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HIS359 - March 7 - Migration, Radicalism and Reformism.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Melanie Newton

HIS359March 7Kristen Young Migration Radicalism and ReformismThe English speaking Caribbean has a long standing interrelationship that comes out of geography regional migration and efforts of political independenceThinking about the linguistic area of the Caribbean the most fragmented area is the British CaribbeanThe emergence of a range of states happened in the mid20th century o They were all as different and independent statesBetween 19581962 10 of the states were a federation as they prepared for independence but they fell apart in 1962 This federation is part of the relationship Background and Consequences in the 193539These rebellions started in one place and then spread to create a series of upheavalsThe fact that the rebellions happened around the same time suggests a sharing of political space We have to ask if this relationship is present between them why isnt there a shared political federation between themWe have to question the concept of nationstate o How is it that we understand the basic unit of political life This idea wasnt so clear in the British CaribbeanBeginning with Belise all the way to British Guyana there were massive popular uprisings They were based on complex issues They were a critique of the life It was 100 years since slave emancipation but people felt that the British Empire hadnt done anything for them They felt that nothing had changed It was also about the direct poverty that was a result of the Great Depression But the main issue was that the social dynamic hadnt changed since the emancipation Role of MigrationPolitical life of the people in the British Caribbean has been greatly shaped by migration Not only voluntary but also indentureship and slavery Part of the way that people expressed freedom after slavery was having the ability to freely move It was also a way to evade state oppression This means that the exercise of freedom was both by choice and by necessityPeople would put down movable roots They know that they can stay there but they know that it might not be permanent and they will have to be able to move and move quickly o The name for these movable houses was chattel houseMigration is part of popular consciousness Its about how the people in the Caribbean imagine the world There is always a sense in the Caribbean of an elsewhere The fact that at some point if youre from the Caribbean you will emigrate somewhere This forms a fundamental part of Caribbean culture and identityMobility must be celebrated as a creative way that people expressed freedom But dont celebrate it to romanticise it because it is deeply connected to forced migration It was historically a way to survive It is also about basic survival and cant be looked at as a romantic thingImmediately after emancipation the right to move and be mobile was a major issue Between 1834 and 1838 this was a major point of struggle because the exslave owners tried to institute laws to force people to not move They wanted to use the law to limit the freedom of movement and keep people where they were Emigration was limited but later in the 1870s the entire world experienced a mini Depression which caused deceases in the sugar industry This caused widespread unrest Planter governments responded by opening
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