preview

Dehumanization of Enslaved Africans in Jamaica

Good Essays
The importation of slaves from Africa to Jamaica was the largest and most complex international business of the eighteenth century. This controversial exchange of enslaved persons provided economic stability within the Americas. Upon their arrival to Jamaica, the process of dehumanization initiated. Supporters of slavery proposed the institution served a two-fold purpose: one, in order to achieve complete dominance the institution a legacy of subjugation and legislation hampered rights to any slaves. Slaves were merely property of their Masters hegemonic influence. Yet, by defacto, records suggest that the slave-master relationship fostered some rights in which the master was constrained to respect. There was an incessant struggle between the slaves and the lack of public rights. In the start of the eighteenth century, Jamaica was abounded with sugar plantations. 40,000 slaves dwarfed in numbers the seven thousand British inhabitants of Jamaica (Higman p 35). The sugar production became more abundant from the start of the eighteenth century to the end of the century. Seventy sugar plantations grew to 680 from 1672 to 1780. The amount of British Jamaican inhabitants tripled to 21,000 and the amount of slaves reached heights of up to 600,000 in the eighteenth century (Brathwaite, p121). An annual amount of 10,000 slaves imported into Jamaica kept the sugar production stable (Nytimes.com). Sugar was the main igniter for the Jamaican culture and the way of life. For hundreds of years sugar was considered the most valuable crop to Jamaica. Britain made a fortune off the backs of slaves in Jamaica during their reign. Jamaica leads the world as the number one sugar producer of the time. The production of sugar was interlocked with...

... middle of paper ...

...ids, killing white British military stationed on the island, and rescuing of slaves (Hughes p 133).
In conclusion, the dehumanization of the plantation slaves in Jamaica took many forms including punishment, mutilation, rape and death. Some planters and white overseers were sadists, but did not want to errantly damage their investments. African slaves who endeared the harsh joinery through the middle passage faced discrimination and physical torture at the hands of British plantation owners. The Lamacian plantation owners saw the African slaves not as women and men but beasts, beasts to be flogged, humiliated, tortured and emotionally and physically abused. The African slaves were chattel in the eyes of the British lords and the stigma of participating in these unjust and immoral acts will forever tarnish Britain’s name in the eyes of the international community.
Get Access