The Black Jacobins - Chapter II: The Owners Summary & Analysis

James, C.L.R.
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Summary

In this section, James shifts his focus to the planters of San Domingo. First, James describes San Domingo, its climates, and its crops. The planters were miserable, isolated, and self-indulgent. “Arrogant and spendthrift” (30) younger sons of French noblemen made their fortunes in San Domingo. James describes the dirty, debauched culture of towns such as Port-au-Prince and Le Cap, including their irreverent, degenerate clergy class. Frenchmen from France exercised absolute power over the island, treating local whites with “arrogance and superciliousness” (35). To keep power, the bureaucracy often sided with the “small whites” (36) against the interests of the “big whites” (36).

Meanwhile, Mulatto children multiplied. A sober, responsible class, the mulattoes sought to buy plantations of their own and imitated the style of the whites. In response to their growing power, colonists forbade the mulattoes from donning European dress and sitting at their tables...

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This section contains 754 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Black Jacobins Study Guide
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