants are the Turks and Caicos islanders. One-third of them arrived before 1960 and a half was already in The Bahamas by 1965. The number of male migrants has been declining since 1965 and now two female migrants arrive to every one male migrant. 1965—67 were the peak years for Haitian migrants. Almost 40% of Haitians arrived then. 1968—70 saw a continuing decline in arrivals, but decline may only be apparent because there are so many illegal arrivals. There are 3 males to every two male migrants.
Most recent of the immigrants are the Jamaicans. 70% of them have arrived after 1966 and there is no indication of a decline among this group. Almost half of the 1969 arrivals are females. Occupations
The majority of British and American migrants has had nine or more years of schooling and is more employed in professional, administrative, managerial jobs and as clerical workers. The majority of West Indians and Turks and Caicos islanders have had six or more years of schooling. The West Indians are employed in more menial and less well-paid occupations, as craftsmen, process workers and laborers and in service occupations. Among the West Indians, the Jamaicans have more than 10% employed in professional and clerical occupations. Among the Haitian migrants, 21.8% have had no schooling and only 30% have had 3—6 years of schooling. Reasons for Migration
Proximity. Haiti lies 400 miles south of New Providence. Tortuga off the coast of Haiti is only 55 miles south of Great Inagua. The north west of Haiti is an agricultural area. Generations of peasants have farmed this land for centuries using destructive methods of farming. The crops that the land now produces are no longer adequate for the needs of the farmers especially in times of drought. Despite morbidity of the population, due to inadequate supplies of food for good nutrition, the population increases. According to the Haitian five year plan the birth rate is 37.28 per 1000 while the death rate is 16.94 per 1000.
Only a limited part of Haiti is available to the population foe economic use due to dry plains and inaccessible mountains. Only a third of Haiti’s surface is cultivable and 83.6% of the population is farmers. This has led to a high density of population in the rural areas—404 persons per square mile. One of the areas of heavy concentration is in the Plain du Nord behind Cap Haitien and on the slopes of Massif du Nord.
The peasants are unexposed to education and depend on a limited supply of land which suffers from overwork. There is too a general dissatisfaction with existing conditions. Land distribution after independence under Petien’s regime (1807—1818) included parcels which small farmers divided among their sons and which was practiced through succeeding generations. Often holdings are not in one piece and many farmers work several plots of land separated by long distances. Farming is largely subsistence and domestic and few has land to spare for cultivation of cash crops for export. High mortality rate, primitive sanitation and malnutrition lead to high rates of death.
Why The Bahamas?
In Haiti, The Bahamas is perceived as full of ultra modern cities with full employment and high wages. Few immigrants possess the skills which would enable them to take advantage of these opportunities. By 1948, there were sufficient Haitians in The Bahamas for the government to send a representative to look after their interest. A Counsel was appointed in that year. By 1956 the Immigration Department organize “round ups” of Haitians for deportation.
Past Paper Questions (1) On which side did The Bahamas fight during World War 1? (2) State THREE ways World War 1 affected The Bahamas. (3) Explain how The Bahamas assisted with the war effort during World War 1. (4) Why did many Family Islanders migrate to New Providence between 1919—1932? (5) Do you agree that there were many changes in The Bahamas after WW 1? Explain your answer. (6) To which country did Contract laborers go in the 1920s? (7) Explain why laborers were needed in Florida in the 1940s. (8) Explain how families were able to benefit from contract-labor in the early 20th century. (9) Compare and contrast the economic development of The Bahamas after the 1860s and during the early 1900s. (10) Do you agree that, “The project of 1942” was beneficial for The Bahamas? Explain your answer. (11) Who introduced sponging as an industry to The Bahamas? (12) What role did many Bahamians play in the sponging industry? (13) Compare and contrast the success of any three agricultural industries in The Bahamas at the end of the 19th century. (14) Explain how the “Depression Years” affected the entire Bahamas. (15) “The Truck and Credit system was oppressive for the laboring Bahamians.” Explain how the system was used to benefit the merchants. (16) What is a Kraal? (17) Name THREE 19th century industries in The Bahamas. (18) Explain what happens to the sponge once it reaches the sponge yard. (19) Explain the reasons for the development of Agricultural industries in The Bahamas. (20) “The United States was responsible for the failure of agricultural industries in The Bahamas in the 19th Century.” Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. (21) In what year did WW 1 begin? (22) State THREE reasons for the beginning of World War 1. (23) Explain the effects of World War 1 on The Bahamas. (24) How similar were the roles of Bahamian men and women during the First World War? (25) “The Second World War had little impact on The Bahamas.