Master's Theses

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Date of Award

Spring 1973

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Advisor

Leo E. Oliva

Abstract

After living under the dominance of the white planters, the Negroes of Jamaica and other West Indian Islands became dependent on their masters for all that was necessary for the sustenance of life. However, when the atrocities of slavery became unbearable, and the sugar industry was no longer profitable to the masses of the British population, it became necessary to end the system. The conviction of the British government was that there must be a gradual emancipation in order to acquaint the Negroes with the life and responsibilities of free men. An experimental arrangement was introduced to implement the new idea, called the Apprenticeship system. The system was to cover an expanse of ten years but, after four years, it was disbanded as a failure. The first period which was the most important one was a failure. The Apprenticeship Experiment failed in Jamaica because of the Planters contempt for the new system. For the best function of the system it was necessary to have the cooperation of both ex-slaves and ex-masters. There was not enough cooperation among the parties involved to make the experiment work. It is hoped that by considering the apprenticeship in Jamaica in terms of the planters’ attitude towards the apprentices it will explain why the experiment could not be a success. It will be seen that if the masters were not so cruel to their ex-slaves a more acceptable result would come out of the four years of practice citizenship.

Rights

Copyright 1973 Ernel Henry

Comments

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