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Case Study 2: Barbados (1816) - The Rebellion

The Island of Barbados

Barbados had been under British control for a long time and there had been no slave rebellions for over one hundred years, when rebellion broke out in 1816.

It shocked the British plantation owners. Within a few hours, the rebellion had spread across a third of the island and enslaved people on seventy plantations were in revolt.

One of the leaders of the revolt was an enslaved African called Bussa, another was Nanny Grigg, a domestic servant. The rebellion was carefully executed by senior enslaved people across the island. The aim was to overthrow the British planters, gain freedom and create a better life for black and coloured people.

By the time soldiers had crushed the revolt, a quarter of the island's sugar cane crop had gone up in smoke. Nearly 1000 rebels were killed. After the rebellion, 214 more were executed and 123 were transported from the island to be sold elsewhere as slaves.

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