Small Scale Farming to Large Scale Sugar Production, Capitalism, and Slavery in Barbados
Author(s): Douglas Armstrong
Domestic deposits associated with early Barbadian plantations are providing a basis to examine the revolutionary shift from small scale farming to large scale sugar production in the early to mid- seventeenth century. Using the 1647 Hapcott Map (John Carter Brown Library) as a guide, and GIS as a locating tool, features associated with «Fort Plantation», now known as «Trents Plantation» have been identified and excavated. The settlement at this site was initially organized as a series of small farms using small numbers of indentured and enslaved laborers (ca. 1627-1640s). However, as Barbados underwent rapid change associated with the rise of sugar production in the 1640s, the plantation was dramatically restructured and recapitalized to create a large scale sugar plantation (ca. 1647-1690). This study examines data from the early site at Trents as well as excavation and survey data from a series of early sugar estates, including Trents, Drax Hall and Drax Hope, Kendal, and Colleton to illustrate a dramatic shift in the cultural and spatial landscape of Barbados associated with the shift to sugar and slavery.
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Small Scale Farming to Large Scale Sugar Production, Capitalism, and Slavery in Barbados. Douglas Armstrong. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436598)
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