Peasants were small- scale farmers who own their land, on which they produce most of their own• The Caribbean during slavery created a food; and they also peasantry. However, before the abolition produce items for of slavery not many Black people were sale peasants. Most peasants were known as poor-whites’.• Some freed black and colored people did own small units of land• The enslaved did have some access to land, but they were not given ownership. Most black people were enslaved and under the law were legally defined as property.• Therefore property could not property.
Most important goal in Black people’s lives were to obtain there own land. Planters saw peasant development as a barrier to plantation security so colonial elites did not encourage its Planation security development. meant the safekeeping of the plantations. It meant making sure that plantations had a steady labour force(something plantations couldn’t do without)
Crown land was land that was not owned by private landholders in the Caribbean but• Planters sometimes sold land to aspiring peasants; was technically the decision to sell, lease or rent was made controlled by the because some planters had huge debts and one British solution to this was to dispose of land. government.• They bought Crown land where available.• They squatted on Crown lands.• They established free villages by working together.• Received help from church/missionary groups e.g. the Baptists.• Individuals bought land from planters by using money saved during the Apprenticeship System.• They rented or leased land from land holders.• They received help through the metayage system. Did you know??• They used land left by planter sponsors. Squatting is defined as the illegal occupation of someone else’s property
The ability of ex-slave people to secure their freedom with theownership of land was limited by several factors: Planters were unwilling or reluctant to sell land The governments refused to survey Crown lands. Prices for rent or sale of land increased, while wages decreased. Restrictive legislation was passed to prevent squatting Laws imposed to limit the number of people who could together buy land Imposed heavy taxes
In 1835, a Baptist missionary, Rev. James Phillippo, bought 10 hectares of land in the mountains He subdivided the land into small lots for sale on easy terms to his congregation. The new community was named Sligoville after the Marquis of Sligo, then governor of Jamaica. Was the only settlement to be started during apprenticeship.
Free villages were communities of free people who• Maroon settlements where the models for the left the villages in Jamaica, which were usually sited plantations to live away from estates. on other land.• Free villages were not always isolated. Frequently they were on the fringes of the plantations, so that work was available for the villagers if they wanted it• Some were completely self-sufficient communities, located in the interior of Jamaica, where the desire to move as far from the estates as possible was strong.• The free village movement in Jamaica was successful in establishing an independent yeoman class.
In Jamaica, many free villages were financed and directed by the Baptist Mission. They acted as a financial mediator or neutral party between the planter-class and the newly freed people. Where planters did not wish to sell land to black people, the white missionaries bought the land and then subdivided and sold it to them. By 1842 they had established over 8000 freed black people in villages. A supporter in England lent William Knibb £1000 to buy 200 hectares in St. Ann to build Sturge Town. Inhabitants soon grew to 3000 inhabitants. Helped and managed the construction of infrastructure and the development of provision grounds. Above all, in getting land titles They did NOT intend for the newly freed to be completely independent. They supported the continuation of the large plantations and the society which resulted. Land they made available was just enough for them to subsist on and to use to bargain higher wages on the estates.
The ex-slaves established their freedom was for them to move unto peasant property and to show planters that they were dissatisfied with insecure jobs on the farms and plantation. Slaves became independent and did not need to rely on plantations.