Virgin Islands riot, 1878
European imperial control of the Western Hemisphere began in the Caribbean
and continued there for centuries. Today, some Caribbean islands remain
the possessions of European countries or the United States. The longevity
and intensity of colonial rule in the Caribbean, in turn, inspired a variety
of forms of resistance and rebellion by local peoples. Illustrators for
periodicals recorded major rebellions and the rise of independent nation-states
in the region.
The revolt of enslaved Africans in French San Domingue in 1791 led to
the emergence of Haiti, in 1804, as the second independent nation-state
in the Americas. The Dominican Republic achieved independence from Haiti
in 1844, was re-colonized by the Spanish in 1861 and became independent
again in 1865.
In 1871 a U.S. commission (which included an artist) conducted an extensive
survey of the Dominican Republic, with an eye toward possible annexation.
In 1865 artists documented the Jamaican Morant Bay rebellion, a major
assault on British colonial rule in the Caribbean.