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Major Slave Rebellions during 1816,1823 and 1831
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DescriptionMajor Slave Rebellions during 1816,1823 and 1831
The major slave rebellions in (Barbados, Demerara,
and Jamaica) during the period of 1816, 1823 and 1831 was
a time of such brutality towards the slaves in the colonies.
The three main causes of these rebellions are listed below:
In Parliament, the Imperial Government passed the
Abolition of the British Slave Trade (1807) mainly
because of the work of Granville Sharp, who was
responsible for bringing it to attention in the court case of
James Somerest whose trial led to slavery being declared
illegal in England by Judge Lord Mansfield after a few
After the ending of the Slave Trade they started to
smuggle slaves to England to work on the plantations. This
later came to the attention of the Government who
eventually passed a next law called the Slave Registration
Act (1816) to keep an account on the slaves and to stop the
smuggling of same to England. The aim of this Act was to
have all the names of the slaves on a register so that the
British government could detect planters who were buying
them illegally from other colonies owned by Britain or
in another European country.
Agitation amongst slaves were increasing in the
region in that time, and slave rebellions were becoming
increasingly frequent as the Imperial Government didnít
want a repeat of what happened in Haiti, so they tried to
moderate the conduct of the worst slave owners, as a
measure to control the outbreaks of violence in the colonies
by instituting the Amelioration Act.
The rebellions were carried out by charismatic
leaders like: Bussa (an African born slave), Nanny Griggs,
Jackey, Roach, and Ranger from the Barbados rebellion,
Quamina (a slave who was a deacon) from Demerara and
Sam Sharp (an educated creole slave) from the Jamaica
On the plantation the slaves worked under unfair
conditions. They were treated like animals and/or lower
than whites and the conditions were so cruel that the
plantations had a high turnover rate of slaves due to deaths
and desertion. The teaching of the missionaries entailed
that every man no matter which complexion or the money
they had, everyone was equal in the sight of god and that
all Christians were brothers. And there was a greater
population of blacks than whites.
In the 19th century sugar were no longer important to
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