The Black Jacobins Themes

James, C.L.R.
This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Black Jacobins.
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Power

In The Black Jacobins, James describes the Haitian Revolution as a struggle between those who want individual power for themselves and those who want power in order to empower entire communities and groups. The book shows how low-minded, greedy, power-hungry individuals use power in a way that promotes senseless violence and destruction, while people who want power for the collective good promote constructive social ideas and only resort to violence in reaction to their own violent treatment.

In the role of the greedy power-hungry, James casts the Spanish, British, and French imperialists. The first chapter, “The Property,” describes the absurd power imbalance of plantation slavery on the island of San Domingo. In this system, slaves were completely disempowered and disenfranchised—and therefore, completely at the mercy of the island’s powerful slave-owning class. Using tactics such as whipping, torture, family separation, and forced breeding, slave-owners intimidated and subdued...

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This section contains 3,274 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Black Jacobins Study Guide
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