“the History of the Caribbean Is the History of the Exploitation of Labour” - with Reference to Slavery and the Encomienda Labour System”

Topics: Caribbean, Cuba, Slavery Pages: 3 (1037 words) Published: October 4, 2012
“The history of the Caribbean is the history of the exploitation of labour” - with reference to slavery and the Encomienda labour system”

In the above statement “the history of the Caribbean is the history of the exploitation of labour,” it simply states that the Caribbean’s history is basically the history of its exploitation of labour. The definitions of keywords exploitation and labour must be considered. Exploitation can be defined as the practice of taking selfish or unfair advantage of a person or situation, usually for personal gain, while labour is defined as work done using the effort and strength of the body. With the definitions obtained, it can now be stated that the history of the Caribbean is the history of the various situations in which labours were taken unfair advantage of, for personal gain by their employers. Firstly, the exploitation of labour of the Caribbean with reference to the Encomienda labours system. The Encomienda system was a trusteeship labour system employed by the Spanish Crown. The Spanish Crown utilized the Encomienda system during its conquests and colonization of the Americas as a way to compensate those who conquered native lands, thus a tool for expanding the Spanish Empire. The Spanish Crown was granted control and responsibility of the peoples that they conquered, the native peoples, and were expected to convert them to Catholicism, in hope that they would subject to the Spanish rules. They even thought them their Spanish language, and, often least importantly, protected them from enemy tribes. In return for this protection, the natives were required to pay tribute to the Spanish Empire through labour and valuable goods. It can clearly be seen that the natives were being treated unfairly in this system seen that they were forced to work hard in mines and on the plantations with little or nothing for their payment. This system created a recipe for corruption, abuse and disaster for the native peoples. For example, they...
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