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Louis James

At a Conference of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) held at the University of Kent in 1969, C. L. R. James spoke with typical energy of his experience of growing up in Trinidad. I didn’t get literature from the mango-tree, or bathing on the shore and getting the sun of the colonial countries

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
Georgina Sinclair

In his capacity as a roaming police advisor, Arthur Mavrogordato inspected the St Lucia Police in 1948. An experienced colonial policeman, Mavrogordato had headed up the Palestine Police from 1923 until 1931. He was no stranger to the police forces of the Caribbean. He had paid an earlier visit to St Lucia in 1937 as an official police advisor in a mould similar to Dowbiggin’s. At that

in At the end of the line
Sabine Clarke

approach to development with some long-standing laissez-faire principles. Two wider political issues made Colonial Office attempts to persuade the Caribbean colonies to follow its preferred routes to industrialisation difficult, however. The increasing political autonomy of governments in the Caribbean region meant that Britain could not merely instruct its West Indian possessions to follow its edicts. In addition, it became clear that in the post-war world, the US hoped to shape development across the Caribbean along lines that it found conducive to its own interests

in Science at the end of empire
Douglas J. Hamilton

The expansion of Scottish involvement in politics in the Caribbean mirrored the Scots’ increasingly prominent position in the imperial polity in London. Significantly, as the number of Scots acquiring political influence with the national government increased, so too did the opportunities for political advancement in the islands. Moreover, as well as providing access to

in Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic world 1750–1820
Daniel Owen Spence

Part I The Caribbean

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67

This book is wholly devoted to assessing the array of links between Scotland and the Caribbean in the later eighteenth century. It uses a wide range of archival sources to paint a detailed picture of the lives of thousands of Scots who sought fortunes and opportunities, as Burns wrote, ‘across th' Atlantic roar’. The book outlines the range of their occupations as planters, merchants, slave owners, doctors, overseers and politicians, and shows how Caribbean connections affected Scottish society during the period of ‘improvement’. The book highlights the Scots' reinvention of the system of clanship to structure their social relations in the empire and finds that involvement in the Caribbean also bound Scots and English together in a shared Atlantic imperial enterprise and played a key role in the emergence of the British nation and the Atlantic world.

Barbados, 1937–66

This book examines the processes of nation building in the British West Indies. It argues that nation building was a complex and messy affair, involving women and men in a range of social and cultural activities, in a variety of migratory settings, within a unique geo-political context. Taking as a case study Barbados, which, in the 1930s, was the most economically impoverished, racially divided, socially disadvantaged and politically conservative of the British West Indian colonies, the book tells the messy, multiple stories of how a colony progressed to a nation. It tells all sides of the independence story.

Howard Johnson

The transition from slavery to freedom in the British Caribbean raised, for the colonial economic and political elite, the question of exercising control over the free labour force. The challenge of emancipation for the former slaveholding class was to retain dominance over the ex-slaves without the extensive coercive powers which slavery had allowed

in Policing the empire
Experts and the development of the British Caribbean, 1940–62
Author: Sabine Clarke

This book produces a major rethinking of the history of development after 1940 through an exploration of Britain’s ambitions for industrialisation in its Caribbean colonies. Industrial development is a neglected topic in histories of the British Colonial Empire, and we know very little of plans for Britain’s Caribbean colonies in general in the late colonial period, despite the role played by riots in the region in prompting an increase in development spending. This account shows the importance of knowledge and expertise in the promotion of a model of Caribbean development that is best described as liberal rather than state-centred and authoritarian. It explores how the post-war period saw an attempt by the Colonial Office to revive Caribbean economies by transforming cane sugar from a low-value foodstuff into a lucrative starting compound for making fuels, plastics and medical products. In addition, it shows that as Caribbean territories moved towards independence and America sought to shape the future of the region, scientific and economic advice became a key strategy for the maintenance of British control of the West Indian colonies. Britain needed to counter attempts by American-backed experts to promote a very different approach to industrial development after 1945 informed by the priorities of US foreign policy.

Editor: Bill Schwarz

Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.