Caribbean Project: Review: An Empire Divided

Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy's An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean

British West Indies

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy’s An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean is an excellent book which sheds considerable light on how Southerners ended up marooned in this Clusterfuck Union.

In 1776, there were 26 – not 13 – British colonies in the Americas. Half of the colonies revolted and won their independence in the American Revolution.

The other 13 colonies remained loyal to King George III and their paths diverged from the United States. The American Revolution altered the course of world history in all kinds of unforeseen ways.

This book is concerned with the American Revolution and its impact on the British West Indies: Jamaica, Barbados, the Leeward Islands (Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat), and the Windward Islands (Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, the Grenadines, and Tobago) in the Lesser Antilles.

Prior to the American Revolution, the Lower South and the British West Indies had more in common with each other than either had with New England. South Carolina was founded in 1670 by settlers from Barbados who had spread their culture through the Leeward Islands and Jamaica before arriving on the mainland.

These Barbadians transplanted the domestic institution of negro slavery, the plantation system, the slave code, speech patterns, and their architectural styles to South Carolina from the British West Indies. The culture of South Carolina and the Lower South was just as much an extension of the British West Indies as Rhode Island and Connecticut were extensions of Massachusetts.

Compared to the Southern colonies, the British West Indies were blacker, wealthier, more enslaved, more racialist, more conservative, more authoritarian, more aristocratic, and more loyalist – in almost every way, they represented a more extreme example of what we would recognize as Southern culture.

According to O’Shaughnessy, the sundering of the British West Indies from the Southern mainland colonies in the American Revolution stemmed from two fundamental causes:

(1) First, the British West Indies are in the tropics, whereas South Carolina has a sub-tropical climate. In the Caribbean, malaria and yellow fever decimated the White population and led to demographic failure. In South Carolina, a settler society emerged because the climate was healthier and the infant mortality rate was much lower.

(2) Second, the British West Indies and South Carolina were both slave societies with plantation systems, but the former were sugar colonies whereas the latter was a rice and indigo colony at the outset. Sugar was a more profitable crop. The sugar plantations in the British West Indies were bigger and required more slaves which resulted in a smaller and wealthier oligarchy.

In this way, the same cultural pattern in the British West Indies and the Lower South produced sojourner societies in the Caribbean – White slaveowners resigned to demographic failure owing to tropical disease, lost and alienated in a sea of blackness, and clinging to England as a result – and expansionist settler societies in North America – White slaveowners who were poorer and more fecund cousins, but who stood to gain a lot more from American independence.

West Indian planters were far more likely to be educated in Britain and to be absentees than their North American counterparts. They were less likely to be religious dissenters. They were more dependent on British military protection due to their greater ratio of slaves to Whites and their closer proximity to rival French and Spanish colonies in the Caribbean.

Economically speaking, over 90 percent of the sugar and rum produced in the British West Indies was consumed in Britain. The sugar planters in the British West Indies were unable to compete with their competitors in the French West Indies and owed their fortunes to mercantilist protection within the British Empire.

In 1776, the British West Indies were a prosperous and contented region within the British Empire. They were happy to quarter British troops because of their anxiety over potential slave rebellions. They were happy to have the Royal Navy protecting them from conquest by the French or the Spanish. They were willing to submit to the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts because protectionism within the imperial system worked to their advantage.

New England, however, was on a collision course with Britain:

(1) Yankees resented the Sugar Act and sought to trade with Spanish America and the French West Indies.

(2) Yankees had nothing to fear from the French who had recently ceded Canada to Britain in order to retain Guadeloupe and Martinique.

(3) Yankees saw British troops as a menacing threat to their liberties instead of a potential savior because they lacked a large slave population like Jamaica and the Leeward Islands.

(4) Yankees saw Britain as an obstacle to their commerce and territorial expansion.

When the American Revolution broke out in 1775 at Lexington and Concord, the British West Indies remained loyal to the Empire. After France declared war on Britain in 1778 (and Spain in 1779 and the Netherlands in 1780), the epicenter of the conflict shifted from North America to the Caribbean where the British prioritized the defense of their wealthiest colonies.

In 1778, the British abandoned Philadelphia – the capital of the Patriot cause – in order free five thousand troops to invade the French island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. General Henry Clinton also dispatched Lord Cornwallis with four thousand troops to defend Jamaica while Admiral D’Estaing sailed to Saint-Domingue to collect more troops for the reconquest of Georgia.

