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Jamaica’s Plantocracy –Part IV

This is the last in my series of essays about Jamaica’s plantocracy. This episode covers some of the customs and practices that perpetuated the system that supported it and some of its worst excesses.Whites were always a minority in Jamaica, but White settlers, and especially White planters, ruled a society organized around slave labour. This ensured Jamaican colonists would develop a distinctively Creole worldview characterized by the defence of slavery and a culture of White solidarity. Jamaican planters, far beyond all other West India planters, were persistently hostile in their attitude towards the emerging anti-slavery movement, their misrepresentations and selfishness on full display. Violence, brutality and sexual assaults were at the very heart of Jamaican slavery. Whites saw the instilling of terror as the surest way to maintain their dominance over the enslaved majority. When it came to the treatment of slaves, planters could act in any way that pleased them an…

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