The DayNovs, Friday, Ja 31, 1998 23
Davis continues on Jamaica's history
This second column on -naonce of sugar restored the island's and violence arising from severe
Jamaica's history focuses from the economy. The balance of power in economic problems in the country
year 1692 to the present. e Jamaica took another 100 years of This was also the same year when
For the next 300 years, the DavIs straggle. If you know the history of someone made an attempt to kill
British retained control of Jamaica Our Jamaican people, you know the late Bob Marley.
calling It "the Pearl of the 0 J n amaicans come from a breed of In 1980, Jamaican Labour Party
Caribbean." Buccanerse like Hemry Environmert people who are courageous and formed a government after eight
Morgan, who later became lieo- determined to ascceed. years in opposition. Three years
tenant governor of Jamaica, used Yet, time again, the people of later, the Jamaican Labor Party was
the island to his advantage and Port Moore Town In the hills of Port- Jamaica proved themselves to the returned to power unopposed by
Royal became the focal point of land to the st of the island au well task. For example. in 1739 when the People's National Party, thus
pirate activities. uotherpurtsofthecountry. the Maroons brought the British creating a parliament without an
In 1692. Port Royal, known Nonetheless, the golden years of down to their knees when they opposition for the first time in the
today as Kingston, was almost the planters were all over. Even signed the treaty of autonomy history of Jamaica. The country's
destroyed by a devastating earth- with the importation of indentured between them and the Maroons. economy was improving when
quake and it was further damaged servants from Asia in 1846 and Following World War I1 in 1945, Hurricane Gilbert struck the island
by a series of hurricanes over 30 Chinese laborers for plantations, Jamaica succeeded both in the causing extensive damage.
years or more. By then. the Bucca- work did not help the economy of introduction of Universal Adult About 45 people died and $400
neers had disappeared from the Jamaica. Thus, many of the plants- Suffrage and also acquiring a large billion (Jamaican ecy) in dam-
island and Jamaica became more lions were abandoned and many measure of internal self-govern- age was sustained. In 1989. the
involved in the exportation and fell into bankrupcy. meat People's National Party formed a
trade of agricultural products such In 1848, the same year of eman- In 1953, a full ministerial sys- government after winning the gen-
assugar andcocoa. cipation for enslaved Africans in tem was established in Jamaica. By cral election. Despite social and
With the town's rapidly expand- the Virgin Islands, the British gov- 1958, Jamaica joined the Federa- economical problems in Jamaica.
Ing economy, the sleepy fishing ernminent of Jamaica established a tlion of the West Indies, which over the centuries many people
community of Kingston became the free trade policy to help the econo- already had the association of 10 from other countries made Jamaica
capital of Jamaica in 1872. The my. British island colonies in which their home. Jamaica has developed
abolition of the slave trade in the Their effort failed because the Jamaica and Trinidad were the a rich culture and a spirit thai
late 1700s did very little to affect sugar protection was lifted and largest. In 1959, Jamaica was makes it one of the most interesting
the prosperity of Kingston port of Jamaican sugar was in competition granted full internal self-govern- places on earth.
the British planters. However, the with cheaper sugar elsewhere. To meat. In 1961, Jamaicans voted in Believe me, they have remained
slave revolt that took place several complicate the economical prob- an island-wide referendum to Belto me, they hove remained
years later and the emancipation of lems, in 1865, a rebellion broke out secede from the Federation of th true to their motto: "Out of Many.
slaves in 1838 sounded death blows in Morant Bay after prolonged dis- West Indies and achieve indepen- One People."
to10 the island's economy. puoes between planters and settlers. dence. Next week's column focuses on
When enslaved Africans were In 1866. the Crown Colony of On Aug. 6,1962, the Federation the economical development or
emancipated in 1838, many of Jamaican government replaced the was dissolved and Jamaica was Jamaica.
them took to the hills-and moun- old system of government to get declared an independent ember of his article reflects the view of
tains of Jamaica and cultivated. the economy of the island back on the British Commonwealth. In Olaue Davi, s.aS. Croai ecologist.
their own land. The free slaves trc. 1976, sad to say, a one year state of activist and winter who has a mas
found a society in the hilly Cockpit In the 1870s, the exportation of emergency was declared in Jamaica ter of science degree in range man
country of western Jamaica and at bananas that replaced the predomi- to deal with the outbreak of crime agementandforestryecologyv.