Studying the Caribbean: A Brief Profile of Trinidad and Tobago Free essay! Download now
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Studying the Caribbean: A Brief Profile of Trinidad and Tobago
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| Words: 483 | Submitted: 19-Mar-2012
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DescriptionThis gives some historical as well as up-to-date information about the country of Trinidad and Tobago.
Taking a close look at the wider Caribbean society, it is seen that there is a potpourri of people groups inhabiting the region, each group having its own cultural identity. In an effort to describe the way these groups coexist, three models of society have been proposed – the Plural society theory, the Plantation society theory and the Creole society theory. In this essay, one such model will applied to Trinidad and Tobago, a nation with tremendous diversity in its ethnic groups. In the first instance, it is important to know just how these people came to live in that country.
Even before the start of colonisation in the Caribbean, various people came to make this nation their home. Trinidad was first inhabited by Amerindian societies known as the Lokonos (Arawaks) who settled mainly in the south-east of the country, as well as the Kalinagos (Caribs) who tended to settle in the North and West, near to Port-of-Spain. It was within the 15th and late 17th century that Europeans came to the island, first the Spaniards and then the French. However, the British came to took over the country from between the late 18th Century and the early 19th century. Seeing the wealth of the landmass, the British tried to establish plantations within Trinidad, to enhance the economy of Britain.
With a need for workers in the sugar fields and plantations, the British shipped slaves to Trinidad from Africa. Brought against their will to a foreign land, the slaves in Trinidad had a longing for freedom and soon in 1834, slavery was abolished in Trinidad after a period of revolting. It was at that time that the sugar industry in Trinidad started to decline, as there were no field workers. The British then decided to hire East Indian and Chinese immigrants to work in the stead of the slaves. These immigrants were known as “indentured labourers” i.e. they made a either a three-year or five-year contract to work for the British on the plantations, and after the contract expired, the workers had the option of either re-indenturing themselves or returning to their respective countries. Former slaves, who noticed that the British were giving the immigrants better treatment, held very strained relations with the East Indians and Chinese. Overall, tension increased especially when the British offered some of the indentured servants land offers and as a result, violent behaviour ensued between the Africans, the immigrants and the British.
To this day, the population of Trinidad and Tobago contains the aforementioned people groups. According to the census conducted by the CIA in 2000, the distribution of ethnic groups is: “Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, other 1.2%, ...
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