Labor Riot of 1878

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Discuss at least 5 issues that led to the Labor Riot of 1878. The diminishing sugar industry placed hardship on the economy of the Danish West Indies and contributed to the Labor Riot along with a whole conglomerate of incidents. The idea of rebellion was probably first brought about when the local Danish government, with the memory of the 1848 revolt still lingering around, attempted to cease all assembling by non-whites. They ordered that the annual Christmas dances would not be held. The slaves, not willing to give up their release from the rigors of injustice, continued to hold these dances in their homes. When the militia was called out, many shots were fired and lots of innocent people were killed. The white populace, afraid from any sort of retaliation from the non-whites, first unarmed the militia and soon disbanded it in hope that it would pacify the angry Blacks. Another factor was the abuse of the right of the planters to fine laborers for work absence and mistakes. Many managers took this to their full advantage. They fined the laborers for reaching work a minute late or for any of their small mistakes. Planters and managers were allowed to refuse a laborer’s resignation after the deadline had elapsed. If laborers ignorantly let the deadline escape found that on October 1st they were stopped from leaving the plantation and were forced to work for another year on that plantation at the whim of the planters and managers. This term of notice by the laborers to the planters that they were seeking employment elsewhere was another contributing cause to the riot. The other factor was the blocks the authorities threw in the path of laborers attempting to leave the island of St. Croix. Laborers would leave the island in search of better employment in order or them to purchase a 32 cents

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