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (26) In which year did the sponging industry decline in The Bahamas? (27) State THREE laws which regulate the wrecking industry in The Bahamas in the 19th century. (28) Explain why Bahamians migrated to Florida in the late 19th and early 20th century. (29) Compare the effects of technological advances on the sponging and wrecking industries of The Bahamas. (30) “The Contract created problems for The Bahamian economy.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (31) From which islands of The Bahamas did most of the laborers in the “Project” originate? (32) Explain THREE reasons why laborers were needed in Florida. (33) Explain how The Bahamas was negatively affected by migration to Florida in the 1940s. (34) How similar was life for an ordinary Bahamian after the 1860s and after 1942? (35) “The United States was responsible for the prosperity experienced by The Bahamas between 1942 and 1960.”How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (36) Name one of the nations involved in the First World War. (37) State THREE reasons for the start of World War 1. (38) Explain how the First World War affected The Bahamas. (39) How similar was the role The Bahamas played in the World Wars? (40) “The Bahamas benefitted greatly from its involvement in World war Two.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (41) What are remittances? (42) Why did Bahamians sign contracts to work on the projects? (43) Explain why Bahamians were recruited for Contract Labor in the United States of America. (44) How similar were the effects of the projects on Bahamian men and women? (45) “The Contract Labor System had a negative effect on the Bahamian family structure.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer fully.


Theme Seven
Movement Towards Decolonization

The Burma Road Riot—1942
The year 1942 marks the beginning of black awareness. There were waves of strikes and riots within the region which showed that there was widespread discontent among the working class blacks who make up the vast majority of the population. After 90 years of freedom from slavery, the conditions of the blacks improved only marginally. This was found to be unsatisfactory and this dissatisfaction manifested itself in the sporadic instances of strikes and riots erupting in some countries. The term “winds of change” is often used to describe this period as the population within the region became more aware of their rights and showed evidence that they were willing to force social changes to occur.
The year is significant in Bahamian history for many reasons. The first reason is that the black laboring class felt that they were neglected by their elected representatives and were willing to show their dissatisfaction publicly to demand changes. Secondly, blacks became aware that there is strength in numbers and that with unity they can force political and social changes.
Employment had come to The Bahamas because of the Second World War. When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, a Bahamas Volunteer Defense Force was formed to guard strategic points on New Providence. In September of 1940, the US provided Britain with 50 WW1 destroyers and in return was given 99 year leases on naval bases in The British West Indies. One was built in Great Exuma. The local workers there were given 8 shillings per day. In 1942, the U.S.A. decided to expand Oaks Field and establish a new air base at the western end of New Providence. Pleasantville’s Company of the U.S.A was granted the contract and employed 2,400 Bahamians. The company was prepared to pay $2 per day (average Bahamian wage at that time was 2 shillings per day). Workers came from all over the Out Islands. The Exumians reported that the American Government had paid them 8 shillings per day.
The Bay Street Boys were upset and horrified when they learnt that the local workers were being paid at $2 per day. They claimed that such a wage would upset the economy and make the Negroes unmanageable. Under pressure the company withdrew its offer and set wage for unskilled workers at 4 shillings per day. Colored Bahamians were driving trucks for one shilling an hour while white Americans were receiving at least $1.50 per hour for the same work.
Several attempts were made to get the authorities to adjust this anomaly but to no avail. There were other issues too. If rain fell, the workers were not paid for time lost. On June 1st 1942, hundreds of workers gathered “over the hill” and marched t Bay Street and congregated in front of Parliament Square. They were addressed by Hughes who inflamed the wrath of the workers by indicating that if it were not for the intervention of the government in the first place they would not have been hired by the American company. To further agitate the workers was the presence of police inspector Sears who had on the previous day drew his revolver and fired shots in the air to disperse laborers who had gathered on the work site to complain about the existing conditions. On the march to Bay Street, some of the laborers carried sticks; others swung machetes as they shouted, “Burma Road declare war on the Conchie Joe.””Do nigger don’t you lick nobody”
Other demonstrators came from the west and as they marched they were joined by onlookers who swelled their numbers. One individual took a bottle from a Coca Cola delivery truck which was parked in the vicinity and he hurled it through the glass window of a shop. This set off a general “melee of window smashing and looting.” Two people were killed and 25 injured. The Riot Act was read and martial law declared.
