Diversification in this case (agricultural diversification) involves the realocation of a, or some of a farms resources, to a new product or products. The prime resource of that time being sugar and the new products being the wide variety of crops that were produced and re-introduced by peasants. Peasants are a class of people of a lower status, who depends on agricultural labour for subsistence. The peasant life could be placed and termed in different categories. According to Mintz 1961," a peasant style of life was worked out by the people while they were still enslaved, these people were refered to as proto-peasants." he also makes mension of runaway pesantries or marrons, whome he described as, "those who formed communities outside colonial authority, build on subsistance farming in mountainous or interior forest regions". This research will higlight how the peasants produced a wide variety of crops and the reintroduction of old ones. The purpose of this research is to show that the diversification of the caribbean economy was beecause of peasant initiative. had it not been for their efforts, the old sugar monopoly would have prevailed in the post emacipation period sustaining a system of bankruptcy and decay.
Woodville K Marshall wrote, "our pesantry starts in 1838 an comprises of ex-slaves who started small farms on the peripheries of plantation wherever they could find land - on abandon plantations and in the mountainous unknowns of various teritories." the first aim of the ex-slaves was to move away from the forced and unpaid labour. Many others preffered to stay in their own homes amongs friends and relatives with expectations of earning enough cash to purchase certain commodoties that they were unable to gain as slaves. The feeling of complete freedom, of the plantation was only recodnise by free people if they could aquire there own lands. the simplest methods of getting propperty was to buy unoccupied land, either from land belonging to...
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