Important Dates And Events In Jamaica's History

by Admin

Picture Of Paul Bogle At Morant Bay

Picture Of Paul Bogle At Morant Bay

I went to a local cyber cafe recently and realized that a number of students were actually looking for this - important (key) events and dates in the history of Jamaica.

What does that mean?

Yup! Time to research and provide this information!

And I did! So now I provide you just that - some of the most important events in our country's history leading up to Independence in 1962.


1494- Christopher Columbus discovered the island.

1509- The Spaniards occupied the country and remained in possession for 146 years.

1655- The English captured the island from the Spaniards and colonized the territory.

1692- Port Royal, which had become the focal point of the pirates plundering the Caribbean and Central America, was destroyed by earthquake and Kingston became subsequently the chief city and port.

1838- Slaves were emancipated and the economy foundered due to the crisis on the plantations.

1848- Britain’s free trade policy led to a further deterioration in the Jamaican economy because sugar protection was lifted and Jamaican sugar was in competition with cheaper sugar from elsewhere.

1865- The Morant Bay Rebellion broke out after prolonged disputes between the planters and the settlers.

1866- Crown Colony Government replaced the old system of representative government.

1870- An export trade in bananas replaced the predominance of sugar and restored the island’s economy.

1944- Universal adult suffrage was introduced under the new Constitution and proved to be the first step in the gradual move toward independence.

1953- A full ministerial system was established.

1958- Jamaica joined the federation of the West Indies, which was an association of 10 British Island territories in which Jamaica and Trinidad were the largest.

1959- The country was granted full internal self-government.

1961- Jamaica voted in a Referendum to secede from the Federation of the West Indies and to achieve Independence.

1962- The Federation was dissolved and Jamaica became independent on August 6th.

That's a lot for a little country isn't it?
Be sure to read more on the history of Jamaica here.

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Mar 24, 2015
by: Paul

Very good chronology of the histroy of Jamaia however quite a few important information was left out.

I wish I woulld have seen information and recognition of the dates Jamaia's national Heros fought and died for what could be regarded as the early Civil Rights movement.

There was no mention of the Christmas rebellion in St, James another impprtsnt "rebellion" that shaped the history , including the other maroon rebellions that played a pivotal role in our history.

I think you have started a goodt thing in simplifying the long history but there are still holes left to be filled.


Oct 16, 2013
Jamaican History
by: Helen

Thank you for the conspectus - it's very interesting!

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