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Emancipated - but not free Emancipation Day — Friday, 1 August — was celebrated throughout the British Caribbean at chapels, churches and government-sanctioned festivals, some of which were held under the watchful eyes of hundreds of extra troops. The previously enslaved populations also awoke to a fresh set of concerns.

The Emancipated Society State Authority and Individual Freedom

A new raft of law-and-order measures had been introduced. Under the new 'apprenticeships', newly 'freed' people were still expected to remain on the plantations and put in hour days. Absenteeism would result in imprisonment in one of the many new jails equipped with treadmills that were being built to contain recalcitrant workers. Additional tiers of 'special officers' and stipendiary magistrates were created to police the changes.

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The apprenticeship scheme would come to an end only in , after the Anti-Slavery Society, following an inspection tour of the West Indian colonies in , had produced another barrage of pamphlets and petitions. Economic decline The effects of emancipation in the British West Indies varied from island to island, but the plantation economy declined overall.

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In Trinidad and British Guyana over the next 30 years, the newly freed slaves initiated a series of large-scale strikes. As a result, local planters and government officials imported 96, indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent. The most positive result of emancipation was the growth of a class of independent Black traders and craftspeople.

By , there were 2, individuals in this class in Antigua, 6, in British Guyana, 12, in Barbados and 17, in Jamaica. Policing slavery In the wake of emancipation, the British government sought to present itself as a roving anti-slavery watchdog. But the ongoing mission to suppress slavery on a global scale also permitted them to monitor the naval ambitions of other European powers.

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The policing of slavery on the west coast of Africa coincided with a heightening of European interest in the African interior. The Baptist Rebellion led by Sam Sharpe in Jamaica during the winter of finally brought matters to a head.

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It took two weeks for the British to regain control, and property worth over a million pounds was destroyed. Fearful that Jamaica would be lost the same way that Haiti had been, an Act was passed in abolishing slavery in the British colonies. The enslaved received nothing. Further, they would become apprentices for a period of years after which time they would become free. However, apprenticeship was simply slavery under another name.

Heavily criticised by the anti-slavery movement, Joseph Sturge, an abolitionist from Birmingham, travelled to the Caribbean to investigate this system, proving that the African Caribbeans were still enslaved. Parliament was eventually pressured to end apprenticeship on 1st August Narratives from the Collection Top of Page.

Emancipation Park

Key point is that enslaved Africans were called as witnesses in these trials: "Katta sworn. The town of Wilberforce is high up in the mountains to the west of Freetown Need help? How do I find a book? Can I borrow this item?

Recovered Histories - Abolition and emancipation

Can I get a copy? Can I view this online? Ask a librarian. With an introd. Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive.

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