History of Trinidad and Tobago

Topics: Slavery, British Empire, Africa Pages: 7 (1810 words) Published: June 27, 2013
Spain, Britain and France always fought over colonies. These countries were always at war because they wanted to expand their empire, this ultimately resulted in them gaining more power. The British conquered Trinidad and took over the island by the year 1979. The British had control of T&T for 165 years. The country eventually gained independence in 1962. When T&T became independent we were no longer under British control. However, we became part of the commonwealth; these are countries that were once under British rule. Later on Tobago became a part of Trinidad. The island of Tobago was fought over between the French and British.

When the British took over the island of Trinidad, sugar became a very important part of the economy. The Spanish and French planters who lived on the island beautified from the British being here. The British began importing slaves from the continent of Africa to work on the plantations. Within a very short period of time, they were eventually able to acquire steam mills and other heavy-duty equipment required to increase the production of sugar. Unfortunately for the planters, the slave trade was abolished in England in 1806 and this had serious implications and effects on the production of sugar. Many British ships came to Trinidad to transport sugar to Europe. It became very popular in Europe as it was used in cakes, tea etc.

1799| 8.4m|
1802| 14.2m|
1809| 25.95m|
1833| 37.7m|

Under British Rule the laws of the island did not change. The British kept most of the old laws that existed. The Spanish and French planters were afraid of the changes the British would have made. The Spanish were allowed to keep the Cabildo. The major change that took place was that the island had a new governor called Sir Thomas Picton.

1. What does ‘mulatto’ mean?
2. Why was the slave trade abolished?
3. What does the word abolished mean?

The British did not want to upset the Spanish and French planters who were used to the Spanish laws that existed for a long time. Only a few minor changes were made. Major changes only came when slavery was abolished in 1808. The new British settlers wanted Trinidad to have an Assembly. This is quite similar to what we call Parliament with elected members. The only difference between the Assembly and a modern-day Parliament was that only the white planters were allowed to vote. If Trinidad had an Assembly, the rich whites were able to make laws to suit them, but the slaves and free-coloureds would not have had any rights on the island. But the British were careful not to give Trinidad an Assembly. They had no confidence in the British planters on the island running their own Assembly. The British Parliament did not trust the whites on the island. They wanted to wait until the free-coloureds got there freedom from the white planters. When the free-coloureds had rights, the British gave Trinidad the Crown Colony system of government.

1. What was the Crown Colony system of government?

The free-coloureds on the island eventually had rights just as the whites, however the rich white planters felt threatened by them. When Crown Colony government came into effect, the white planters were unable to function as they wanted to. The free-coloured group comprised of the mulattoes and a few free African slaves. The Assembly system was basically abolished after a short period of time. The free-coloureds grew in number and eventually became a very important later on in Trinidad’s society. As the country moved towards Emancipation, the free-coloureds’ in the Emancipation process also became very important to the island of Trinidad.

Trinidad saw an increased number of free-coloureds...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • History and Evolution of ECCE in Trinidad and Tobago Essay
  • Trinidad and Tobago Essay
  • Trinidad and Tobago Essay
  • Is Trinidad and Tobago a Nation Essay
  • Essay about Trinidad & Tobago
  • Trinidad & Tobago Essay
  • GMM Trinidad and Tobago Pestel Essay
  • Trinidad and Tobago and Member States Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free