How was it really in Jamaica


The English conquered Jamaica in 1655 and turned the island into a huge sugar plantation that made plantation owners rich. In England they said "as rich as a West Indian plantation owner" to describe the richest person. To grow sugar cane, the English brought many more Africans to work than slaves, most of them from the west coast of the continent and what is now Nigeria. Buccaneers soon operated out of Jamaica and attacked the treasure ships of Spain and France. One was a young contract worker from Wales named Henry Morgan. He would get on well and rose to lieutenant governor. His home, Port Royal, was known as "the richest and dirtiest city in Christianity". But in 1692 an earthquake destroyed Port Royal and pulled it under the sea.

When the English arrived, the Spaniards fled to the neighboring islands. Their slaves escaped into the mountains and formed their own independent groups called maroons. The Maroons were joined by other slaves who escaped the English. They fought for a long time against the English, who tried to enslave them again. So successful were the Maroons, who fought from their fortresses, that the English were forced to sign peace treaties giving the Maroons self-government and giving them the mountainous lands they inhabited. The runaways regularly rioted until the Treaty of 1739, which gave them a level of local autonomy that they still retain today. Slavery was abolished in 1834. In the economic chaos that followed emancipation, one event stood out: the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865. The rebellion was led by a black Baptist deacon named Paul Bogle and supported by a wealthy Kingston businessman, George William Gordon. Both were executed and are now among Jamaica's national heroes. In the years that followed, much of modern Jamaica was forged. Migrants from India and China came to the sugar plantations as contract workers and quickly switched to other jobs. Jewish settlers soon came to Jamaica, followed by migrant traders from the Middle East. Together these groups have created the diverse people of Jamaica today, to whom we owe the national motto "Out of Many, One People".

In the 1930s, politics was born in Jamaica. Two very different men, Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante (who were cousins ​​by a singular Jamaican coincidence) founded the two major political parties, the People National Party and the Jamaica Labor Party, respectively. On August 6, 1962, at a midnight ceremony observed by British Princess Margaret and US Vice President Lyndon Johnson, the British Union Jack was lowered; the new black, gold and green Jamaican flags were hoisted and Jamaica became an independent nation.