Movement Towards Decolinization

Topics: Trade union, The Bahamas, Bahamians Pages: 9 (2893 words) Published: March 4, 2013

“Movement Towards Decolonization .” Before I start the basic part of my coursework introduction I would like to define these words and the meaning of this statement .

Movement - an act of changing location or position .

Towards - moving or coming to a particular direction .

Decolonization - to grant independence to a colony .

With my understanding the statement “Movement Towards Decolonization ” is literally meaning that The Bahamas was making a change in government and the rights for Bahamians in their own society . They know what they needed to accomplish and where they were headed to become not only independent people but an independent nation to better our Bahamian Society from a colony . In this history coursework I’m going to write a detailed account of the Burma Road Riot in Nassau, Bahamas in 1942 . What effects the Burma Road Riot had on the development of political parties and trade unions of The Bahamas . Also act as a member of the Taxi Cab Union during the General Strike of 1958, where I’m speaking about what I’ve experienced . Lastly is to give an explanation of the sources given which I consider to be true and prove that the 1942 riot was responsible for the political changes that took place during the 1950’s and 1960’s .

Question 1

a) Write a detailed account of the Burma Road Riot in Nassau, Bahamas.

The Burma Road Riot occurred in the year of 1942 due to unfair wages . During 1942, with the Americans being at war, the US decided to expand Oakes Field to establish new air bases . The Pleasantville Company was responsible for the construction . As a result of the expansion, three hundred jobs became available to Bahamians and Americans who were hired to work on this project . However the Americans were paid more than the Bahamian workers even though they performed the same work . Discontent arose among the Bahamian workers and resulted in a riot, and Bahamians also thought this was because racial discrimination because the Americans were white . Hundreds of workers left their jobs at the Oakes Field Airport and marched onto Bay Street . On Monday morning June 1st , hundreds of workers, who carried machetes, sticks or clubs marched into town and gathered in the vicinity of the public buildings which rioting and looting took place where five persons died and many were wounded . The rioters were addressed by few officials who urged peaceful demonstrations . In the main time, however other demonstrations were surging up Bay Street from the West, smashing windows and looting shops . Fire was set to a shop on Bay Street, which had threatened the entire district . Police Officers made an attempt to restore order . The Riot Act was read and a curfew was strictly enforced that same day prohibiting anyone who isn’t a member of arm forces or police from being outdoors between 8pm and 6am . On June 8th the curfew was revoked . Another reason for the riot taken place was economic depression . Bahamians were poorly represented in Parliament which at the time highlighted racial discrimination . As a result of the riot, the governor announced that the wage of the unskilled workers would be raised from 4 shillings to 5 shillings a day . In addition there was a free meal provided . Reforms were seen as a necessity in the field of taxation of...
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