Jamaica History

By | January 9, 2023

Jamaica – national flag

Jamaica National Flag

Jamaica’s national flag was first adopted and hoisted at the country’s independence in 1962. The colors of the flag have no political significance; the green symbolizes the future and the country’s agriculture, the yellow natural riches and the beauty of sunlight, and the black the past and present burdens that the country must bear.

  • Countryaah: What does the flag of Jamaica look like? Follow this link, then you will see the image in PNG format and flag meaning description about this country.

Jamaica – History

When Columbus arrived in Jamaica in 1494, he declared the island Spanish property and named it Santiago. The island was then inhabited by Arawak Indians. In 1655, the British conquered Jamaica, which then remained part of the British Empire for 300 years.

The island developed during the 1600’s. to one of the main areas of piracy in the Caribbean. In 1672, The Royal African Company was established, the pirates were put out, and a large-scale import of African slaves began. Jamaica quickly became one of the largest centers of the slave trade in the world, and the island was transformed into a plantation community with a slave-based sugar production.

  • AbbreviationFinder: Check three-letter abbreviation for each country in the world, such as JAM which represents the official name of Jamaica.

According to a2zgov, France and Spain tried several times to conquer Jamaica; the last attempt took place in 1806. Until the abolition of slavery at the end of 1833, runaway slaves, so-called maroons, waged several protracted wars against the British, and in 1865 a major uprising took place. After several uprisings in the 1930’s, trade unions and political parties were formed, and the demand for independence grew.

In 1958-62, the island joined the West Indies Federation with a view to establishing a common state with other British territories, but on August 6, 1962, Jamaica became an independent state within the Commonwealth alone with Alexander Bustamante (1884-1977) of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP).) as Prime Minister. In 1972, the People’s National Party (PNP) won the election, after which Michael Manley became Prime Minister. The PNP is social democratic with a clear bourgeois turn, and Michael Manley promised greater popular participation in political life and the introduction of a socialist democracy.

In 1980, the JLP took power again, and Edward Seaga (b. 1930) became head of government. He broke with Cuba and forged close ties with the Reagan administration in the United States. Jamaica became a key country for the United States in the Caribbean and received massive financial support from the International Monetary Fund, USAID and the World Bank.

Jamaica played a leading role in the 1983 invasion of Grenada and participated with the largest Caribbean troop contingent. During the same period, the country played a growing role in cocaine smuggling between South and North America, and in connection with this, crime grew. In 1989, Manley regained power, and the following year, diplomatic relations with Cuba were re-established.

Prime Minister
1962-67 Alexander Bustamante
1967 Donald Sangster
1967-72 Hugh Lawson Shearer
1972-80 Michael Manley
1980-89 Edward Seaga
1989-92 Michael Manley
1992-2006 Percival J. Patterson
2006-07 Portia Simpson-Miller
2007-11 Bruce Golding
2011-12 Andrew Holness
2012- Portia Simpson-Miller

Under a stable and democratic surface, Jamaica was plagued in the 1990’s by violent gangs and an extremely high homicide rate that threatened the country’s important tourism industry. Out of 1138 homicides in 2001, police had 145 on conscience. Half of the murders were committed by warring drug gangs with close ties to the country’s two major parties; the police solved only a small part of the murder cases.

In 1992, due to Manley’s illness, the post of Prime Minister passed to PJ Patterson (b. 1935) from the PNP, who also won the 1993, 1997 and 2002 elections., but to a lesser extent the desired growth in the country.

Chronic unemployment of over 15% and widespread poverty are helping to perpetuate tensions. On the positive side, however, according to UNESCO, Jamaica was the best of 89 developing countries in the fight against illiteracy; in 1999, the proportion of illiterates was only 13.6%.

In 2006, Portia Simpson-Miller (b. 1945) took over from the Peoples National Party as the first woman prime minister, but as early as 2007 she had to hand it over by a narrow margin to Bruce Golding (b. 1947) of the JLP.

Jamaica has major problems with crime, especially drug-related crime, and the country has one of the highest murder rates in the world. In 2010, an action was taken to arrest a gang leader, Christopher “Dudus” Coke (b. 1969). The action, however, led to widespread unrest in Kingston, in which more than 70 people perished. The political consequence was that Golding resigned in 2011, and later that year, Portia Simpson-Miller became prime minister again. She has been an advocate since 2012 for Jamaica to break ties with Britain and become a republic.