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Readings in Caribbean History

This page will feature books and articles primarily about the resistance of the peoples of the Caribbean to slavery and oppression between 1493 and 1876.

I will post a new title every month.

Fighting maroons.jpg

After the English invasion of Jamaica in 1655, small bands of renegade slaves began to harass the English settlers and farmers. Among the Blue Mountains and in the Clarendon Hills, these bands grew in number and strength, eventually coming together to form a real threat to the stability of the colony. Their challenge to authority increased until the Assembly was forced to bring in British troops and Cuban chasseurs to combat the guerilla successes of the Maroons. Finally, the authorities prevailed but the Maroons made a lasting impact on Jamaican history and remain the source of many of Jamaica's proudest legends.

Maroons of Dominica.jpg

For over fifty years the Maroons of Dominica resisted being enslaved, choosing instead to live free in the country's mountainous interior. They dared to challenge the very system of slavery and scores paid the ultimate price with their lives. Their sacrifice, however, was not in vain. So dramatic were their exploits, unparalleled bravery and sacrifice, that it stirred the consciences of the British public, including William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, and helped focus attention on slave conditions in the West Indies. Ultimately, the mistreatment and suffering of the Maroons and those enslaved in Dominica, would ignite the debate in Great Britain and prove pivotal in putting an end to the slave trade and the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies. The book succeeds in painting a holistic struggle for freedom from slavery in Dominica, and its impact on the rest of the British West Indies. Carefully woven into the narrative is the influence of the French Revolution, free people of colour, and the fight for Independence in Haiti; on the ultimate success of the Maroon movement.

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