King George III prioritized the defense of Jamaica – the jewel of the British Caribbean, and a major source of British wealth and power – above defense of Britain itself and all the other British colonies. In the course of the war, St. Kitts was invaded by the French, and the Windward Islands (Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Tobago) were reconquered by France. The escalation of the war between Britain and France in the Caribbean brought about American independence.

American independence severed the British West Indies from the Southern mainland colonies, created the novel concept that Yankees and Southerners shared a common civilization, halved the number of slaves in the British Empire, put the South under the rule of Washington, galvanized the abolitionist movement, and set the British West Indies on the road to long term economic decline.

Prior to the war, the British West Indies had depended on the North American colonies as a market for its rum and as a cheap source for lumber, staves, fresh food and other vital supplies that made slavery profitable. After the war, the American colonies were outside the British mercantilist system, and this created a conflict of interest between West Indian planters and other interest groups vying for influence over Parliament.

As the conflict between the West Indian planters and the abolitionists escalated in the early nineteenth century, West Indian threats of secession and joining the United States as slave states became commonplace. Unfortunately, British naval supremacy in the Caribbean and the ever present threat posed by slave rebellions and Revolutionary France and the growing hostility of the Yankee to slavery in the United States precluded the possibility of reunion.

The damage had been done. The Golden Circle had been broken. The result of the American Revolution was the triumph of abolition in the British West Indies in 1834 and the destruction of the Confederacy by the Union in 1865.

If we could do it over again, would we have made a different choice?

About Hunter Wallace 12381 Articles
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  1. We should have said no to the constitution, which sole purpose to consolidate power at the federal level

    The walls on the inane rambling slow joe the jew troll on this thread is going to be epic

  2. Well, Britain would be different too. Probably like a Spanish Junta. Germany wouldn’t have united. France would never have had a revolution. Russia of all places might have become Democratic.

  3. About A Divided Empire : The Golden Circle Slave Empire The Southern Ruling Class Wanted :
    The Southern elite wanted to break off with the States and join together with Brazil in a Golden Circle Slave Empire. That’s why the Southerners started the Confederate Secret Service about 10-15 years before the outbreak of the War of 1861 ; To foment and start a Civil War : So the Southerners could break off with the States and join together with Brazil.
    If link doesn’t work, Google
    ” Golden Circle Slave Empire +”
    Or, go to ” Victor Davis Hanson: The Road Warrior”. I posted the same link under that article. That link works. I also posted alot of other links about various important matters. The JFK assasssination : the jew/commie coup d’etat, the ADL, Lyndon Johnson, etc.

  4. Literally who knows how things would have gone and what’s the value in wondering on things that were not and can never be? I don’t see the profit in it

  5. The only question I have about some of these new narratives —often seemingly by Irishmen about the English South— is their real motive in wanting to produce them, and the connection between them and the attempt to create a very catholic “New South,” (this is why the “South” is reframed as here… hierarchical, aristocratic, emphasis on slavery as good, AUTHORITARIAN, emphasis on “discipline,” top-down need-to-know basis… essentially a fascist, authoritarian, Militarist-Corporatist South.

    A lot of our tradition —as we were taught it in reality— had to do with the intellectualism of Planters (Thomas Jefferson), the free-wheeling THINKING they were able to do, the swashbuckling attitudes, THE LACK OF AUTHORITARIANISM (at least for us, lol)—

    The COMPLETE opposite of what this O’Shaunessy author tries to argue.

    TO ADD TO THAT— is the whole legacy of the Appalachian Reality, which has NOTHING to do with what this guy is saying, (in practical reality of having family there for many generations.) The Scotch-Irish, Ulster-Scot who settled that part of the country, who really made up (in England-Scotland AND IN THE U.S.) the borderlands, and LIKING the frontier life, the fighting, the edginess, THE FREEDOM— is just something very, very different.

    In a sense, those people —like the borders and extremes, like how Nova Scotia is out there at the tip, new Scotland, and the Appalachians here— have run interference for the planters.

    These are hardcore Protestants—- and in this, ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN, and really NEED free speech, free thought, etc. They will fight for it, they will leave countries when the other crap is imposed.

    I’ve known Southerners and Appalachians my whole life—- (generational ones), and it really is not a culture synonymous with “catholic traditionalism” (which some want to argue). While I appreciate the striving for “white christian unity” in the country, there are different people involved.

