British colony of Jamaica during the period 1850-1900 Essay Sample

The islands of the British West Indies saw foreign competition from the slave grown sugar of Louisiana and Cuba. However. by the 1860’s. due to a loan from the British authorities. Trinidad. Antigua. Barbados. British Guiana and St. Kitts all survived the equalisation crisis. The sugar industry in Jamaica. on the other manus. continued to deteriorate.

Jamaica’s figures show a sugar industry. which failed to last. Below is cogent evidence of this failure and lessening in sugar production. As the nineteenth century progressed. the production of sugar decreased greatly.

Ø1832 – 71. 000 metric tons

Ø1852 – 25. 000 metric tons

Ø1888 – 13. 000 metric tons

The abolishment of bondage caused a lessening in the manual labour. The monetary value of slaves in the internal market rose. and the lone manner to battle this was to raise the monetary value of sugar. Emancipation merely made the state of affairs worse. There was deadly competition from Indian and East Indian sugar. Before this. West Indian plantation owners were the lone 1s to bask low rates of responsibility on sugar. In Jamaica there was excessively small infinite and excessively many secret plans of used and weary land for sugar to be planted and cultivated successfully. When compared to Jamaica. Cuba had virgin land. it was ten times larger than Jamaica. had a better H2O beginning and power. There was besides a longer period of clip designated to slavery in Cuba. Therefore. the labour force of Cuba lasted until the twelvemonth 1886. 50 old ages after the British West Indies had emancipated their slaves.

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Cuba besides had immigrant labour. machines and so – modern engineering. refined sugar and a better relationship with the universe – broad market. This Spanish settlement had a friendly relationship with the United States of America. To set it in simpler footings. Jamaica merely did non stand a opportunity.

The Windward Islands were non able to happen an alternate signifier of labour such as immigrant or indentured labour after emancipation. There was a growing in the peasantry and Free Village motion in Jamaica every bit good. Because of the Sugar Duties Act of 1846. the plantation owners had failed to mechanise and centralise. They no longer had a British market and a protected one at that.

There was competition from European Beta vulgaris sugar on the British market. More and more of the states dependent upon British cane sugar. turned toward Beta vulgaris sugar as a consequence of its quality and handiness. Therefore. the islands had to happen options in which to suppress all or at least some of their jobs.


In order to seek to at least temporarily relieve some of these jobs. the plantation owners of the British West Indies had to maintain the sugar production traveling by happening new markets. They used these to export their sugar provinces ( 1875 – 1897 ) and Canada ( 1898 – 1912 ) . This was profitable for the plantation owners as these two markets were really developed. affluent states. Of class. this period of profitableness merely lasted for a twosome of old ages.

In 1882. England sent a Royal Commission to the British Caribbean. in order to do an estimation of the jobs and calculate out if sugar production was still feasible or non. They decided that the diminution in sugar production was due to subsidised Beta vulgaris sugar from Europe. Old ages after in 1897. the British authorities sent the Norman Commission to analyze the sugar industry in the British Caribbean. Their findings were precisely like those of the Royal Commission. His suggestion was that sugar should stay the basic harvest in Barbados. Antigua and St. Kitts. He encouraged all other islands to seek for new harvests.

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Besides. British plantation owners tried to mechanise in order to replace the slave labour that was lost with the coming of emancipation. Unfortunately. they lacked the necessary clip and capital to afford this drastic alteration. In the 1860’s. the British authorities gave a loan to a few of their island settlements to relieve the equalisation crisis. This was to help them in increasing their sugar production rate.