Curfew was imposed that same day, prohibiting any person not a member of the armed force or the police from being out of doors between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Two weeks later pay was increased to five shillings. Less than 4 weeks later, while workers were still dissatisfied, an arsonist in financial trouble, set fire to his store at the Western end of Bay Street, stores on George Street were also caught. There was quick response to the fire or all Bay Street would have been caught. Results
A Commission of Enquiry was appointed to deal with the 1942 riots. It recommended that government reassessed traditional policies regarding wages, employment, taxes, land development, population growth, health care, and import duties on food staples. It also recommended that consideration be given to revision in the constitution and laws be enacted to deal with trade unions, work’s men compensation and other labor problems. There was also a suggestion for closer links between Out islands and New Providence.
There seemed to be a genuine attempt to put forth ideas for reform to benefit the poor and improve the quality of life for Out Islanders.

Why form Unions
Name of Unions
1958 General Strike
Trade Unions Background
Early 20th century workers in England joined together by trade unions, negotiated working conditions with employers. The Workmen Act was repealed in the United Kingdom but it was enforced in The Bahamas until 1958. This Act was used against workers and allowed employers to monopolize both trade and labor markets. Mechanism of Unions consisted of a body of workers in the same trade, governed by a President, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer, and Trustees etc. Bahamian Unionism Development was the only Act governing Trade Unions in The Bahamas. This was the same Act which was repealed in England in 1886, but enforced in The Bahamas until 1958. It was in 1943 when this act was passed. It permitted the formation of Trade Unions for hotel associations and hotel managers.
In 1946 the Labor Board Act was created for the conciliation of disputes between management and labor. In 1950’s the musicians Union, the Taxi Cab Union, and The Bahamas Union of Teachers emerged. In 1958 the Trade Union Industrial Conciliation Act was passed.
Trade unions are negotiation tools. They talk with employers and employees for proper settlement of disputes, work conditions and wages among other issues. They are responsible for filing disputes with Labor Board, take strike vote, effect industrial actions—sick-out, go-slow and strike.
In 1957, Randol Fawkes formed Bahamas Federation of Labor which was largely responsible for the serious General Strike of January 1958. The cause of the strike arose out of a dispute concerning conveyance of passengers from the New Nassau International Airport at Windsor field. The Taxicab Union members objected to airline passengers being carried by the tour company. The strike was really the result of a general dissatisfaction over labor conditions which had been boiling up for some time.
On the morning of January 12th, 1958 the new airport was scheduled to be opened. Members of the Taxicab Union blocked the approaches to the airport. Airline traffic came to a halt, since transportation could not leave the airport. The Bahamas Federation of Labor called a general strike in sympathy. The tourism trade and all activities in the accommodation of tourist were brought to a standstill. After a hectic two days in which guests in hotels helped to wash-up and serve meals, all hotels closed.
Mutterings of violence and rumors were loud in Nassau. The Governor, Sir Raynor Arthur telegraphed Jamaica and a heavily armed detachment of the Worchester Regiment was flown in from Kingston. There was no actual violence and the presence of the troops was generally resented among the Negro population and the taxi negotiations went on under a cloud of mutual distrust. The strike lasted for 19 days. Taxi cab drivers feigned most of the disputed points. The direct effect on tourism is that tourist total for 1958 showed first decline since 1945.
Some employees from other Unions who had joined the strike were laid off and hotel workers continued out of work because there was no employment for them. The B.F.L. and its leaders were temporarily discredited. Bahamian labor problems were brought home more forcefully to the Colonial Office in London. Following the Colonial Office in London, an important series of Labor Bills was passed through the Bahamian Legislature, providing a labor board and a labor liaison officer. The Conciliation Act was passed which allowed the Labor Board to settle disputes. Property qualifications and plural voting were abolished and Nassau was given 4 more seats in the House of Assembly. The Formation and Development of Political Parties in The Bahamas.