    I have yet to figure out how to express these differences and the importance of them. The Anglos in the South and the Scotsmen (many through Northern Ireland and Ulster) do not EQUATE exactly with the “aristocracy” of Europe.

    They kept the freedom, previously probably only known —at least in cities— by the very rich. They say what they want, think what they want, do what they want. A basis of this is religious (God will provide, ultimately, so you never make decisions the way a materialist would, leaving you free to pursue passions).

    Also, is the very different influence of the rural life, generally— it’s inescapable attachment to GENETICS (you can’t grow plants without noticing that). Genetics, breeding, the complete capacity to self-sustain THUS IGNORE Central Authority (b/c you don’t need it to feed you).

    Idk— mostly all the Southern and Appalachians I know are noticeably Anti-Authority (EXCEPT FOR GOD, HIMSELF, lol).

    So, I just never really see what they’re saying in articles like this.

    AND— that goes for women, in a sense. You husband is the ruler, yes. But no decent man wants a stupid women. Women ALWAYS worked in the home. Not just keeping us home making skills (baking, sewing, gardening), but also real farming. (Even now, if you’ve lived on a farm, around farming people, the women are always doing outdoor work, of course). If you’re stupid, you can’t really be a very good wife and mother.

    Women weren’t like Japs (here meaning jewish american princesses), the way people making the “aristocracy” argument often try to make it seem— sitting around with their feet bound, (which isn’t what Princess Anne does anyway—she rides horses and hunts, lol)

  6. Now the US is divided about the issue of war in the Middle East. The great rush to go to war in the Middle East started soon after 9/11. Cheney said on a teevee news show, about a month after 9/11, to expect war for “decades to come”. He said there’s “60 countries” on the “hit list” [ his words,not mine]. He actually said “hit list”.
    If the link doesn’t work, Google :
    ” Mossad + 9/11 +”

  7. —sorry for the long post, btw

    It’s just something I struggle with— since all the Southerners and Appalachians I know (meaning a lot of them) kind of aren’t really like that. Although it’s true, the deep South and the Appalachians do differ— would even argue in the U.S. the English-Scots connection grew together in very new ways from Europe.

    I mean, who they were when they got here in 1650 had melded totally into something else by 1850, and the war, obviously—

    Getting the F out of Europe, and having endless LAND— does something to people, lol

    I feel more in common with Australians and S. Africans (when they talk) THAN WITH even Canada, really. The Australians and S.A’s have seemingly experienced more that freedom and it shows.

  8. And the Mossad Assassinated JFK : The assassination of JFK was a Jew/Commie coup d’etat :
    If link doesn’t work, Google:
    ” JFK assassination + mossad +”
    The JFK assassination greatly divided the US. Very soon after, the Jews in the US started to push Real Hard for Communism : radical/communist policies of all kinds. The great upheavels in our society, our culture, started right after JFK was assassinated. It was a Communist coup d’etat. The upheavels in the US soon after JFK’s killing is not a coincidence. The assassination was meant to bring about the great divisions that were to tear the fabric of our culture and society together.

  9. anyone who thought the Ulster Scots in the hills touched the forelock haven’t spent much time in the hills

  10. No one put a gun to the head of the Southern Founding Fathers. If they wanted a Golden Slave Empire, all they had to do was tell the Northern colonies they weren’t interested in Union. No one forced the Southern Founding Fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence.
    The Southern ruling class in the mid-19 century turned their backs on the Southern Founding Fathers : their “Sacred Honor ” ; Inscribed for history in the Declaration of Independence ; All this to foment and start a war so to build for themselves a Golden Circle Slave Empire with Brazil and Cuba. The Southern elite spat on their own Southern Founding Fathers.
    When exactly did this idea of a Golden Circle Slave Empire start? What year? Who hatched this plan? Where was the plan hatched? Who dreamed the plan up?

  11. Quite literally the battle of Kings Mountain was fought between rival factions of borderers.

    Patrick Ferguson and his riflemen v Frontiersmen originating from the lowlands with Kentucky long rifles. Someone shoukdhave built a Scotch distillery and perhaps the unfortunate events would never have transpired.

  12. Here’s another revolutionary battle. Melée more accurately.

    ammunition so low that muskets are used as clubs. Unauthorized mustering and concentration of troops by loyalist commander. Hit by fast moving cavalry. Judging by the numbers of competing militias the Revolution wasn’t that popular. The edge went to the more motivated side here. Little did any of the combatants know there was a poison pill in the proposition that all men are created equal.

