While reading Eric Foner’s book Reconstruction, I came across something that will interest old veterans of forum debates about the theory of racial equality.
Barbados is often cited as a counterexample of black equality to Haiti. The truth is that a spectrum of freedom and equality followed abolition ranging from the most extreme (Haiti) to the most limited (Dixie):
“The prior experience of abolition in the British West Indies reinforced Southern planters’ certainty of the “disastrous” consequences of emancipation. Viewed through the lens of plantation agriculture, the West Indies taught an unmistakable lesson: Emancipation was a failure. Freedom had come to Haiti in the 1790s and to the British Caribbean in the 1830s, and in both settings former slaves had abandoned the sugar plantations in large numbers to establish themselves as subsistence-oriented small farmers.
This was especially true in Haiti, where revolution had destroyed the planter class, and in Trinidad, Jamaica, and British Guiana, where large tracks of uncultivated land had been available to the former slaves. As a result, sugar production had plummeted; plantation agriculture never resumed in Haiti and in the British Caribbean, it survived only through the massive importation of indentured “coolies” from India and China. Caribbean emancipation stood as a symbol and warning to the white South, a demonstration of the futility of all schemes to elevate blacks, and of the dire fate awaiting American planters in the aftermath of slavery. Most of all, it taught that the freedmen must be barred from access to land. Only on smaller islands like Barbados, where whites owned all the land “and the negro is unable to get possession of a foot of it,” had plantation agriculture continued to flourish.”
That explains a lot.
Unlike Haiti, where abolition was the most successful, where the planter class was violently overthrown in a revolution, and where the land was redistributed to the negro, cash crop agriculture survived in Barbados because the Whites continued to own all the land and dominate the economy.
Haiti sunk into an abyss of poverty, barbarism, and voodoo from which it never recovered. Most Jamaicans believe that freedom failed and that Jamaica was better off under the British Empire.
Note: In the video below, Dr. William Pierce discusses Hesketh Prichard’s 1900 book Where Black Rules White: A Journey Across and About Hayti. Compare to James S. Pike’s 1874 book The Prostrate State: South Carolina Under Negro Government.
We can update Hesketh Prichard. How much progress has the Haitian negro made in the last 111 years since his book was published? Absolutely none.