The confederation riots: a mirror of postemancipation Barbados

COULON, Mégane L. (2018). The confederation riots: a mirror of postemancipation Barbados. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis explores the British and the Barbadian perspectives on the Confederation Riots that occurred in April 1876 in Barbados. It looks at how the conflict emerged and in what context, on the imperial as well as on the local level. Confederation in the British Empire in the nineteenth century is scrutinised to understand the imperial policy beyond the Caribbean, and reports from the Colonial Office and newspapers from the period are used to see how the colony of Barbados was seen from afar. As the British government tried to establish a Crown colony in Barbados by joining the island in a confederation with the Windward Islands, the white Barbadian elite’s response to this scheme is discussed as well as that of the African-Barbadian labourers’. Their different reactions to debates about Confederation led to violence in the form of the riots in April 1876. This thesis thus combines an understanding of the colony from both the oppressed and the persecutors' points of view, which the current historiography on the event has failed to do. It examines how the population was divided over the conflict with approaches to race as well as to class, and it evaluates who was involved in the riots. It analyses these debates in the Barbadian society prior to the riots and looks at what role Governor John Pope Hennessy had as a mediator between the population and the Colonial Office in London. However, the postemancipation society was already split between planters and former slaves, thus this thesis aims to analyse how the conflict was both a postemancipation struggle and a constitutional crisis. For the scholarship on the Confederation Riots does not look at the other islands concerned by the confederation scheme, this thesis also analyses reactions to and impacts of the riots and the confederation in the other colonies of the Windward Islands.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis advisor - Hamilton, Douglas [0000-0003-1754-2386]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr Douglas Hamilton
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2019 11:58
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 15:17

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