The History Of Jamaica
From Tainos To Independence

start_here_if_new_image_link

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

Custom Search





The ancient history of Jamaica is vague, but we do know enough of perhaps what we need.

Much appreciation and thanks to 'Mammy', my belated great grand mother (my childhood mother), I garnered valuable knowledge in relation to Jamaica's post-emancipation history and the dynamics of life then.

New! See The Real Jamaica IN VIDEOS! Visit and subscribe to My Popular Youtube channel - you'll love it!


This proved to supplement my high school, college, and independent studies on Jamaica's history.

The Arawaks (Tainos) were the earliest recorded settlers in this blessed island. They were a sea-loving, kindhearted and dutiful tribe that migrated from Latin America-who probably was trying to evade the jaws of the Caribs- who were carnivorous.

They made a lasting impression on the history of Jamaica- as you will later learn, especially on language, culture and food.

The lived a very organized way of life that featured religion,politics and other social structures-albeit not as complex as we claim to have in Jamaica now.

In 1494, the Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus found these warm-hearted people on the island when he 'discovered' Jamaica. Sadly though, they were brainwashed and exploited and they quickly diminished. Incidentally, Jamaica became a colony of Spain officially in 1509.

A Jamaican Slave Arawaks Christopher Columbus

On May 10, 1655, the English, under the leadership of Sir William Penn conquered a depleted Spanish fleet and took the island. The Spanish, we understood, offered very little resistance.

During the latter part of the 17th Century, the agricultural sector blossomed, particularly with respect to produce such as cocoa and sugar cane. This led to the necessity for increased labour. The English turned to the importation of slaves from the African continent, this continued despite growing opposition to the idea of slavery.

The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade was outlawed in 1807 and slavery was eventually abolished in 1838. This monumental achievement (abolition of slavery) brought increased unrest as a result of the new found freedom.

Jamaica would have recorded minor and major uprisings in the island. Two of the larger ones were the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion and the 1938 sugar riots (More on the key events here).

At the hearts of the riots were concerns over rights, working conditions and improvement in the standard of living.

After the 1938 riots a new Jamaica began to evolve, political consciousness was at an all time high. The two now major political parties were soon established-The Jamaica Labour Party and The Peoples' National Party.

The country lobbied for independence from British rule and in August 1962, Jamaica raised its own national flag! a defining moment in the history of our country.

Alexander Bustamante was installed as the first prime minister of Jamaica.

Since then, control of the government has changed hands only between these two traditional parties.

Today, we have many informal (and formal) public debates as to which party brought improvement (economic, social, political etc.) to Jamaica.

The sad truth though is that we are still very far way from where we might have been, considering the abundance of natural resources, our strategic location, and the warm spirit of our people.

Remember to read my article on the key moments, or should I say, the significant dates and events in Jamaica's history.

Recommended: Learn about Jamaica's History against subjugation, injustice, economic deprivation and the fight for full freedom by Sherlock and Bennett in...

The Story Of The Jamaican People Book

The Story of the Jamaican People is the first general history of Jamaica to be written in almost 40 years.

It differs significantly from earlier "imperial" histories which have been written from the perspective of the coloniser and which have relegated Jamaicans to an inferior and passive role.

In this book, the authors offer a new interpretation of Jamaica's history, recounting the epic resistance to slavery; from the acts of sabotage on the estates, the legendary exploits of Maroon heroes Cudjoe, Nanny and Tacky, to the final blow delivered by Sam Sharpe which ended slavery in Jamaica. Click Here To Read More About The Story Of The Jamaican People At Amazon.com

See also: The Early History Of Jamaica

Return to Profile of Jamaica from History of Jamaica
Return to My Island Jamaica from Jamaica's History

Pages Related To 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. Why were free villages created in Jamaica? And Where Are They Located?

    Sep 17, 19 03:09 PM

    It's an important, but often forgotten, topic in our history, that's the purpose and background around the free villages in Jamaica. Well we just 'freed

    Read More

  2. Work Ethic in Jamaica

    Sep 16, 19 11:08 PM

    This joke was shared with me by my 'ole' pal, Andrea Scott. The population of Jamaica is 2.7 million. 1 million are retired. That leaves 1.7 million

    Read More

  3. How To Get A Bailiff In Jamaica?

    Sep 16, 19 12:58 PM

    Where can you find bailiffs in Jamaica and how can you get one to remove a squatter or perhaps even tennant, who is occupying your property illegally.

    Read More

  4. Cost of cutting keys in Jamaica

    Sep 15, 19 09:08 PM

    Yes, we answer almost all questions about Jamaica from the best places to visit to yes, the cost of cutting keys! And that's the question we'll answer

    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.