The Caribbean society emerged from destructiveness, cruelty, physical attack, and ravishment on the Amerindian people. The history of colonialism is characterised by vicious destruction, near obliteration of the aboriginals, deliberate division of the Caribbean people from their cultures and ancestral lands, and the introduction of foreign cultures and languages. Colonisation led to the disintegration of the Caribbean psyche (Ebenhard, 2008).
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Today, West Indies comprises of societies that have no inner veneration. In spite of alienation from the ancestral lands and introduction of foreign means of interpreting veracity, Caribbean people still fight to achieve their identity. After grabbing the ancestral lands from the Caribbean people, the Amazonians went on to influence the Caribbean people’s way of thinking by introducing civilisation.
The colonisers came up with schools, which brought the introduction of English in the region, eventually leading to the Caribbean people losing their identity (Ebenhard, 2008). This paper will focus on the impacts that colonisation by Amazonian people had on the Caribbean people. These impacts include cultural influence, emphasis on exports, introduction of the ‘monocropping’ culture, overdependence on colonial masters, education, and slave resistance.
Emphasis on exports
History acts as the major determinant of the existing influence encountered by some states. All the Caribbean states encountered significant colonisation by the Amazonians. In spite of the Caribbean states gaining independence, they are still far from living up to this independence. The impacts of colonialism still tarnish the image of these states (Briguglio, 1995). The states still depend on their colonisers, and thus they are subject to exploitation by their former masters.
Colony establishment came with an aim of helping the mother countries grow economically. Hence, the Amazonians tremendously benefited from colonising the Caribbean states. Traditionally, the Caribbean people made no effort to manufacture products for local consumption. Instead, the people concentrated on coming up with products for export. Hence, they imported all that they required for local consumption and exported all that they produced (Briguglio, 1995).
Even after independence, the Caribbean states still work for their colonisers. The states supply Amazonians with their precious tropical goods without significantly benefiting from the trade. For instance, Trinidad exports its oil to its former colonisers, while Jamaica exports coffee, sugar, and bananas (Briguglio, 1995). Amazonians use the imported raw materials from the Caribbean states to grow their industries, and in return, export their finished goods back to the Caribbean states.
Colonialism accustomed the Caribbean people to putting more value on imported products. Consequently, they heavily rely on exporting their agricultural products rather than manufacturing them locally. In return, their economies suffer since they do not reap from the extra money gained upon exporting manufactured products.
Sadly, Caribbean states continue importing more than they export. Consequently, the states suffer from an imbalance of trade. The states still suffer from neo-colonialism where by they import most of their products from their former colonisers.
Overdependence on colonial masters
Apart from the emphasis on export over import, colonisation led to the Caribbean people depending on their colonisers for almost everything. Since colonisation, most of the Caribbean countries depend on the Amazonians for financial assistance.
The trend is still prevalent as most of the Caribbean states thrive on financial assistance from developed countries (Young, 2005). The culture of depending on former colonisers for financial assistance is subjecting the Caribbean states to exploitation. Amazonians still employ neo-colonialism tactics to exploit the Caribbean states.
For instance, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank allege to assist the Caribbean states but at a cost. For the Caribbean states to gain financial support from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), they are required to relinquish their political and economic influence to these institutions.
Besides, the World Bank and the IMF charge the Caribbean states high interest rates and at the same time intensify the states’ general dependency (Young, 2005). The terms of financial aid are not in line with the situation in most of the Caribbean countries. Hence, the Amazonian states offer financial aid to the Caribbean states with an aim of enriching themselves.
The ‘monocropping’ culture
As aforementioned, colonialism led to most of the Caribbean states producing goods for export only. Hence, most of the states focused on a single product, which they felt they were proficient at producing. It eventually led to the emergence of the ‘monocropping’ culture in the region. Currently, most of the economies significantly depend on this culture. Today, the countries in the region concentrate on banana, coffee, or sugar production (JanMohamed, 2003).
They export these products and import almost everything they require for local consumption. The economies of the Caribbean states are driven by former colonisers, who act as the main source of market for products produced in the Caribbean region. Caribbean countries are ever in the dilemma whenever the prices of their products go down in the global market.
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Colonialism made it hard for these countries to look for alternative agricultural activities, which would help in sustaining the national economy. The Caribbean people developed the idea that imported products are superior, and this notion made it hard for them to manufacture their products locally, a move that would have helped the countries diversify their global markets (JanMohamed, 2003).
The colonial masters established numerous plantations in the Caribbean states, which acted as sources of raw materials to industries in their home countries. To ensure that the plantations remained productive, the colonisers forced the Caribbean people to work as slaves in the plantations. The Caribbean slaves resented slavery because of miseries in the plantations (Bogues, 2002).
The resistance saw most of the Caribbean people escape from the plantations and to ensure that they did not go back to the plantations, they had to relocate to areas that were not occupied by the Amazonians. Most of the slaves that escaped from the plantations settled along the mountains or deep inside the forest to ensure that the colonisers did not get them. Most of the indigenous communities like the Maroon were phased out during the colonial period.
As people escaped from slavery, they ended up intermingling with other communities while some lost their lives. There were outbursts of violent resistance in many of the larger Caribbean islands. Besides, colonisers identified numerous plots aimed at causing resistance and aborted them before they actually happened. Countries like Cuba and Jamaica reported numerous cases of violent resistance (Bogues, 2002).
Most of the Caribbean people lost their lives during the revolt since the colonialists used all means to end the violence. Apart from slave resistance, there was immense violence amongst the Caribbean people. Colonists had established slave societies characterised by castes. Each caste was made up of people that shared common race, status, and occupation. After the abolishment of slavery, there emerged another intricate social class. These classes led to increased tension in the Caribbean states.
