Jonathon Booth on Emancipation & Regulation in Jamaica 1831-40
In this episode, Jonathon Booth, a PhD Candidate in History at Harvard University, discusses the first chapter of his dissertation, "Free Labor Under Proper Regulation: Britain and Jamaica, 1831-1840." He begins by explaining why the period 1831-1840 was such an important moment in the history of the British colonies, especially colonial Jamaica. Most importantly, the period included the abolition of slavery and the subsequent regulation of free labor. He focuses on the trilogy of the Emancipation Act, the Police Act, and the Vagrancy Act to explain how the government of colonial Jamaica tried to regulate the labor of emancipated slaves and compel them to continue working on sugar plantations, with limited success. And he reflects on what the Jamaican story can tell us about the history of emancipation and regulation more broadly. Booth is on Twitter at @JBooth_history.