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The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956A History$
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James Heartfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491673.001.0001

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Indentured Labour

Indentured Labour

(p.335) 13 Indentured Labour
The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956

James Heartfield

Oxford University Press

After abolition many tropical enterprises in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia relied on indentured or “coolie” labor. The “coolies” were mostly Chinese or Indian workers who had been recruited on contracts, or indentures, that bound them for three, five or even seven years. They were relocated from their own lands to Fiji, Mauritius, Cuba, Trinidad and other West Indian islands. The Society had taken up the campaign against coolie labor when it seemed to threaten the position of the freedmen in the West Indies. Often these protests were against the migrants as much as they were against the conditions of work. The BFASS were less sympathetic to the “coolies” than to the slaves, while they challenged the system as a whole.

Keywords:   Indenture, Coolie, Fiji, Mauritius, West Indies, Colonialism

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