Caribbean Studies

Essay by xavianswerCollege, UndergraduateC+, November 2014

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Caribbean Studies

Mrs. Anderson

"The history of the Caribbean is the history of exploitation of labour." Discuss with reference to Encomienda, Slavery and Indentureship.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, exploitation is defined as being the action or condition of treating someone or a group of people unfairly in order to benefit from their work, also, labour refers to work that is done using bodily strength and effort. In a historical sense, the Caribbean can be defined as being a group of countries sharing the same background of forced labour through the institutions of colonization, indentureship and slavery in some form or another (Robottom and Clayton, 2001). Understanding this, the historical Caribbean would be inclusive of the Bahamas and Guyana as well as some Central American countries. As it speaks to colonization, there were three main Old World colonizers that set out for land to conquer and riches to claim; Spaniards, the British, and the French, each of whom utilized systems of exploitation in order to obtain what they had sought from the so called "New World", which were mainly new lands for the Feudal Lords or Kings and/or Queens of their respective mother countries.

In contemporary Caribbean society, the population is one of the most demographically diverse regions in the world, this is a result of the heavy colonization of the region that was initiated by Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the Caribbean in search of a shorter route to India, thus the reason for calling the region the West Indies, which resulted in more European colonists coming to the Caribbean in search of the riches and produce of the region.

The exploitation of labour has long been the very backbone or foundation on which the diasporic and historical Caribbean has been formed through the...