The Black Jacobins - Prologue Summary & Analysis

James, C.L.R.
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Summary

In the opening to the Prologue, C.L.R. James describes how Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors annexed the island of Haiti. They named it Hispaniola. Economic activity and forced religious conversion decimated the population. In response to a Dominican priest named Las Casas, the Spanish government agreed to import “the more robust Negroes” (4) to the island from Africa.

The French, Spanish, and British competed for control of the island until the 1695 Treaty of Ryswick gave the western part of the island to France. James concludes with the observation that the slavers began bringing “more and more Negroes…until the drain from Africa ran into the millions” (5).

Analysis

The Prologue provides crucial historical context for the story of the Haitian Revolution that unfolds in The Black Jacobins. Principally, the prologue establishes the three main European forces that would compete for access to and...

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This section contains 307 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Black Jacobins Study Guide
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