  13. Great history lesson, but may I ask a practical question, any of these islands suitable for whites?

  14. islands suitable?

    Bermuda is substantially white, though it is run by blacks. I think the Caymans are also a bit selective.

    Their economic purpose of the islands is obsolete. They are tourist destinations now.

  15. Matt Bracken of KosherRepublic fame has written a decent novel set in the near dystopic future where an ex-Marine has become an expat to the islands. So to some the islands might have some strategic depth to them in a America sinking like a stone future.

  16. Bermuda has a substantial enough white populace.

    black 54.8%, white 34.1%, mixed 6.4%, other races 4.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2000 census)

    this is no worse than many American cities. I assume here that the whites are an economic elite and they allow the blacks to fill the judiciary and police force and civil service to keep them content. The blacks themselves are likely to be heavily interbred
    with Irish, Scots,Portguese and English but this is not admitted to by the blacks themselves. The mixed race ones probably identify with the white part of their heritage too.

  17. Blacks in Bermuda also tend to be Anglophile. They probably shudder in terror at the blacks on the mainland.

  18. “The frontier is, very sadly, now closed.”

    Au contraire, the “frontier” is very much open; it is just that it is now not the white man’s frontier.

    America, and in a greater sense the West at large, is now the wide-open frontier of the mooching endlessly-pregnant Mestizo, the grasping Asian, the desperate violent idiot Somali, the scheming Subcon, the hostile rapist Muslim… and of course, always, always, always, the star of the show: the mooching grasping hostile YKW.

  19. The British West Indies were overwhelmingly Anglican.

    There was also a conflict between English Protestants and French Catholics in the Windward Islands (Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Tobago) which had been acquired from France during the Seven Years’ War. This is discussed at some length in the book.

  20. The Lower South and the British West Indies were settled by metropolitan English from southern and western England. The Scots-Irish experience in America is another story that comes out of northern England and Ulster before their arrival in Appalachia and their diffusion across the backcountry.

  21. I’m genuinely surprised that Bermuda is actually as white as it is. Insular societies are often quite fascinating. Something about the system may have kept the blacks in awe. Probably the threat of naval retaliation if the blacks massacred the whites.

  22. South Carolina is the premiere example of the mixture of these two cultures: the Low Country around Charleston was settled by Barbadians with West Indian roots. The Upcountry was settled by Scots-Irish migrating down through Appalachia.

    John C. Calhoun was a Scots-Irish ancestry. Robert Barnwell Rhett was from the Low Country and was of English ancestry. Of course, it is kind of ridiculous to posit an ethnic difference between the two groups, as they were both English from different parts of England.

  23. oscar the grinch says:
    July 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm
    “The frontier is, very sadly, now closed.”

    Au contraire, the “frontier” is very much open; it is just that it is now not the white man’s frontier.

    America, and in a greater sense the West at large, is now the wide-open frontier of the mooching endlessly-pregnant Mestizo, the grasping Asian, the desperate violent idiot Somali, the scheming Subcon, the hostile rapist Muslim… and of course, always, always, always, the star of the show: the mooching grasping hostile YKW.

    Why does are you using “YKW”? Just say JEW. What are they? Bloody “Voldemort”? Name the freaking Jew.

  24. If you visit England and look at Northerners and Southerners you’ll see vast differences between them. Furthermore, In the north on one side of the Pennines you have Geordies, Smoggies and Yorkies. in the middle Scallies and on the western side of the Pennines you get Various Lancastrians and finally Scousers. This is not an exhaustive list either. All with different accents. Drive 5 miles out of a city or town and accents change dramatically.

  25. “John says:
    July 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm
    Well, Britain would be different too. Probably like a Spanish Junta. Germany wouldn’t have united. France would never have had a revolution. Russia of all places might have become Democratic.”

    Nope. The Mayers already had their claws closing ’round England’s throat, by 1776. Too many European “elite” has already begun selling their Volk, and their souls, for Sheeny Gelte. Franklin and Jefferson were well aware of the Vampyre Squid Tribe. (Effing Washington!!!! He let the Tribe stay in) I think things would have been worse, today, if the Revolution had not occurred.

  26. “Northern European Protestants should have left the tropics strictly alone. We were born out of the frozen North and are completely unsuited to anything beyond sub-tropical at best.

    I heartily agree. Not so for the Negro though. No wonder so many of them are moving back down South with its fetid heat.

