Lesson 4B

4b. Do the Hibberts prove that the West Indian slave economy went through an “uninterrupted decline” after 1776?

4b. Do the Hibberts prove that the West Indian slave economy went through an “uninterrupted decline” after 1776?

What are we learning about?

In approaching such a complex topic, students will draw upon research done by Katie Donnington on the Hibbert family to gain an understanding of why Slavery in Jamaica was so profitable. They will then follow the Hibbert Family in ascertaining whether Eric William’s was right to assert that it was ‘uninterrupted decline’ for the West Indian economy after American Independence.

Lesson Objectives

  • To recap why the West Indian Slave Economy was so profitable.
  • To chart the changes and continuities in the Hibbert family over the 18th and 19th century
  • To make inferences from the Hibbert family on the extent & pace of decline in the West Indian Economy up until 1870

PowerPoint Lesson

Download here – Lesson 4B

Suggested Tasks

Essential Resources

Lesson 4A-B Notetaker
Lesson 4A-B Notetaker. 4A Why was Slavery so profitable for some? 4B Do the Hibberts provwe that the West Indian slave economy went through an ‘uninterrupted decline’ after 1776?

This diagram seeks to move away from the Triangular Trade model (discredited by the literature) and move towards a ‘core-periphery’ model that places the extraction of profit from the enslaved worker at it’s foundation. This diagram – alongside the explainer slide – should allow students the various ways to get rich off the back of enslaving West Africans and their descendants.

The intricacies and complexities of the ‘West Indian’ Economy and it’s relations with the Pro-Slavery lobby are enough to make even a well-clued up teachers’ head hurt. Based upon the impressive research by Dr Katie Donnington into the Hibbert family, students should be able to grasp the different roles – political, economic, and cultural – played by those who profited off the work of the enslaved. The story of the Hibberts will also be of use to students seeking to assess the validity of Eric Williams’ famous ‘decline thesis’.

Extra Resources