“To what extent can it be argued that genocide and revolution are central themes in Caribbean History?”
There is no doubt that both genocide and revolution have been part of Caribbean History. They have indeed help to shape the Caribbean as we know it; a diversified and rich cultural hub. Genocide has to do with the wiping out of an entire race of people while revolution deals with a complete and drastic change. Upon studying history or more specifically Caribbean history we would note that both elements were present in its makeup. This is a fact. We must now then go on to examine how central a part both genocide and revolution played. Caribbean history as we know it began with the migration of the aboriginals/ pre-ceramic peoples from Mongolia Asia through Siberia over the Bering Strait and down into North, Central and South America and later the Caribbean. These peoples consisted of the Tainos, Kalinagos, Ciboneys and others. The next major historical contact was that of the Europeans who came to the Caribbean region in their quest for God, Gold and Glory. Upon contact these Europeans (the Spanish), enslaved the Amerindians in their search for gold and other minerals. Coupled with the many diseases which were brought from Europe the intensity of the labour led to a complete decimation of these aboriginal peoples. Which had prior to Columbus’ invasion been nearly 8 million. By the time Columbus departed the indigenous population had dwindled down to around 100,000. His policies, however, remained, with the result that by 1514 the Spanish census of the island showed barely 22,000 Indians remaining alive. In 1542, only two hundred were recorded. Thereafter, they were considered extinct, as were Indians throughout the Caribbean Basin. (Churchill 1994)
It is important that as a Caribbean we note this massacre in our history, for it was as a result of this population decrease that Europe had to now turn to West Africa to provide a labour force at...
Bibliography: 1) Beckles, M.H., & Shepherd, V. (2000) Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic World. Jamaica, Ian Rhandle Publishers Limited.
2) Churchill, W. (1994) Columbus’ Legacy of Genocide: Indians are Us. (pp 1-16). Common Courage Press.
3) Jamaica Observer Website. (2011). Revolutions. Retrieved. September 27,2013, from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-fading-allure-of-revolution-in-the-Caribbean_8977421#ixzz2gJNaOWmv.
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