Essays in this section:
Overview Essay on Trade and International Relations
The Illegal Slave Trade to Cuba after Emancipation
The Effects of Indentured Servitude on the British West Indies During the Post Emancipation

The essay by this group probes the interactions between the various CaribbeanWestern Coast of Africa islands during the Age of Emancipation, and also those between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. Although the importance of the West Indies as a source of European wealth declined in relative terms during this period, sugar, coffee, and other goods-exported to Europe and to North America-continued to increase in overall value. The Caribbean continued to be a target of European investment. And Europeans continued to bring new laborers to the plantation colonies. Some were enslaved people, illegally imported from Africa after the various international treaties and proclamations banning the international trade finally took full effect in the 1820s. Others were indentured servants-the British planters, in particular, convinced themselves that they could only work with coerced laborers. They pushed the imperial government to import tens of thousands of South Asians, especially to present-day Guyana and Trinidad, where they became a major component of sugar plantation work forces. Chinese laborers came to Cuba, while some indentured Africans came to British colonies as well. The Caribbean, therefore, continued to play a major role in the interactions of the wider world, even beyond the broad Atlantic.