Britain and the United States in the Caribbean: A Comparative Study in Methods of Development

By Mary Proudfoot | Go to book overview

Chapter II
THE CONSTITUTIONAL RELATIONSHIP

1. GENERAL COMPARISON

Comparison of the constitutional relationship of the United Kingdom and its dependencies with that of the United States and its dependencies meets at the outset with certain difficulties, the greatest of which is disparity in size. It is true that in the Caribbean the number of dependent peoples for which each metropolitan power is responsible is in each case approximately three million; but in terms of overall responsibility the picture is very different. Thus the United Kingdom, a small island of some 50,000,000 persons, has responsibility for the Colonial Empire which numbers 60,000,000-70,000,000 persons. The United States, on the other hand, itself a vast continent comprising some 155,000,000 persons, has responsibility for a very small number of dependencies, the total population of which numbers only some 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 persons. The constitutional forms devised for the government of dependent areas by the United Kingdom and the United States are thus, of necessity, very different.

In the British dependencies control is exercised primarily in the constitutional sphere; in the United States dependencies it is essentially economic in character. The British have long had clearly defined goals ahead for their West Indian, as for most of their other dependencies. Responsible government, federation, and, more distantly, full Commonwealth membership, are aims which, although clarified and elaborated at the Montego Bay [ Jamaica] Conference of September, 1947,1 have been accepted for many years.2 No such course has been laid down for the United States dependencies, and President Truman spent many years in

____________________
1
See p. 337.
2
See, for instance, the speech of the Conservative Secretary of State for the Colonies in the House of Commons, 9 June 1946: 'It is our policy to develop the colonies and all their resources so as to enable their peoples speedily and substantially to improve their economic and social conditions, and, as soon as may be practicable, to attain responsible self- government. . . . It is no domination that we seek. Nor, on the other hand, is it our intention in any way to abandon peoples who have come to depend on us

-10-

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Britain and the United States in the Caribbean: A Comparative Study in Methods of Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Editor's Introduction vii
  • Author's Preface x
  • Contents xiv
  • List of Tables xx
  • Chapter I - Introductory 1
  • Chapter II - The Constitutional Relationship 10
  • Chapter III - The Economic Relationship 38
  • Chapter IV - The Structure of Society 65
  • Chapter V - The Central Government 97
  • Chapter VI - The Local Government 134
  • 3. Conclusions 151
  • Chapter VII - Political Life 153
  • Chapter VIII - Economic Life 178
  • Chapter IX - Labour 222
  • Chapter X - Social Life 243
  • Chapter XI - Education 281
  • 7. Conclusions 305
  • Chapter XII - Population Problems 307
  • Chapter XIII - The Possibilities of Federation For The British West Indies 330
  • Chapter XIV - The Alternatives for the American Dependencies 350
  • Chapter XV - General Conclusions 359
  • Abbreviations 362
  • Abbreviated References 363
  • Index 419
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