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View Diary: A legal artifact of slavery (96 comments)

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  •  I completed a two semester course (7+ / 0-)

    at an ivy league university a  while back. The first semester covered American slavery and the second semester covered slavery in Jamaica. I was greatly impressed with the depth of knowledge of the professor concerning the economics regarding institutionalized slavery on the island. Most plantations were owned by English royality who existed as owners in absentia. These plantations were generally run by plantation "managers" who were paid a salary plus a bonus with the bonus based purely on over production. most managers receieved a portion of the profit derived from the amount of over production sustained by the plantation. The English plantation owners recruited their managers generally from Scotland, and preferred these individuals even over native Englishmen. The plantation manager had complete control over all plantation operations and finances even to the purchasing of the African slaves.

    The English made many attempts to capture the local Jamaican island indians and force them into slavery, but they eventually found out that this was a losing strategy. The indians knowing the island better than the English would be freed by lightning bloody raids on plantations by warriors against those who were holding their kinsmen as slaves. However, the most significant problem the English found in using indians as slaves was in the fact that indians were poor producers and many failed to survive the brutal whipping and beatings designed to make them work harder.

    Plantation managers generally considered a maximum 2 year life span for their imported male African slaves, and this was documented in their budgetary planning for plantation operations. African slaves were worked from dawn to dusk, 7 days a week. No medicine was imported for the slave population, and extremely sick slaves were often forced out of bed to resume their work in the fields.

    Most managers built the plantation workforce out of a population of male African slaves. They imported a few female slaves for household tasks and to provide limited nursing duties for sick or injured male workers.

    Jamaican plantations were strictly high pressure production operations simply because two levels of the white social class were expecting to make outstanding profits from each venture. The English noble class owners expected for their respective plantations to finance their lavish lifestyle back home in England. The white plantation manager expected to make eventually make his fortune, accumulated after a few years of hard work on this far away "God forsaken" island. And all of these heavy  financial expectations had to be realized out of the hides of the dramatically shortened lives of the male African slaves.

    •  y'know, otherwise, it'd be instructive to compare (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, WakeUpNeo

      this with the way the big ranches were run between about 1880 and about 1930:

      Most plantations were owned by English royality who existed as owners in absentia. These plantations were generally run by plantation "managers" who were paid a salary plus a bonus with the bonus based purely on over production. most managers receieved a portion of the profit derived from the amount of over production sustained by the plantation. The English plantation owners recruited their managers generally from Scotland, and preferred these individuals even over native Englishmen.
      Lots of outfits had English / Scots / European owners in absentia, who sent or hired managers locally.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 04:32:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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