October, 2010

How Britain Underdeveloped the West Indies (with Apologies to Walter Rodney)

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Britain's colonial adventures in the West Indies lasted almost five centuries. "Slavery...and the overarching experience of colonialism," as De Barros, et al (2006, xi) write, "have in many ways defined the...Caribbean." Similarly, as Thompson (1997: 11) described, the Caribbean is "the most thoroughly colonized area in the world." This raises at least two interesting questions: (a) What's the legacy of British colonialism in the West Indies? and (b) How much did Britain benefit from her imperial exploits in the region? In this article, I will attempt to address the first but will largely ignore the second question.

Read the article at SSRN.