  27. “John C. Calhoun was a Scots-Irish ancestry. Robert Barnwell Rhett was from the Low Country and was of English ancestry. Of course, it is kind of ridiculous to posit an ethnic difference between the two groups, as they were both English from different parts of England.”

    Not genetically they aren’t. You really need to brush up on modern DNA research about the genetic makeup of the British Isles. Bryan Sykes is being refuted on a daily basis by fuller sequencing of autosomal DNA.

  28. The darkies be moving back down south to be watchin the hillbillies play Civil War re-enactments and she**t. They be wantin’ to see the Yankees beat the she**t out of the southern crackers. What you be sayin……. you crackers be crackin’ me up.

  29. “Northern European Protestants should have left the tropics strictly alone. We were born out of the frozen North and are completely unsuited to anything beyond sub-tropical at best.”

    I disagree. We may have come from the frozen North but we Europeans have a way of adapting our environment to suit us. We thrive in all sorts of environment, from the desert-like conditions in Latin America, Africa, Australia, North America, etc. Wherever we go, we thrive. Even give us a frozen and tree-less volcanic rock in the north Atlantic we and still thrive. One day, if we survive the present dark age, we will make amazing space colonists.

  30. John, I would contend that there was really no such thing as scotch by the name “scotch” prior to at least the Civil War, or whenever shipping became cheap. Whiskey was made with what ingredients were available locally, cheap.

    Someone should have built a Scotch distillery and perhaps the unfortunate events would never have transpired.

  31. “Whiskey was made with what ingredients were available locally, cheap.”

    If it isn’t made from fermented grain of some sort it ain’t whiskey.

  32. A Big Dynamic to why our country is So Divided and in a Big Mess is the Desire of the Southern Elite to have a Golden Circle Slave Empire At All Costs. The concept of a Golden Circle Slave Empire statred with America’s Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. He was born in the West Indies on some plantation. How he got to be a Founding Father is something I’m still researching. Still, he was a Founding Father. Also, unfortunately, like all the Southern slave-owning elite, Hamilton loved The Bankers and Empire : It’s inherent with being a slave-owning plantation lord and master.
    The concept of a Golden Circle Slave Empire starts with Hamilton:
    If link doesn’t work, Google:
    ” Alexander Hamilton +”

  33. excuse the typo : Started. As in the troble started with Hamilton and the Southern elite who wanted a Slave Empire:
    It’s all about banking during the War of 1861. The Southern desire for a Golden Circle Slave Empire, etc.
    Yankees weren’t the only sons-of-bitches around. No sirre bob. Check it out.
    If link doesn’t work, Google:
    ” Alexander Hamilton + theredpillguide”
    Loads of good solid facts and information.

  34. The disturbers of peace in the world …

    “There is indeed a difference between the two peoples. Let no man hug the delusion that there can be renewed association between them. Our enemies are a traditionless and a homeless race; from the time of Cromwell to the present moment they have been disturbers of the peace of the world. Gathered together by Cromwell from the bogs and fens of the North of Ireland and of England, they commenced by disturbing the peace of their own country; they disturbed Holland, to which they fled, and they disturbed England on their return. They persecuted Catholics in England, and they hung Quakers and witches in America..”

  35. She**t…. and you honkies be saying we niggas f*cked this country up….. She**t. You crackers be crackin me up .And what be up with this “joe” one around here ? He can’t be a whitey. I”ll be goddamned……. he be tellin’ me truth…. I just know it he ain’t no whitey. What kind of troll be “joe”? She**t. Your country be all fucked up palefaces. And ain’t no nigga ever signed the Federal Reserve Act…… F*ck….. What you crackers be tryin to tell me. She**t…… “joe” be the most honest one around here. You all listen to that “joe” now…. “joe” be knowin’ what he be sayin’. She**t…… Do you honkeys ever listen when somebody be tellin you The Truth. She***t.

  36. I’m sure Jefferson Davis had all the best intentions. Poor Jefferson Davis. Another “innocent Christian” duped by a yet another “son of the Hebrewites” : Duped by Judah Benjamin. Yes, of course. Jefferson Davis had all the best intentions. Yes sirre bob.

  37. From that moment to the present moment “the disturbers of the peace of the world” have become a global problem minding the business of everyone from Panama to Cuba to Grenada to Serbia to Vietnam to Libya in order to force their own crazy ideas on the world.

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