Neocolonialism in Jamaica Essay

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Neocolonialism in Jamaica: History, practices, and resistance

“The imposition of structural adjustment programs in the Third World since the 1970s has been characterized as a war against the poor, a process of [neo] recolonization” (Turner, 1994: 37). This statement is particularly applicable to the country of Jamaica. The island has been susceptible to a variety of neocolonial acts including the presence of multinational corporations, structural adjustment programs, and loan organizations that have sucked Jamaica’s economy dry. This neocolonial presence has devastated the population in more ways than one. It is apparent that neocolonialism has had and continues to have a large impact on society as a whole in Jamaica. This
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Profound development began in 1660 when, after a five-year struggle against the Spanish crown, the British won power. There was a significant rise in population under British control. Their system allowed the colony to prosper as they gave new European settlers land to cultivate sugar cane and cocoa. “The European planter has been described as a machine for making money” (Waters, 1985: 22). The purpose of this colonial economic system was to provide raw materials and goods for the Mother Country. In addition, a general consumer market was developed to send wealth to Europe and allow for capital accumulation, all for the benefit of the colonizers.

Slavery represents an important part of Jamaican history and the cultivated dominant atmosphere. For one, plantations highly depended on slave labor to maximize profit margins. Between 1655 and 1808 one million slaves were forcefully brought to Jamaica (Waters, 1985: 21-23). Persaud (2001: 72) suggests, “the plantation system, the totality of institutional arrangements surrounding the production and marketing of plantation crops, has seriously affected society in Jamaica”. In other words, the slave mode of production was a crucial factor in the establishment of Jamaica’s structural society. “Jamaica’s class structure today reflects its history as a colonial plantation society and its beginnings of industrial development
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