The West Indian Watershe
Describes the regional landscape prior to World War II. Outlines the factors that would launch the decolonization process and shape U.S. relations with the islands: the West Indian expatriate community in New York; the explosion of labor riots in the Caribbean, especially in Trinidad in 1937 and Jamaica in 1938, and the growth of West Indian nationalist sentiment that followed; the consequent reorientation of British policy, toward welfare and development and eventually federation and independence; the outbreak of World War II in Europe; the West Indian expatriate community forging ties with African Americans to take advantage of British weakness; and the U.S. reaction to the changed situation, leading to the 1940 Anglo-American Bases-for-Destroyers Deal and the construction of U.S. bases in the islands the following year.
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