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Freedom RootsHistories from the Caribbean$
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Laurent Dubois and Richard Lee Turits

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653600

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653600.001.0001

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Transformation in Jamaica, Grenada, and Haiti

Transformation in Jamaica, Grenada, and Haiti

Chapter:
(p.281) 7 Transformation in Jamaica, Grenada, and Haiti
Source:
Freedom Roots
Author(s):

Laurent Dubois

Richard Lee Turits

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653600.003.0008

In the last decades of the twentieth century, the Caribbean saw multiple and dramatic political efforts to transform state and society. New governments sought to embrace popular classes as equal members of society as almost never before and to create unprecedented forms of equality, both economically and culturally. This chapter explores three such attempts at transformation: Jamaica under Michael Manley, Maurice Bishop and the Grenada Revolution, and Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s first government in Haiti. Unlike the Cuban Revolution, these leaders excited expectations for change within still mostly capitalist economies. Manley and Aristide led democratic governments, while Grenada sustained one-party rule. The outcomes of reform efforts in these three nations varied from enduring progress to poignant tragedy. The chapter explores the powerful challenges these new Caribbean governments faced, domestic and foreign, economic and political. It shows how after the English-speaking Caribbean gained independence in the 1960s and 1970s, their trajectories began to overlap with that of the older independent Caribbean, as national sovereignty made them suddenly more vulnerable to the region’s predominant twentieth-century empire, the United States.

Keywords:   Decolonization, Jamaica, Grenada Revolution, Haiti, Michael Manley, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Maurice Bishop, social democracy, agrarian reform, U.S. empire

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