Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Robert Deal, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Michele Diener

Third Advisor

Dr. Phillip T. Rutherford


This thesis considers three different and distinct models utilized by the British to colonize the Caribbean islands of Bermuda (1612), Barbados (1627) and Tobago (1763). Much has been written about the development of each one of these islands, yet it appears no study has drawn out and compared the varied development schemes employed by the British in these three instances. Such comparisons are appropriate since, unlike many other areas of British colonization, Bermuda, Barbados and Tobago were not, at the time the British arrived, occupied nor settled by indigenous people or other European settlers. This provided the British an opportunity to devise, develop and implement a settlement scheme that did not have to accommodate existing inhabitants on the islands. Given these blank slates for development, this thesis asks why three different models were utilized instead of one: was the first model not as useful and beneficial as the second and third? Some answers may be accessed by looking at the evolving political and economic climate in London where seventeenth century British adventurers and merchants making the decisions for Bermuda and Barbados eventually became the government bureaucrats calling the shots for the eighteenth century development in Tobago. However, in all three cases, despite the best of intentions and efforts by adventurers and bureaucrats, the resulting settlements did not meet their planners’ expectations. Distance between the colonies and Britain, coupled with the frailties and foibles of those appointed to implement the plans on the islands, thwarted the plans as designed. This leads one to mull over whether the problem was with the various models of colonization, or with the process of colonization itself.


Bermuda Islands – Colonization – History – 17th century.

Barbados – Colonization – History – 17th century.

Trinidad and Tobago – Colonization -- History – 18th century.