Political party refers to a group of people who band together under the same ideals and purposes to run a country. Before the formation of political parties, Government –representatives were elected on a very limited franchise comprising of a minority group of business men. Women could not vote, only property owners and tenants. At the same time, company vote was permitted and on that basis some people were allowed to vote up to 100 times in the name of companies they represented. There was a 29 member House of Assembly, 8 seats in New Providence and 21 in the Family Islands. There were no secret ballots and therefore voter intimidation was not difficult. The first black entered Parliament in 1835. Because the white merchant class who dominated Parliament had businesses on Bay Street they were called Bay Street Boys.
Blacks made up 85% of the population of The Bahamas. There was evidence of discrimination everywhere. In the Civil Service, top positions were given to white Bahamians who were less qualified. Segregation existed in the private school system. Some refused to accept black children. Prior to 1953, no black Bahamians were employed in banks, except as janitor or cleaning women. There was segregation in some churches, theatres ect. No black Bahamians could enter anyone of the major hotels. As a consequence of all this, Bahamas Democratic League was formed by Sir Etienne to stamp out racism. This attempt failed.
Formation of the Progressive Liberal Party P.L.P. The party was founded in November 1953 by Mr. Cyril Stevenson, Mr. William Cartwright and H. M. Taylor. The party was established to make Bahamian people aware of their political responsibilities and to wield them into a single political force in order to bring about the downfall of the merchant governing class. Its executive board comprised 9 members who presided over all activities. Taylor was the first chairman, Stevenson, the first secretary and Cartwright treasurer. The National General Council was formed in 1955 with representatives from each constituency. The motto of the party was Freedom, Unity, Progress. Their watchword all the way had spiritual underpinnings “thou shall remember all the way which the Lord thy God has led thee…..”
For a hand sign, the index finger form a circle with the remaining three fingers erect. This means peace, love and progress. The color of their flag was blue and white. Three months after the party was formed Mr.L. O. Pindling joined and Mr. Randol Fawkes joined and began organizing labor. In 1954 Mr. Pindling was elected as the leader. In 1956, they won 6 out of 20 seats. They were convinced that our boundary system had to be revised. The U.B.P was formed in 1958 as a response to the PLP. They saw the new party as great threat. The leader of the UBP was the late Roland Symonette
Because of the General Strike of 1958 there were several changes which were to have an impact on the outcome of elections. These changes were universal adult male suffrage, abolition of company vote, limitation of plural vote to 2 and redistricting which gave New Providence 12 out of 33 seats in the House of Assembly. In a By-election 1960 four new seats were won by the PLP. In the general election of 1962, women voted for the first time. The movement for women’s vote was led by Dr, Dorris Johnson, Eugenia Lockhart and Albertha Isaacs. That year the PLP won 8 seats. In 1964 The Bahamas gained internal self-Government. In 1965, because the PLP felt that constituency boundaries had been drawn up to favor UBP, Mr. L. O Pindling threw the Mace, a symbol of the speaker’s authority, out of the window of the House of Assembly to a cheering crowd below. This event is commonly referred to as Black Tuesday.
In the 1967 elections PLP & UBP each won 18 seats. There were 2 independent candidates, Randol Fawkes and A. R Braynnen. They allied with the PLP and Mr. Pindling became the second Premier of The Bahamas. The aim of the PLP was to give all Bahamians a fair share; the party gave much attention to education and health facilities throughout the islands. In the 1968 elections PLP won 29 seats and UBP won 7.
In 1970, 8 PLP members led by Cecil Wallace-Whitfield broke with the governing party to form the Free PLP; claiming the PLP was wasting money and creating condition which could increase unemployment. In 1971, the Free PLP joined with the UBP to form the Free National Movement (FNM) with Cecil Wallace –Whitfield as leader. As a result of this, UBP ceased to exist. In 1972 election the main issue was independence. PLP won 29 seats and the FNM won 9. The NDM was formed in 1965 when 3 PLP Members of Parliament were expelled from the party for breaking boycott of the House of Assembly. The boycott was called to protest the passing of the report from the Boundaries Commission which the PLP felt was biased towards the UBP.
The three MPs expelled were: Orville Turnquest, Paul Adderley and Spurgeon Bethel. They were subsequently joined by other hierarchy members of the party. Their symbol was a broom The BDP was formed in 1976 when a split developed in the opposition FNM. Most of the Parliamentary members left the FNM claiming that they had lost confidence in the leadership of Mr. Cecil Wallace-Whitfield.
