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The evolution of society in Tobago: 1838 to 1900.

Craig-James, Susan Elizabeth (1995) The evolution of society in Tobago: 1838 to 1900. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the social structure of the Caribbean island of Tobago between 1838, the year of the Emancipation of the slaves, and 1900, the year after Tobago was united to Trinidad to form the Colony of Trinidad and Tobago. One chapter gives the background to this period, by analysing the major social groupings, cleavages and conflicts of the slavery era, particularly of the years just prior to the Emancipation. The study has two main objectives. Firstly, it describes and analyses the changing class/colour configuration of Tobago, and the way in which gender was constitutive of the structuring of access to land, occupations and social mobility. This is done both on the period before the collapse of the sugar economy in the 1880s and on the restructuring of the society after 1884. Secondly, this case study in historical sociology is placed within the framework of the theoretical literature on the sociology of development. It seeks to explain the acute economic crisis which Tobago underwent in the 1880s, which led to the collapse of both its sugar economy and its viability as a separate government. Within the matrix of Tobago's dependence in the global capitalist system, the study shows the critical explanatory factors to be the source and deployment of capital, the social structure of the island, and the outcomes of intra- and inter-class struggles. The analysis is multi-faceted, using a variety of sources to understand the demographic, political, economic and social dimensions of societal structure and change. Since metayage (sharecropping) was the dominant relationship of production after 1848, theories on metayage are examined and related to the Tobago evidence. The Caribbean debate on the 'flight from the estates' after Emancipation is also considered, and new, fruitful lines of analysis are explored. Directions for future research, particularly on Grenada, are given.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, Modern, Caribbean Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1362

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