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What Were The Causes Of The Berbice Revolt Of 1763? Why Did The Revolt Fail?

824 words - 4 pages

There are many causes for revolts. Usually they stem from a general miss-use of the population by a governing body. So, general causes could range from high taxes and property seizure to military conscription and slave labour. The main concern of the white plantation owners was to extract the greatest amount of labour from the slaves. Little effort was ever made to improve the wretched and degrading living conditions under which they were forced to live and also the harsh treatment and brutal punishments inflicted on them by their owners. The causes of the 1763 rebellion/revolt in Berbice resulted from harsh treatment. For example they had to work long hours on plantations and the ...view middle of the document...

On 1764 March-April, 40 slaves were hanged, 24 broken at the wheel and 24 were burned. On February 23 was changed to Guyanese National Day. In 1970 when Berbice became a Republic, Coffy was chosen as a National Hero. The revolt marked the first serious attempt by a large group of enslaved people to win their freedom in Guyana.
The reasons for the failure of the revolt were due to Coffy’s hesitation on attacking Fort Nassau. The leaders of the Revolution were divided in their struggle for power which deterred their aim. The Dutch soldiers were far superior to the rebels. Betrayal among leaders also lead to the failure of this Revolt.
The revolution began on February 23, 1763 at Plantation Magdelenenberg owned by a widow, Madam Vernesobre on the Caje River. The slaves killed the manager and carpenter, burned down the owner’s house and moved on to neighboring plantations along the Berbice River. Coffy, a housel slave, became the leader and set up headquarters at Plantations Hollandia and Zeelandia. This forced whites to retreat to Fort Nassau and Peer boom. On March 8, Governor Van Hoogenheim received a shipload of 10 soldiers from a British ship from Suriname and was able to attack for the first time. Van Hoogenheim led the main party of the Berbice River to Plantation Dagerald, but his three attacks were unsuccessful. In April, Coffy and the...

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