Jamaican History Essay

1309 Words Jun 6th, 2005 6 Pages
Jamaica: History, Government, People, Religion

Jamaica is a tropical island, located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Around the coastlines are beautiful beaches with crystal clear blue-green water. In some respects, this is the majority of what people know about Jamaica. In this orientation text you will better understand Jamaica's history, the people who live there, the many different religions, geography, and governments that have ruled the land.
The land of Jamaica is very small. The total land mass area of the island is 4,243 square miles. Stretching 146 miles from east to west and at its furthest points north to south, approximately 51 miles (Encyclopedia Americana, 2001, P 670). Within this area, the land is largely
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With the indigenous people gone, and Spain being overthrown, all the imported African slaves revolted. Renegade slaves were called "Maroons." The Maroons waged war against there new governing country for nearly 100 years until a peace treaty was signed in 1738 (Encyclopedia Americana, 2001, P 671). This era in Jamaican history is arguably the worst of all times of turmoil in Jamaican history.
By the early 18th century, with the peace treaty in place, Jamaica began to build vast amounts of sugar plantations. Sugar became the main export to England. Second, and not far behind, was slave trade. Jamaica's location in the heart of the Caribbean Sea made it an ideal port for harboring slaves until they were needed to sell. This enabled Jamaica to be one of the British crown's most lucrative assets (Encyclopedia Americana, 2001, P 673).
Things changed with the British Parliament's abolishment of the slave trade in 1833. Freed slaves became independent farmers or employees of surviving sugar plantations. The government also changed from an elected British assembly to a governor–controlled crown colony enacted in 1866 and run for 75 years. During this political change, sugar industry slowed and the emergence of the banana industry became Jamaica's main export (Encyclopedia Americana, 2001, P 673). Jamaica formed a two party system in its changes. The People's National Party (PNP) and Jamaican Labor Party (JLP) would alternate rule for the…