Factors responsible for peasant agriculture in the caribbean

Length: 4 Pages 1118 Words

Definition of terms Peasant: any member of a class of persons who till the soil as small landowners or as agricultural laborers. The term peasant originally referred to small-scale agriculturalists in Europe in historic times, but many other societies, both past and present, have had a peasant class. Agriculture: A word of Latin origin that was derived from two Latin words Ager meaning field and Cutura meaning field cultivation. Thus field cultivation. Caribbean: Introduction West Indian Peasantry is said to have originated from the early forms of the plantation system during the European Caribbean Colonization era in which Slavery, Indentureship and occurred. The plantation system was well established during the latter part of the 17th century and reached its maximum development in the 18th century to be replaced by modern day plantation systems. However due to the abolition of slavery and the migration of slaves eventually a wide variety of small scale tenure arrangements ranging from illegal squatting on crown lands to genuine free holds were established. More ever West Indian peasantry began at the period of emancipation in 1838 and comprises of the ex-slaves who started small farms on the peripheries of plant Continue...


The planter possed an attitude of antagonism and hostility towards peasant development. A second factor primarily responsible for the development of the Caribbean peasantry was the attitude of the planters towards the the ex-slaves and the indentured immigrants. They now had the power to explore the other options available to them , and since they were not skilled in working on plantations, peasantry seemed to be the most available option to them. The plantocracy in an effort to circumscribe the exclaves and prevent them from establishing a peasant, thus imported cheap labour and created a semi-slave system. Even though, the planter had an antagonistic attitude and the implemented several plan to circumscribe the exodus of slaves from the plantation and the development of a peadsantry. Not all the ex-slaves opted to leave the estate after emancipation. With the development of a free labour free played a key role in the development of peasantry, since the ex-labourers were now free to flee from plantations without the plantocracy's approval. They also had legislated laws to overtake tax and sabotage the peasantry to undermine their inability. The attitude of ex-slaves and indentured immigrants 4. Thus due to these pressures, indentureship came to an end in 1917 and for the first time since the 1800's labour was became completely free in the entire Caribbean. The climatic conditions present few difficulties as to the range of crops that can be cultivated in the Caribbean With the termination of Apprenticeship it was believed that the Caribbean received its second emancipation and the indentureship systems and the indentureship system was introduced . Their plans failed to accomplish the desired result. They presented the basic facts to plantation economy and had a negative attitude towards enslavement, mass production, mono crop dependence and metropolitan control.