This article considers British efforts to pacify Caribbean subjects through improvements in health and sanitation during the interwar period. When Barbadians mobilized against poor working and living conditions in the 1920s, the Colonial Office, under a renewed commitment to "trusteeship," urged the Barbadian government to improve health and sanitary conditions to prevent further unrest. However, the White creole elites who controlled the local state used eugenic arguments to challenge reforms that would benefit poor Black subjects. Rather than improve colonial relations, metropolitan efforts to reform public health in Barbados instead revealed the limitations at the heart of imperial rule.


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