During the latter part of 1979 and early 1980, the FNM and the EDP worked out an agreement to merge. The terms of this agreement displeased four of the BDP House members (Mr. Norman Solomon, Michael Lightbourne, Keith Duncombe and James Knowles). These 4 decided not to support the merger but to form their party (Social Democratic Party) SDP. This development made Mr. Solomon the official leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly because he controlled more seats than the FNM.
When the BDP and the FNM merged they at first used the name Free National Democratic Movement (FNDM) but later changed the name to Free National Movement (FNM). They then selected Mr. Kendal G L Isaacs to lead them into the 1982 General Elections because Mr. Isaacs was so well respected in opposition circles. They were able to draw support from the SDP thus forcing them to dissolve the FNM as the as the only major opposition party.
Mr. Solomon then decided to seek re-election in his constituency as an independent with the full backing of the FNM. The symbol of the FNM is the torch—slogan—time for a change. Another party emerged on the scene with leader Rodney Moncur. It was first formed in Black Village. He claimed that it is for the unemployed and the young brothers on the blocks. There were 2 candidates in the 1982 elections; one in St. Michael and the other in Delaporte –Symbol—hammer.
The Vanguard was formed in 1970—Leader, Dr. John McCartney. It was a socialist party with the Conch as its symbol. They presented 18 candidates in 1982 elections. In 1977 Elections, the PLP won 32 seats, the BDP 6 and the FNM 2. In 1982 elections there were 5 new seats, PLP 32 seats, FNM 11—first selected, Mrs. Janet Bostwick—Yamacraw constituency.
In the 1964 The Bahamas took its first big step towards Independence. A conference held in London the previous year had agreed upon a new constitution (i.e. a set of rules which laid down how the government is organized). This new system of government came into effect in January 1964. Below is a list of the main changes. (1) The Bahamas was granted internal Self—Self Government. (2) The power of the Governors was decreased while that of the House of Assembly increased (3) The ole Executive Council was replaced by a Cabinet to advise the Premier. Its members were called Ministers and there would be a minister for such areas as Education, Health and Agriculture. (4) The name Premier was to be used for the leader of the largest majority party in the House. (5) The Legislative Council was replaced by the Senate. This would consist of 15 members chosen by the majority party, the opposition and the Governor. It could only delay laws for 15 months. The second step towards independence came in 1969 with further changes in the constitution. (6) The name of the Premier was changed to Prime Minister. (7) He became more powerful since he could now appoint a majority of members in the Senate. (8) The power of the Governor was further reduced. He dealt only with Foreign Affairs, defense and internal security (mainly police). (9) The islands were to be known as The Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands.

On the 8th of March, 1972, The Bahamas Government laid before the Legislature a Green Paper outlining its proposals for an independent Bahamas.
In 1970 when the USA planned to drop dangerous nerve gas in Bahamian waters, many believed the Bahamas was threatened by this deadly substance. Because The Bahamas was not independent, Britain protested against this on our behalf. However this did not prove as effective as many Bahamians wished, for the US Government still dropped nerve gas near Bahamian waters. Many claimed that had a Bahamian delegation been able to conduct its own negotiations, the USA might have reversed its decision.

The Main Issues of the 1972 General Elections
There were strong arguments for and against independence. Bahamians felt that, as a colony of Britain, they could not shape their own future. They argued that Britain had allowed piracy to flourish, and then, when it suited her, brought it to an end. She had allowed a small white Bahamian minority to keep power, while the majority of black Bahamians had been kept in poverty and ignorance for far too long.
Those who opposed independence did so on the grounds that there was a lack of readiness and that there was need for time to prepare. Fear of Communism played a role in Abaco’s opposition. There were reports that Abaconians threatened to secede in the event of Independence. FNM argued that Bahamians were not ready for Independence while PLP argued that Bahamian progress could only be secured by Independence. To vote PLP in 1972 election in effect meant to vote for Independence and to vote FNM was to vote against it. The PLP won, gaining 29 seats as against 9 for the FNM.
On October 9th, 1972 the White Paper was presented to the House. After a debate in both Houses of the Legislature, a resolution was passed on the 2nd of November without a dissenting vote; expressing the desire of the people of the Bahamas to proceed to Independence in 1973.
