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

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

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

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

Excerpt

The seed from which this book grew was planted in my mind many years ago when, in pursuit of knowledge about what is now called 'colonialism', I visited Hawaii and the Samoan islands and breathed an atmosphere in American dependencies very different from that in those belonging to Britain. The seed lay dormant until the second world war when, as a most pleasant and instructive interlude in an official mission to the British West Indies, I visited Puerto Rico. It seemed to me that the contrasts I then observed superficially were worth serious study and that the Caribbean islands, where Britain and America deal with very similar problems of government and development in close neighbourhood, was the proper place for such a study.

It was easy to initiate this good idea: its fulfilment must require several years of work and travel on the part of some very well- qualified student. It was a stroke of very good fortune that Mrs. Proudfoot agreed to undertake this task. As Miss Mary Macdonald she had already assisted me for a time with my own colonial work. After that she published a study of democratic government in Austria between the two world wars and held the post of Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford. From this she went on to add practical experience of a very valuable kind to her academic training. She held one of the highest posts open to women in the army during the war and this led her finally to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and the handling of the refugee problems in Europe. She married an American colleague in this work, now Professor Malcolm Proudfoot of Northwestern University, Chicago. She was thus very well prepared and very conveniently placed for the work demanded by this book which she has carried out in America, in Britain, and in the Caribbean.

By the time Mrs. Proudfoot was able to undertake this work it had become of even greater interest and importance than when the idea of it germinated. The 'mixing-up' of Britain and America in the Caribbean has become increasingly close in a setting of still wider international relationships in that region where so many diverse races and cultures meet. But the study has a much more than local interest: it is the most striking illustration of the Anglo-

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