Saturday, January 17, 2015

Free Jamaica, 1838-1865: An Economic History

Hall, Douglas, Free Jamaica, 1838-1865: An Economic History, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959.

Reviewed in Victorian Studies © 1963.

From the inner sleeve:
This is the first detailed account of the economic development of Jamaica during the years 1838 – 1865, a period in her history still regarded as the dark ages, and it contains much information previously unpublished. After the emancipation of 1833, two basic factors were introduced into the Jamaican economic structure: wage-labor and the rapid growth of a class of small agriculturalists. With them came new problems for Jamaica; the readjustment to freedom was not easy. Changes in the tariff policies of the countries importing Jamaican produce affected her severely. War and drought compounded her woes. The stability and sympathetic advice that was expected from Britain never came. Yet, by 1865, certain economic advantages had been gained and the economic pattern for the next seventy years had been established.

From an obituary:
Professor Hall joined the staff of the then University College of the West Indies in 1954 as Extra-Mural Tutor for the Leeward Islands. In 1957 he returned to Jamaica as Resident Tutor, taught economic history in the Department of Economics between 1959 and 1961 and in the later year he joined the Department of History as Lecturer. At the relatively young age of 43 he was appointed Professor of History and Head of the Department. He retired from the UWI in 1981, but maintained his links with the institution.

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