There was an Independence conference at Marlborough House on December 12th – 20th, 1973. A new Constitution was the topic of discussion, particular attention was paid to the need to provide constitutional safeguard ensuring the rule of law, protection of rights and freedom of the individual, the independence of the judiciary, the impartiality of the Public Service and the maintenance of the Constitution itself.
Independence was celebrated on July 10th, 1973. The late Sir Milo Butler was the first Bahamian Governor General (Sir, John Paul last royal Governor General). Prince Charles Prince of Wales, represented the Queen at the celebrations which included regattas, floats, religious services and a Junkanoo Parade. At midnight the British Union Jack was lowered in a special ceremony at Clifford Park, and replaced by the new Bahamian flag of gold, black and blue. Thus The Bahamas gained complete independence from Great Britain. This meant that henceforth, we were free to conduct all our own affairs, including defense, internal security and foreign affairs. We could appoint our own Ambassadors to countries abroad and to the United Nations. What Independence Means to The Bahamas? (1) A Bahamian Citizenship which will be a guarded privilege (2) Bahamian Passports (3) Bahamian flag and national Anthem (4) Most important change—New Government will take over full responsibility for foreign affairs, together with defense and internal security, which were previously the ultimate responsibilities of the United Kingdom. Diplomatic Representation—full commission in London, embassy in Washington, Consular office in New York which would keep in touch with the United Nations matters, Consulate in Miami, Consulate in the Caribbean. This also includes membership to a variety of international bodies, on most of which until then it had been represented by the United Kingdom. Bahamas became a member of the United Nation, the primary purpose of which is to secure world peace. (5) National Symbols
Motto of The Bahamas as expressed on the magnificent coat of arms stresses unity and progress—Forward, Upward, Onward together (designed by Mr. Hervis Bain). National anthem, March on Bahama land was composed by the late Timothy Gibson. Our new flag is the result of combination of flag ideas presented during a flag design competition in the Bahamas. The aquamarine band represents the bright Bahamian sea and the sky and the gold is the sun which shines on the islands nearly every day of the year. The black triangle at the right is indicative of the strength of the Bahamian people and the strength of the new Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Our Government
Although the Bahamas was granted to the Lord Proprietors in 1670, no stable government was set up during their administration. Instead the islands became such a resort for pirates that no one could feel safe. King George 1 resumed control over the islands in 1718 and sent Captain Woods Rogers to be the first Royal Governor. Ten years later King George 11 gave authority for a House of Assembly to be elected with 24 members from New Providence, Harbour Island and Eleuthera. The first Assembly which was elected under this grant met in 1729. Our present Assembly is directly descended from that first one, although there have been some changes from time-to-time.
Governor Rogers also had a Council to assist him in carrying out the laws of the colony. In later years this Council was divided into two becoming (a) the Legislative Council and (b) the Executive Council. The Government of The Bahamas has contained elected representatives of the people since 1729 and has been known as Representative Government through the period 1729—1963.
Constitutional Changes
In May 1963 a conference was held in London to discuss a new constitution for The Bahamas. Representatives from the Government, the House of Assembly and the Councils attended from Nassau. In a few weeks, with the help of representatives of the British Government, a new plan was drawn up and published in what is called a “White Paper.” This outlined the form of our new constitution and all new laws passed must conform to this.
How the New Government Works
Many of the powers which used to be exercised by the Governor and his Executive Council were passed to the Cabinet under the new constitution. The Governor was still appointed by the Queen and he still has control of the Colony’s external affairs, internal security and police. This meant that he had to do as the Cabinet said or he had to act in consultation with the Cabinet. This allowed him a little more choice in some matters. The effect of the new constitution had been to greatly reduce the powers and duties of the Governor. It gave him more opportunity to act as an observer in the affairs of the colony.
The Cabinet: The work of carrying on the business of government fell to the Cabinet which had replaced the Executive Council. The most important differences were that the ministers were to be chosen by the Premier and all of them were to be responsible to the House of Assembly where their actions could be questioned.
The 1963 Constitution said that there must be a premier and not less than 8 ministers. The Premier was appointed by the Governor, who chose the man best able to obtain the support of the majority in the House of Assembly; otherwise, the Government would not be able to carry out its work. The Premier chose his ministers and gave them each the responsibility of running a ministry. He had to choose a Minister of Finance and this person had to be a member of the House of Assembly.
