The Mechanics of Independence: Patterns of Political and Economic Transformation in Trinidad and Tobago

The Mechanics of Independence: Patterns of Political and Economic Transformation in Trinidad and Tobago

The Mechanics of Independence: Patterns of Political and Economic Transformation in Trinidad and Tobago

The Mechanics of Independence: Patterns of Political and Economic Transformation in Trinidad and Tobago

Synopsis

If any doubt still remains, the story of Trinidad and Tobago will dispel the last illusion that money and technical assistance alone can launch a new nation in the world community. The Mechanics of Independence probes the interplay of political and social factors on national development with both commitment and detachment.

The author, who is President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is also a political scientist whose perceptions have been sharpened by the demands of his office.

As a background for economic reforms and a new constitution, the author traces the political development of the colony under Spanish and British imperial rule, discussing the origin and evolution of the idea that led to the rise of nationalism. Valuable and practical information, supported by charts and statistics, explains how Trinidad and Tobago devised measures to cope with a legacy of economic problems, the tax structure, monetary policy, and international trade following its independence from Great Britain in 1962.

The text is a compelling portrait of developmental efforts and a case study of the economic, cultural, and political problems that developing nations faced during the twentieth century and provides historical background for those nations who are facing the mounting challenges inherent in globalization.

Excerpt

With the severance of their chief colonial ties in the late 1950s, the territories of the Caribbean became the last major area of the world to reap the political benefits of the upheavals that resulted from World War II. However, after centuries of having their treasures drained by metropolitan overseers, these states have discovered the road of independence to be indeed a rough one. First relegated to roles of watering spots, tax havens, and sources of cheap raw materials, they now find themselves in the uncomfortable position of links - or potential links - in a number of mutually hostile chains of security. The emergence of Fidel Castro in Cuba and Cheddi Jagan in Guyana; military interventions by US, Dutch, and British forces; and recent political changes, such as those in Peru and Chile, have all combined to exacerbate already trying conditions. Thus integration of the territories of the area, perhaps the only hope for a visible future, seems nearly as remote now as it did during the heyday of externally imposed isolation.

Still, the future of the area holds as much hope as its recent past held cause for dismay. Each of the various territories has at times shown enough political, economic, and social acumen to convince the interested onlooker that with very small amounts of "no-strings" aid, patience, and understanding, the area could find its way to some kind of effective union.

No nation offers greater insight to both the expectations and the fears for the Caribbean than Trinidad and Tobago. With a genuinely multiracial . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.