Rethinking the historiography of coolie integration in British Caribbean cities

by Ruma Chopra

Working Papers WP 19-01
March 2019
ISSN 2192-2357 (MMG Working Papers Print)

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This essay situates Caribbean indentured labor migrations within the larger history of slavery. In doing so, it broadens the field of slavery studies, complicates how we define labor systems in the British Empire, and challenges the ethnically-rooted assumptions of global labor history. It compels a fundamental rethinking of the historical transition from enslaved to free labor in the Caribbean, the first associated with African slaves and the second with Asian servants. 

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