Depression and Decolonisation: Revisiting the 1930s in the British and Fren...

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UCL Institute of the Americas

Room 103, 51 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PN

United Kingdom

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The 1930s were in many senses defined by the Great Depression, a decade of hunger marches, labour unrest, and political agitation across the British and French Caribbean. There remains, however, a striking contrast in the historiography derived, it seems, from the islands’ very different political futures. Historians of the British Caribbean, seeking to explain the growth of anticolonial nationalism, treat the 1930s as a turning point; historians of the French Caribbean, by contrast, seeing the interwar period as a time of continuity building up to départementalisation in 1946, give these years rather less focus. With this in mind, the paper compares the two cases. How did the islands react to the global economic crisis, why, and with what significance for their political futures?


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Michael Joseph is the M.G. Brock Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His PhD thesis examines the impact of the First World War on ideas about empire and citizenship in the British and French Caribbean.

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UCL Institute of the Americas

Room 103, 51 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PN

United Kingdom

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