Colonialism led to the emergence of a novel paltry materialistic class during the nineteenth century (Ferbel, 2000). The class comprised of merchants, professionals, and individuals from the managerial sector. The class retained most of the political influence in the Caribbean states.
However, they allowed for increased political and social democratisation in their countries. The democratisation came because of increased economic diversification, increase in the number of organised religions, improvement in the education sector, and the emergence of labour unions.
Colonists introduced education in most of the Caribbean states. In return, the education helped in improving the social status of the Caribbean people. From mid nineteenth century, the colonialists worked on enhancing public education. Most of the Caribbean people learnt some basics of the English language (Chaney, 2012).
This facilitated in promoting trade between the various Caribbean states. In spite of development in education, the colonists ensured that the education standards were in line with the needs of their mother countries.
They aimed at ensuring that they had adequate people to sustain the growth of the plantation economy, which acted as the major source of raw materials for industries in their mother countries. Since then, most of the Caribbean states have not improved on their education system. The existing education system in most of the Caribbean countries does not promote innovation and entrepreneurship, which makes it hard for the respective states to witness significant economic growth (Chaney, 2012).
The Amazonians ensured that they introduced their cultural practices in the Caribbean states in a bid to impose their rules effectively. It would have been difficult to influence people that believe in different cultural norms. Hence, the Amazonians had to see that indigenous people in the Caribbean states adopted the Amazonian culture (Ferbel, 2000).
Firstly, the Amazonians introduced their language to the people making them abandon their pervious languages. Normally, sharing a common language allows people to become part of a particular group. Eventually, this aspect leads to such individuals adopting mutual values, norms, outlooks, and beliefs.
With a common language, the Amazonians were assured that the Caribbean people would communicate effectively and relate with people from different states. By establishing education and coming up with religious institutions, the Amazonians accustomed the Caribbean people to a manner that they unknowingly accepted to adopt the Amazonian culture thus gaining control over the Caribbean people (Meeks & Lindahl, 2001).
The Amazonians, in the disguise of ‘civilisation’, embarked on conquering the Caribbean states by controlling both the minds and souls of the Caribbean people. They convinced the Caribbean people that the Amazonian culture represented order, acquaintance, and ultimate good and the Caribbean culture was the main source of chaos, viciousness, and ultimate evil.
The portrayal of the Amazonian culture as superior and productive compelled the Caribbean people to adopt it willingly (Newstead, 2005). Consequently, with the Caribbean people practicing the Amazonian culture, it was easy for the Amazonians to introduce them to varied economic practices with limited resistance.
The incursion by the Amazonians resulted in disintegration of the former Amerindian customs in West Indies. The colonisers introduced their language to the aboriginals, which later became the sole language of communication in the region (Shura, 2000). The Amazonians had a single mission, which was to lure the Caribbean people to embrace the Amazonian culture thus rendering them voiceless when the colonisers embarked on imposing their imperialistic culture.
The Caribbean people were alienated from their immediate surroundings, which caused them suffering from internal anguish and tumult. The colonists introduced education and language that exposed the Caribbean people to pictures they were not acquainted and they could not identify with (Stevens-Arroyo, 2009). Rather than civilising the Caribbean people, the Amazonians eroded the natives’ sense of self and entrapped them in ‘objectification’, making them appear like commodities.
The Caribbean people perceived themselves as parasites and felt agitated to work towards achieving the status assumed by the white people. Hence, the Caribbean people ended up abandoning their culture in a bid to regain their sense of self. The Amazonian culture dominated the region making it possible for the Amazonians to influence all that the Caribbean people did.
In spite of the numerous economic threats facing the Caribbean states due to colonisation, it is imperative to note that the Caribbean states have also benefited economically from colonisation. Colonisation by the Amazonians led to the states sharing some common cultural practices. In the end, these states have come up with a common market dubbed CARICOM (JanMohamed, 2003).
Through the common market, different states promote economic growth without depending entirely on their colonial masters. Besides, through collaboration, Caribbean states have managed to establish tourism in the region thus earning foreign exchange. Even though the states continue relying on their former colonists for financial assistance, by their inventiveness they have managed to lure the colonists to continue funding them (JanMohamed, 2003).
Moreover, Caribbean states have enjoyed some benefits from their relationship with their former colonists. For instance, the colonial masters take the blame for the current economic situation in the Caribbean states. Hence, the colonial masters are charged with offering technical support to these countries as a way of helping them improve their economic status (JanMohamed, 2003).
Besides, Caribbean countries are given preferential treatment during trade agreements with their former colonisers. Some of the former colonists have established companies in some Caribbean states. The companies offer employment to the Caribbean people and are a source of revenue to the Caribbean states through tax.
The Caribbean colonisation by the Amazonian people had numerous impacts. The Caribbean countries produced most of their products for export and depended on imports for local use. In addition, colonisation led to the Caribbean states depending on Amazonians for financial assistance.
Slave resistance led to violence that saw most of the Caribbean people move to mountains and forests to escape the wrath of their colonial masters. Amazonians introduced education in the Caribbean states to ensure that they benefited economically from the colonisation.
They aligned the education with the economic needs of their mother countries. It was hard for the Amazonians to have full control of the Caribbean people without influencing them culturally. In spite of the numerous economic and social threats posed by colonisation, the Caribbean people benefited from colonisation. Moreover, the Amazonians are responsible for offering technical assistance to Caribbean states as a way of assisting the states improve their economic status.
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