The first Premier of The Bahamas was Sir Roland Symonette who took up office in January 1964. All of the new ministers, except one chosen by Sir Roland, were members of the House of Assembly. The work of carrying on Government used to be performed by the boards appointed by the Governor each year. The chairman of each board was an important person and the actions of his board would be questioned in the House of Assembly.
Under the new constitution, ministers and ministries replaced these Chairmen and boards. Each minister was to be assisted by an Advisory Council but he alone would have to answer to the House of Assembly for his ministry’s action. Each minister chosen by the Premier was to be responsible for a certain branch of Government, such as Finance, and Tourism, telecommunications, Public Works, or Family Islands. The actual work of each ministry was to be carried out by a staff of civil servants. Thus, the Ministry of Finance has a large staff which deals with all matters concerning the collection and spending of government money. The minister must produce estimates of revenue and expenditure each year and this is known as his budget.
Another department established at this time was the ministry of works which required a large staff of civil servants to carry out its many duties with regard to roads, public buildings and water and sewage. Three new committees were also set up under the new constitution to regulate appointments to the Civil, Police and Judicial Services. They are called the Public service Commission, the Police Service Commission and the Judicial Service Commission respectively and they have power to recruit and discipline staff in the three branches of the service.
The money which the Government receives to carry out its functions is known as Consolidated Funds. The money comes from various kinds of taxations, direct and indirect. Indirect taxes are those taxes included in the price of goods which are on sale in the shops and on which the tax had been paid in the form of customs duties. Other sources of Government revenue are charges for water, telephones, and the sale of stamps. The government also collects money from the licensing of cars and businesses. Direct taxation which is paid by the individual in proportion to his income is found in The Bahamas only in the form of property tax and probate duties. There is no income tax. The Judiciary

The purpose of the various courts of law may be summed up under two headings. (1) To see that the laws of the land are not broken by punishing those who break them (criminal) (2) to settle disputes between citizens in a peaceful manner (civil). It is very important to all of us that the persons who preside in court should not be under pressure or threat from any person or group. To ensure this, The Chief Justice is appointed by the Governor, but cannot be removed from his post until he reaches retiring age unless something very serious happens which would have to be referred to the Queen and her Privy Council. The Puisne Judges are appointed by the Governor after consultation with the Chief Justice. They hold office on similar terms to those of the Chief Justice to enable them to be free from local pressure.
Family Island Courts

These courts are held to consider disputes and punish small cases of law breaking. In more important matters, the charge is made in the Commissioner’s court. Although most Commissioners have no legal training, they become very experienced in dealing with local disputes. Matters which are settled in these courts save the people concerned the expense of travelling to Nassau or the delay of waiting for a magistrate to visit the Family Island circuit. The Commissioner is assisted by local Justice of the Peace who helps him hear cases and local constables who see that law-breakers or disturbers of the peace come to court.
Magistrate Courts
The Magistrate’s court is very useful to all individuals concerned with legal disputes and offences against the law. Most cases are brought before the magistrate in the first instance. The Magistrate hears the charges and listens to an outline of the evidence. If the case is a serious one it will be entered for hearing in the Supreme Court. Most of the ordinary day-t-day charges can be settled by the magistrate, thus saving much time and expense to all concerned. The magistrates deal with many small criminal offences as well as traffic offences, offences against licensing regulations and many small disputes between individuals. Supreme Court
Cases which cannot be settled in the magistrate Courts are entered for hearing during the Supreme Court Sessions. The same lawyers who appear in the magistrate’s court also take cases before the Supreme Court. The chief difference is that a jury of 12 men and women may be called to ear cases in the Supreme Court and the judge then presides over the Court, instructs the jury on points of law and gives sentence if the jury decides the person is guilty.
The Juvenile Court
The Juvenile Court exists to deal with young offenders who are under the age of 18. The duties of the people who form this court are to inquire into the background of the young people concerned. They then decide on the best way to deal with the offender. Sometimes a boy may be sent to the Boy’s Industrial School or a girl to the Girl’s Industrial School, but only if the child is of the right age and the members of the court think that this is the best way to help.
