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18th Century Transformations of the Jamaican Plantocracy

Title: 18th Century Transformations of the Jamaican Plantocracy: Edward Long and Bryan Edwards.
Name(s): Bird, Robert Braxton, author
Childs, Matt, professor directing thesis
Anderson, Rodney, committee member
Jones, Maxine D., committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Focusing on the mid- to-late eighteenth century the purpose of this thesis is to examine the ways in which white slaveholders in Jamaica developed a unique West Indian ideology grounded in the institution of slavery and the survival of the white plantocracy. Whites were a minority in Jamaican slave society, slaveholding was widespread amongst white settlers, and all white men experienced privileges in a society organized around racialized boundaries of rule. These factors helped to ensure that Jamaican colonists developed a distinctively local, or Creole, worldview characterized by the defense of slavery and a culture of white male solidarity. However, 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. This thesis centers itself within the debates and the ideological shifts that centered on the moral, political, and economic discussions of British Caribbean slavery during the second half of the 18th century. More specifically, I focus on the historical works of two West Indian contemporaries during the late eighteenth century: Edward Long and Bryan Edwards. Between them, they defined a period of social and cultural transition within the late eighteenth century Jamaican plantocracy. The purpose of this analysis is to explain the competing racial ideologies of the enlightenment that manifested themselves within the writings of Long and Edwards. Their works explain how these racial ideologies combined with and reinforced plantation profitability. Their positions on slavery and colonialism reflected a conflict of philosophy and reality, not only concerning the Jamaican plantocracy, but also the British West Indies as a whole. Most significant, however, is how the changing attitudes and beliefs found within these contemporary texts successfully indicated the impact of social and economic change upon the plantocracy.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3749 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2007.
Date of Defense: July 31, 2007.
Keywords: Bryan Edwards, Slavery, Jamaica, Creole, Plantocracy, Abolition, Edward Long
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Matt Childs, Professor Directing Thesis; Rodney Anderson, Committee Member; Maxine D. Jones, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Bird, R. B. (2007). 18th Century Transformations of the Jamaican Plantocracy: Edward Long and Bryan Edwards. Retrieved from