An Insight Into The Colonial History of Jamaica

Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now.

start_here_if_new_image_link

Caution! Don't risk your vacation... get my Jamaica Travel Guide

Custom Search





The Colonial History of Jamaica, Contributed by Tamekia Kentish

The Tainos were the first recorded inhabitants of Jamaica. They settled here relatively peacefully until the beautiful Caribbean island saw its first European visitor - the Spaniards, in 1494.

New! See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS

Click Here to visit and subscribe to my YouTube channel -you'll love it!


colonial history of jamaica - small houseSource: Flckr

By the way, the Tainos were gentle fishers and farmers who were contented with a simple way of life. They are believed to be of South American ancestry and arrived in the Caribbean, primarily, in the search for food.

The Spaniards, led by Christopher Columbus and his crew, had set out from Spain on their second voyage to the New World, when they found the shores of this beautiful island they named Jamaica.

Although they arrived in Jamaica in 1494, it was not until 1509 that Juan de Esquivel arrived from Santa Domingo and established settlements.

They entered the north end of Jamaica at St. Ann and built their first town called Sevilla Nueva, or New Seville. Later they travelled to the south and developed Jago de la Vega (St. James of the Plain), which at present is known in the island as Spanish Town.

Further settlements such as Liguanea, Guanaboa, Esquivel (Old Harbour), Passage Fort, Oristan (Bluefields) and Ayala (Yallahs) were established. Names such as Rio Minho and the Rio Cobre have survived the changes in Jamaica’s leadership.

It appears that Spain seemed to lack vision for the island initially; as such, it was not properly used for all the benefits that it could have yielded them. The main employment came from ship building and repairs.

The tainos were brutally treated, in fact, they were not seen as equal to the spaniards are were enslaved. Many, being foreign to these practices, died soon after while others took their own lives; even their babies were killed.

In acts of infanticide, the Tainos thought it better to take the lives of their children than have them live as slaves. The Spanish colony of Jamaica was considered a financial burden to Spain. Thus, Spain bought the first slaves for Jamaica in 1517.

In 1655, the British, led by Admiral Penn and General Venables, having failed to capture Hispaniola, arrived in Jamaica at the Kingston Harbour and captured the island from Spain.

Spain had surrendered without much resistance. Britain claimed the island as a colony formally in 1661.

Britain was able to accomplish what the Spanish could not; they made Jamaica prosperous. Their first bid at stirring interest to the island was to offer attractive land grants to British citizens. Thus, by 1664 Sir Thomas Modyford brought over 1000 British settlers and slaves to Jamaica.

As a British colony, Jamaica flourished in agriculture. Products like cacao, coffee and pimento all did well, but sugarcane was the king crop.

With the growth of sugarcane plantations went the growth of the slave trade. The massive economic benefits of slavery are believed by many to have been the major force behind Britain’s Industrial Revolution.

Britain considered the slaves no higher than they would their cows or goats. As a result of this, over 1 million slaves were estimated to have been transported from Africa to Jamaica.

This horrendous slave trade was finally abolished in 1807 and full Emancipation of the British slaves was realized on August 1, 1834.

colonial_history_of_jamaica_maroons

At this time Britain established a system of Apprenticeship in which slaves’ children under the age of 6 years old and those born after this date were free. However, those over this age would be apprentices for 4-6 years.

After years of struggling against British (colonial) rule, Jamaica rallied to gain it's Independence on August 6, 1962.

Jamaica was no longer a Spanish or British colony; it was now guided only by the will of its people and carried out by its publicly elected officials.

How effective the leadership has been since then though is probably a topic for another discussion :-)

Take a look at the history of Jamaica page which captures important dates and events in Jamaica's history.

See also: Why is Emancipation Day Celebrated In Jamaica?

Pages Related To Colonial History Of Jamaica

Make sure you subscribe to my free monthly e-zine My Island Jamaica Digest (MIJD) and stay with the latest from Jamaica!

Back to Top of Colonial History of Jamaica

Return to Culture of Jamaica from Colonial History of Jamaica
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Colonial History of Jamaica

New! Talk To Me
Was the information helpful? Something needs changing? I welcome your feedback here.

Read More ...

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recommended For You ...

Caution!
Don't Make The Mistakes Others Do!

Get The TIPS & TRICKS For Your Jamaica Vacation In Our Jamaica Travel Guide!

jamaica travel guide

Click Here To Get Your Copy

And, Before You Go!

Here (below) are some sweet deals on matching products at Amazon that you might have otherwise missed. 

Amazon.com, by the way, is the internet's most reputable retailer and usually showcases only the best products that are related to your search. Be sure to check them out.

Note: If link does not show, please click here to be redirected to our page at Amazon.com.


Great Articles You Might Have Missed

data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="3"

Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Thank You!

P.S. Didn't find exactly what you were looking for? Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.


About The Author

wellesley gayle - booking link

A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 8,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.

He invites you to join his friends list and stay updated on all the latest. You are also invited to join his exclusive patron community

copyscpe
Top Of Page
Wellesley Gayle

New Here?

I recommend you START HERE to enjoy the best of this website!


What's New?

Click Here to see the VERY latest articles and features.


Trending Now

Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Our Preferred Sponsors  & Friends (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

list your business here

Builders in Jamaica - Building Contractors
Recommended Building Contractors In Jamaica Photographers in Jamaica
Wedding Photographers
Cars For Sale In Jamaica
Cars For Sale

JamaicaSunshine Tours.com

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Top Articles

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. What is heritage day in Jamaica?

    Oct 15, 19 03:56 PM

    Answered by Aneisha Dobson, Associate Writer If you have visited Jamaica at any point and carefully observed the culture, you will agree with me that

    Read More

  2. Jamaican Daggering | The Dance & Its Social Concerns

    Oct 15, 19 02:00 PM

    Jamaican daggering might be hot and trending but is inherrently highly explicit and risky, which has caused grave social concerns. What are they? And Why?

    Read More

  3. Rastafarian Jamaica | The Truth & Nothing But The Truth

    Oct 14, 19 04:47 PM

    Rastafarian Jamaica | Enlighten yourself! Here is the whole truth behind the history, beliefs, practices and customs, diets and more of this special movement.

    Read More

  4. Rio Grande Jamaica |Idyllic River Rafting You'll Cherish A Lifetime

    Oct 13, 19 07:29 PM

    Experience idyllic river rafting adventure on the famous rio grande Jamaica, Portland and Jamaica's best river rafting attraction.

    Read More

New!  I've created a Welcome Audio. Just click the Play button below to listen.

Please subscribe here to get my latest updates.