Slavery is a form of forced labour in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages. The Bussa rebellion was short-lived. There were a number of reasons for which this rebellion had taken place. The reasons included the mistreatment of the slaves by the slaves by the planters, the desire to acquire freedom of the slaves and great encouragement from the slaves who rebelled in the St. Domingue revolt.
The rebellion was well lead and organized by the head ranger on the bayley’s plantation called by the name Bussa. He was entrusted with great authority by the manager over his fellow blacks. Despite of these privileges he still remembered he was enslaved like his fellow workers. So he used it to his advantage to organize a rebellion so that they could be free of slavery. The position of Bussa on the plantation and his advantage to organize a rebellion left the enslaved with two options; continue working on the plantation or rebel against the planters and acquire their freedom.
Like any sensible human being on earth they chose to rebel against the planters. Rebelling wasn’t like ‘taking milk from a baby’ it was very difficult for the enslaved. They then had to face the consequences of the outcome of the rebellion. Quite a few of the consequences didn’t favor the enslaved although they outnumbered the whites in population. I believe it started with the early absence of their leader Bussa who died shortly after the rebellion started. Also, the whites were equip with superior weaponry to those of the enslaved making it harder task for them.
Causes of the Bussa rebellion Like most human things that were captured against their will and forced to obey their so-called master finally seeks the desire for freedom. This was the case of the slaves on the Bayley’s plantation and all slaves in general. The slaves believed that the Registry Bill which was put in place to deter the sale of slaves after the abolition of the slave trade was their ‘free-paper’ and the planters were withholding this right. Also, they believed that they should take full control of the island because they thought it was theirs.
The registry bill forbids planters from the trading black slaves within the Caribbean. The slaves were greatly inspired by the successful rebellion of the slaves in St. Domigue to fight. It was said that Nanny Grigg a female slave encouraged the slaves to follow the patterns set by the slaves of the French colonies. According to one confession she told the slaves that ‘ the only way to get freedom was to fight for it, otherwise they would not get it; and the way to do it was to set fire, as that was the way they did it in St. Domingue. The conditions of slavery were another cause of the Bussa rebellion. The slaves were represented tremendously by some humanitarians like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson. ‘I would never rest till I had effected its abolition,’ were the words of William Wilberforce referring to the slave trade. This showed how determined Wilberforce was to end the slave trade. Out of this determination slaves were highly encouraged and it also built their courage. Wilberforce and other humanitarians fought hard to the abolition of the slave trade.