The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars

The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars

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This book examines the economic history of the Caribbean in the two hundred years since the Napoleonic Wars and is the first analysis to span the whole region. It is divided into three parts, each centered around a particular case study: the first focuses on the nineteenth century ('The Age of Free Trade'); the second considers the period up to 1960 ('The Age of Preferences'); and the final section concerns the half century from the Cuban Revolution to the present ('The Age of Globalization'). The study makes use of a specially constructed database to observe trends across the whole region and chart the progress of nearly thirty individual countries. Its findings challenge many long-standing assumptions about the region, and its in-depth case studies shed new light on the history of three countries in particular, namely Belize, Cuba and Haiti.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 117 colour illus.
  • 1139415115
  • 9781139415118

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. The Caribbean in the Age of Free Trade: From the Napoleonic Wars to 1900: 2. The core and the Caribbean; 3. From scarce to surplus labor in the Caribbean; 4. Global commodity trade and its implications for the Caribbean; 5. Caribbean foreign trade; 6. The domestic economy in the Caribbean; 7. Haiti: from independence to US occupation; Part II. The Caribbean in the Age of Preferences: From 1900 to 1960: 8. The core and the Caribbean; 9. Caribbean foreign trade; 10. The Caribbean domestic economy; 11. The rise, decline and fall of the Belizean economy before independence; Part III. The Caribbean in the Age of Globalization: From 1960 to the Present: 12. The core and the Caribbean; 13. Structural change in the Caribbean; 14. Import substitution, manufacturing export promotion and regional integration in the Caribbean; 15. Caribbean economic performance; 16. The Cuban economy since the Revolution; Statistical appendix.
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Review quote

'Finally, a comprehensive and brilliantly lucid economic history of the Caribbean from 1820 on that navigates masterfully through fogs of mythology and misunderstanding to deliver the most penetrating analysis of the region's political economy ever written. Backed by mountains of new data (tucked neatly into appendices and a freely accessible website), Bulmer-Thomas shows how success or failure of the Caribbean economies often depended on how they coped with an external economic and policy environment they had little or no capacity to influence. Separate chapters on Haiti after independence and Cuba since 1959 are so insightful that they alone are worth the price of the book.' John Coatsworth, Columbia University 'Bulmer-Thomas's work is a major achievement. It stands out from other economic histories of the Caribbean both in terms of its comprehensive study of the region as a whole and in its systematic analysis of carefully compiled long-term quantitative data. Bulmer-Thomas uses these time series to provide graphic illustrations of vital features of the region's diverse economies, bringing attention to patterns of growth not previously recognized or understood. By consistently placing his analysis in the context of global economic history, Bulmer-Thomas offers many correctives to popular pessimistic misconceptions about the economic experience of the Caribbean over the past two centuries.' B. W. Higman, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University and University of the West Indies 'This volume, remedying the absence of a comprehensive economic history of the Caribbean in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is written by one of the few scholars equipped to take on the daunting task. Bulmer-Thomas highlights the range and diversity of the region's economies, while also drawing attention to their structural commonalities. The long and dynamic history of interconnections between the region, each of its component members, and the wider global economy provides the underlying theme of this impressive book. Richly sourced with comprehensive research and supported by digitized and meticulously documented historical data, this book will remain a standard for a very long time.' Gail D. Triner, Rutgers University
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About Victor Bulmer-Thomas

Victor Bulmer-Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of London and Honorary Research Fellow with the University's Institute for the Study of the Americas. He is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the School of Advanced Study at London University and an Associate Fellow in the Americas Program at Chatham House, where he was the director from 2001 to 2006; he was Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies, London University, from 1992 to 1998. His publications include The Economic History of Latin America since Independence (2003), The Political Economy of Central America since 1920 (1987) and Input-Output Analysis for Developing Countries (1982). He is also co-editor of The Cambridge Economic History of Latin America (2006).
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