Chapter

The Administrator's Fiat: Henry Hesketh Bell and the Establishment of the Carib Reserve (1900–1921)

Peter Hulme

in Remnants of Conquest

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780198112150
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670688 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112150.003.0003
The Administrator's Fiat: Henry Hesketh Bell and the Establishment of the Carib Reserve (1900–1921)

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Events of 1898 made abundantly clear what had already been on the cards for some time for Britain: that it should either take steps to shore up its weaker colonies in the West Indies or risk losing them to the United States or France. When the pro-imperialist Joseph Chamberlain took over the Colonial Office in 1895, Dominica was set to become a test case for the ‘new imperialism’, with Henry Hesketh Bell as Chamberlain's instrument. The effects of all this on the situation of the Caribs would turn out to be surprisingly far-reaching, and Bell himself, as well as wielding considerable influence as the island's Administrator, was also a voluminous writer about the Caribs. However, this period also saw the beginnings of the long process of contact between the Caribs and the majority Dominican population, especially its political class, responsible for slowly forging the nationalist ethos that would inherit the island after independence.

Keywords: Britain; West Indies; Joseph Chamberlain; Dominica; new imperialism; Henry Hesketh Bell; Caribs; colonies; political class; nationalist ethos

Chapter.  22755 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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