This trade system produced enormous profits for the colonial planters, the traders, and the merchants who financed the trade and processed the sugar. But as profits grew, the Caribbean became a region of war as the British, French and Dutch fought with each other for control. The British and French drove the Dutch out first, then the French and British would attack, seize and occupy each others' colonies. Consequently, many countries changed hands several times between French and British colonisers.
Revolution and freedom
As far back as the 17th century, African people resisted the traders and plantation owners. Some Africans, called Maroons, ran away and set up their own communities in the hills of different islands. Although others could not escape, their resistance did not subside over the entire period of slavery in the Caribbean. It climaxed with the uprising in the French colony of St. Domingue, (now Haiti) when half a million Africans led by Toussaint L'Ouverture rose up and established the free republic of Haiti in 1804.
The success of this uprising sent shock waves throughout the Caribbean and gave courage to other enslaved people. There were other revolts throughout the French, Dutch and British colonies. The spread of these uprisings was an indication slavery was coming to an end.
Graphic Courtesy: Language and power
The success of the waitian uprising
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