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Slavery, emancipation and the creole world view of Jamaican colonists, 1800-1834

Petley, Christer (2005) Slavery, emancipation and the creole world view of Jamaican colonists, 1800-1834 Slavery & Abolition, 26, (1), pp. 93-114. (doi:10.1080/01440390500058913).

Record type: Article


Focussing on the early nineteenth century, this article examines the ways in which white slaveholders in Jamaica developed a distinctive local ideology based on the institution of slavery. Whites were in a minority in Jamaican slave society, slaveholding was widespread amongst white settlers, and all white men experienced privileges in a society organised around racialised boundaries of rule. These factors helped to ensure that Jamaican colonists developed a distinctively local, or creole, world view characterised by the defence of slavery and a culture of white male solidarity. However, local slaveholders maintained close links with Britain and were militarily dependent on the metropole. Metropolitan culture influenced their ideology, and Jamaican slaveholders saw themselves as loyal subjects of the British Crown. They were therefore colonial creoles and, in spite of the rise of abolitionism in the metropole, they maintained that their local practices were reconcilable with their status as transplanted Britons. By the 1830s changed circumstances in Britain and Jamaica forced slaveholders to reach a compromise with the British Government and to accept the abolition of slavery, but in spite of the important changes that this entailed, the main features of their creole world view persisted.

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Published date: April 2005
Organisations: History


Local EPrints ID: 48314
ISSN: 0144-039X
PURE UUID: ab35f7ad-eba2-49f7-9426-0579ea29ffb9

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Date deposited: 11 Sep 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:00

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