The one minute summary on Jamaica

This is it: one minute to the best info on Jamaica. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Jamaica, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

The island – discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 – was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee.

jamaica photo

Photo by rappensuncle

 

The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, and poverty pose significant challenges to the government today. Nonetheless, many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Jamaica
  2. Does my current phone work in  Jamaica ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Jamaica
  3. Local food you should try in  Jamaica and No miss drinks in  Jamaica

Now, cheers to the most Jamaica aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Jamaica?

The Arawak and Taino indigenous people originating from South America settled on the island between 4000 and 1000BC. Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494. Columbus’ probable landing point was Dry Harbour, now called Discovery Bay. St. Ann’s Bay was the “Saint Gloria” of Columbus who first sighted Jamaica at this point. The Spanish were forcibly evicted by the British at Ocho Rios in St. Ann and in 1655 the British took over the last Spanish fort in Jamaica. The Spanish colonists fled leaving a large number of African slaves. Rather than be re-enslaved by the English, they escaped into the hilly, mountainous regions of the island, joining those who had previously escaped from the Spanish to live with the Taínos.

These runaway slaves, who became known as the Jamaican Maroons, fought the British during the 18th century. During the long years of slavery Maroons established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica, maintaining their freedom and independence for generations. During its first 200 years of British rule, Jamaica became one of the world’s leading sugar-exporting, slave-dependent nations. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the British imported Indian and Chinese workers as indentured servants to supplement the labour pool. Descendants of indentured servants of Asian and Chinese origin continue to reside in Jamaica today.

By the beginning of the 19th century, Jamaica’s heavy reliance on slavery resulted in blacks (Africans) outnumbering whites (Europeans) by a ratio of almost 20 to 1. Even though England had outlawed the importation of slaves, some were still smuggled into the colonies. In the 1800s, the British established a number of botanical gardens.

jamaica photo

Photo by runkalicious

These included the Castleton Garden, set up in 1862 to replace the Bath Garden (created in 1779) which was subject to flooding. Bath Garden was the site for planting breadfruit brought to Jamaica from the Pacific by Captain William Bligh. Other gardens were the Cinchona Plantation founded in 1868 and the Hope Garden founded in 1874. In 1872, Kingston became the island’s capital. Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies before attaining full independence by leaving the federation in 1962.

The one minute summary for Jamaica geography

Best places to see in Jamaica

Visit Nine Mile where Bob Marley was born and now buried. The journey up into the mountains lets you experience the heart of the country. If you have a choice , hire a private driver or small van tour. You will be able to stop and visit the small shops near the school as you enter the village. People are friendly, and well spoken.

If you simply want to see Bob Marley’s, take the nice Air-conditioned buss and be quickly whisked in-side the compound. Just be sure to visit. Spend a day at Negril 7 mile beach and finish off at Rick’s Cafe for a spectacular sunset and watch even more fantastic cliff diving.