‘The Gift of Education’: Emancipation and Government Education in the West Indies, Britain and Beyond

  • Rebecca Swartz
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter focuses on connections between education in Britain, the West Indies and the settler colonies between 1833 and 1847. In this period, education came to be seen as the responsibility of a humanitarian colonial government and as central to social reform in Britain and the colonies. Ideas about what education should enable—who should access it, and how—changed in relation to these developments. The ways in which the imperial government came to see education as a legitimate arena for government involvement is central to understanding the development of education in Britain’s settler colonies. The chapter uses material relating to the Negro Education Grant in the West Indies, including reports from inspector Charles La Trobe, as well as a memorandum on industrial education produced by James Kay-Shuttleworth.


West Indies Caribbean Negro Education Grant Charles La Trobe Emancipation Slavery Labour Industrial education Humanitarianism Government education James Kay-Shuttleworth 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Swartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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