Article

The Caribbean

Gad Heuman

in Atlantic History

ISBN: 9780199730414
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0098
The Caribbean

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  • History of the Americas
  • European History
  • African History
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  • Regional and National History

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The Caribbean includes the arc of islands in the Caribbean Sea but also the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana) on the mainland of South America and Belize in Central America. The region has been dominated by outsiders. Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, and he and his successors effectively destroyed the Amerindian population. In addition to the Spanish, there have been English, French, Dutch, and American colonies in the region. For the colonizers, sugar and slavery were crucial to the Caribbean. Outside of Brazil, the Caribbean imported more African slaves than anywhere else in the Americas. This has had lasting effects, as the culture of the Caribbean has been largely dominated by the presence of Africans and their descendants. This helps to explain the large number of revolts against slavery in the Caribbean, including the one successful slave revolt in the Americas, in Haiti. Slave resistance was also significant in the abolition of slavery. In the aftermath of emancipation, the Caribbean witnessed the introduction of new people into the society, largely dominated by indentured laborers from India. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ideas of race consciousness were prominent in the region. However, the major developments in the region in the last century were the coming of independence for many of the former colonies and the Cuban Revolution. For a relatively small region, the Caribbean’s historical impact has therefore been immense.

Article.  6196 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; European History ; African History ; History ; Regional and National History

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