With the exception of the 99th Anti-Aircraft Artillery unit that was deployed in Trinidad in , all of the army and navy units sent to the base colonies from the continental United States were white. In this way, as in others, the Americanized landscape of the leased areas was one of exclusion. Agreement needed to be reached on each of these points.
Everything had to be referred back to Washington with sometimes uncomfortable results. On several occasions, the American delegates had to revisit points that had been hitherto agreed to. The Leased Bases Agreement provided a legal framework for the friendly invasion of the base colonies.
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In Article 1, the general description of rights, the United States was accorded wide-ranging powers within the leased areas as well as in adjacent lands and waters. The twenty-nine articles that followed reveal the extent of the powers won by the American negotiators. For starters, U. They could even post their letters at the U.
Post Office in leased areas. Crimes committed within the leased areas were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States. Those crimes committed by U. How this worked in practice, we shall see, had everything to do with race. In addition to the nearly complete control that the United States acquired within the leased areas, it won extensive powers off-base. In Article 20, on health measures, the United States won the right to respond to perceived health threats in areas adjoining the leased bases.
Legal procedures for the removal of inhabitants and the lease of additional lands were also provided for. The new U. Winant, was evidently pleased by the Bases Agreement. It contained everything that the United States had hoped for: The rights and powers it conveys are far-reaching, probably more far-reaching than any the British Government has ever given anyone over British territory before.
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They are not used to giving such concessions and on certain points they have fought every inch of the way. While they have intended all along to give us everything we really needed—they could do no less and had no desire to do less—it was a real struggle for them to break habits of three hundred years. The Prime Minister has been generous throughout. To ensure colonial support, Winston Churchill issued an open letter to the people of each base colony thanking them for their sacrifice. The subsequent occupation of the leased areas by the United States was accompanied by pomp and ceremony.
It is a symbol of a historic pact. I think you will agree with me when I say that this friendly little gathering today shows how the firm friendship of our two great nations will be the best insurance for the future peace and happiness of the world. Moore and Barbara G. These public performances invited people to visualize Anglo-American cooperation. Figure 0. MF Photograph I would like to offer a typical flag-raising ceremony in the Caribbean region as an example, this one at the U.
Yet it is impossible for Britishers to regard America as a foreign nation, and she has been no more so regarded by them than the people of one part of the British Empire look upon the inhabitants of another part as foreigners merely. It is impossible to forget that America was once a part of the British Empire, and if it be said that America fought to win her independence of England, the comment upon this is that there have been civil wars in England herself for the establishing of new rights and new freedoms.
In effect, wrote the Daily Gleaner: Friendship, co-operation, the mixing up of American and British affairs in certain respects, for beneficial and benignant purposes and ends, are symbolized by the hoisting of the American flag at Portland Bight in the afternoon of yesterday. America is with us in this war, with us in act and not merely in sympathetic words.
Of this we are all appreciative, for this we are grateful, and British West Indians feel that they do play some part in this standing together of the two democracies. We remain British; at the same time we are on friendlier terms than ever before with the people of the United States.
The war is terrible, but we can see its soul of goodness in this closer drawing together of England and America, in this strengthening of the foundations of friendship upon which both great nations stand. Flags were unfurled, bands played, troops inspected, general salutes sounded, toasts proposed, and speeches made. Later in the war it became common for British governors to review marching U. Once home to people, Argentia was leased to the Americans for a naval base.
Residents refused to leave, however, until they were adequately compensated for their lost property and livelihood.
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As a result, the town and the base coexisted uneasily for a period of time. Oral interviews conducted with uprooted residents during the s and s tell of people living in a vast construction site. Gilpatrick, a U. Well this base is the town now—as the town has gone out of existence. The base covers the whole peninsula. There are about 2 square miles. Decades later, white Newfoundlanders continued to remember with frustration the American propensity to refer to them as natives—a word that had hitherto been used to label nonwhites.
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The United States regularly declared war on the anopheles mosquito, unsanitary conditions, and venereal disease. Inevitably, the source of disease and danger was linked to residents. Corps of Engineers, for example, conducted surveys in the Cumuta area of Trinidad in September Because the bases were built in peacetime the United States did not enter the war until the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, , the U. The association of the U. The bases were equipped with indoor plumbing, cafeterias, cinemas, golf courses, and other recreational facilities, social clubs, hospitals, and even radio stations.
In time, the bases became arch-typical American landscapes—self-contained, suburban, sanitized, and segregated.
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In fact, white Americans inscribed their racialized identities on the bases. Civilians visiting the bases were in awe of the power and wealth that these bases displayed. Many visitors had never seen anything like it.
It provided, in fact, an unintended but seductive advertisement for the [U. Humphrey Walwyn, the governor of Newfoundland, for example, reported that the leased bases were models in modernity: The permanent buildings are admirably built, efficient in operation and attractive in appearance; and, while they are built on a scale and of materials beyond the reach of the average citizen, they do present models at first hand for him to aspire to and copy.
Already the effect upon Newfoundland building and architecture, heretofore stereotyped and ugly, is discernible in new civilian building and housing schemes. Up to date methods in healing and plumbing, applied on the Bases, are being adopted widely; for example central heating by oil burners is spreading rapidly. For Walwyn, the U. An article appearing in the newsletter of Bermuda Base Command in called the U.
The American trademark, symbol of the new world. Just as the bases created a visual landscape that sharpened the class and racial divide, so too did the throngs of U. Passage through the main gates into the leased area was as much a cultural crossing as it was a physical one. In Bermuda, motor vehicles were supposed to be prohibited altogether—at least outside the leased areas.
The gates also became a flash point for racial confrontation and violence. Relations deteriorated to such an extent that the U. Navy turned to civilian nonwhite guards in the region.
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The leased bases thus created a distinctive topography, the visual identity of which contrasted sharply with the surrounding areas. A thousand people in attendance at a September concert and dance at the Chaguaramas naval base in Trinidad, for example, were treated to a slide show. The fourteen projected images included eight views of Chaguaramas before base construction began and six of the area as it was then.
As each image was shown, U. Sweeney, the operations manager of the James Stewart construction company. They frequently juxtaposed picturesque British colonial outposts with the hyper-modernity of the U. Army and Navy were clearing the land in a few short months and building airports, modern docks, and gun emplacements.