The Court of Appeal
The 1973 Independence Constitution ensures the continuance of the Courts of Appeals. If a man is not satisfied that his case has been judged properly in the Supreme Court, he will be able to seek leave to appeal to this new court consisting of a President and two Judges. There is a final Court of Appeal and this is the Privy Council in England, but this is difficult and expensive.
Habeas Corpus
This is a very famous act made by the British Parliament which protects us all from unfair imprisonment without trial. If a person is held in custody without trial, his friends or lawyers may apply for a writ of habeas corpus. This writ instructs the person holding the prisoner to bring him to an enquiry before the court. The Court then decides whether the prisoner must stand for trial or must be released.
The Police Force
All our Courts depend on the cooperation of the ordinary citizens and the work of the police. Policemen used to be called “Peace Officers” and their job is to see that the affairs of society go smoothly. However, if anyone seriously breaches the peace,, the police have the duty to arrest such a person and bring him to trial. Since they protect all of us,, the police deserve the assistance of us all. Not only should we keep the peace, but we should be ready to assist if called upon by a police officer and to give evidence if this is required. Policemen play a large part in the conduct of the Magistrates’ Court.

End of Unit
Past Paper Questions (1) Name the first Political Party formed in The Bahamas. (2) State THREE causes of the Burma Road Riot. (3) Explain why the Trade Unions and Political Parties were closely linked in The Bahamas in the mid-twentieth century, (4) Explain the difficulties faces by early Trade Unions. (5) “The trade union movement was strengthened as a result of the 1958 General Strike.” How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (6) What important electoral reform was made in The Bahamas in 1962? (7) Explain what took place on “Black Tuesday” (8) Explain the difference between the Parliamentary “Green Paper” and the Parliamentary “White Paper”. (9) Compare and contrast the role played by Britain in The Bahamas before and after 1964. (10) “The road to political independence for The Bahamas was inevitable” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (11) Who represented Britain at the Independence Celebration at Clifford Park? (12) What were the powers of The Bahamas as a result of becoming an independent country? (13) Explain how the role of the Royal Governor and the Governor General differed. (14) Explain the benefits of The Bahamas remaining a part of the British Commonwealth. (15) “The Bahamas system of independent government depends on the will of the people” Explain the structure of Government. (16) In which year was majority rule achieved in The Bahamas? (17) Identify the THREE branches of government in The Bahamas. (18) Explain the major aims of the Progressive Liberal Party in 1953. (19) How similar was life for the blacks under the UBP and the PLP party governments from 1953 to 1973? (20) “The journey of the Bahamian people from servants to citizens was encouraged by the UBP.” Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer. (21) What was the name of the company that employed the workers involved in The Burma Road Riot? (22) State THREE causes of the General Strike of 1958. (23) Explain the effects of the General Strike on The Bahamas. (24) Compare the changes of The Bahamas constitution in 1969 and 1973. (25) “Without the Progressive Liberal Party, there would have been no Independence for The Bahamas. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (26) In which year did Black Tuesday take place? (27) State THREE changes made to the Constitution in 1964. (28) Explain THREE major events of Black Tuesday in The Bahamas. (29) Compare the reasons For The Progressive Liberal Party winning the Election of 1967 and not 1962. (30) “Constitutional changes in The Bahamas brought many benefits to Bahamian Citizens”. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (31) What is the highest Court of Appeal in the British System of Justice? (32) Explain the link between Commonwealth Nations. (33) List THREE responsibilities of the Chief Justice. (34) Compare the role of Trade Unions before and after 1942 in The Bahamas. (35) “The United Nations with its many arms is truly a world Parliament.” How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (36) In which year did The Bahamas gain Internal Self-Government? (37) State THREE constitutional changes that came into effect during 1964-1965. (38) Explain the social and economic conditions in The Bahamas during 1964-1965 for the black majority. (39) How similar were the Green and the White Papers on Independence? (40) “The Bahamas has developed socially and economically since Independence” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (41) What was the Quiet Revolution I The Bahamas in 1965, Black Tuesday, about? (42) Why did Bahamians want independence from Britain? (43) Explain the difference between the judiciary and the legislative branch of the Bahamian Government. (44) Compare and contrast the Bahamian political system during 1963 with the political system after 1973. (45) “1973 brought about revolutionary changes in the Bahamian political structure.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer fully. End of Unit/ End of Paper 1

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