Jamaica (dʒəˈmeɪkə) is an island country located in the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean Sea. The country lies south of Cuba 18 15 N, 77 30 W. Jamaica covers an area of 10,991 sq km. Kingston is the capital.
Jamaica has a population of 2,847,232 with a life expectancy of 73.48 years. The population is 91.2% black, 6.2% mixed, and 2.6% unknown and other. 87.9% can read and write.
Jamaica like other islands will be severely impacted by climate change. Extreme weather conditions--droughts , flooding from frequent rainfalls will negatively affect the island. The agricultural sector will experience loss in profit and Jamaica's ability to feed itself. Loss of coastlines will pose another problem resulting in economic harm to the tourist industry and displaced coastal population. Rising temperature will threaten coral reefs, wiping out marine population. Rising temperature will decrease fishing yields and make fishing unpredictable, shifting frequently between boom and bust. Jamaica has taken some action to compensate for climate change. The building of marine sanctuaries in both the south and north coast to protect fish and marine population is one action taken by the country to lessen the effects of climate change.
Jamaica was inhabited by Arawak Indians around 700 to 800 A.D. Columbus arrived in 1494, after which Jamaica was a Spanish colony. By 1517, most of the Arawak Indians were decimated, and slaves from Africa were imported. Jamaica was one of the first Caribbean islands to begin producing sugar, with the water driven ingenio plantations. In 1523, thirty ingenio plantation existed in Jamaica. Jamaica became a wealthy colony, growing sugar. As sugar became entrenched, the population of the island began to reflect the economic necessity of black slave labor. In 1698, Jamaica had one white for every six black person. By 1703, 3,500 white men for 45,000 black slave. In 1778, the ratio was 1 white to 11 black slaves or 18,240 white males to 205,261 black slaves.
In 1655, the English took over the island from the Spanish. Many slaves ran to the interior. They would engage in guerrilla warfare with the English, causing great disturbance. The planters requested for help from the metropolitan government. In 1657, one major group of Maroons lead by Juan de Bolas made an agreement with the English. Not all Maroons gave up. Those that did not give up saw their numbers increase with runaways. In 1690, a major slave rebellion broke out in Clarendon Parish. Three hundred slave acquired guns and ammunition and killed the master and proceeded to the adjoining plantation. They were stopped by the local malitia. Two hundred were captured and one hundred killed. Some were hanged. Numerous other slave revolts would occur in Jamaica in the following years: 1734, 1746,1760, 1765, 1769,1776.
In the latter part of the 1600s, Maroons of Akan stock were at full war with the English. They defeated local militias, British soldiers and sailors, even indians from South America. They were lead by Cudjoe and his two brothers. The planters eventually called for compromise. They signed a treaty with the Maroons in 1739, which stipulated the following:
Basically, an independent Maroon state was establish in the heart of Jamaica. The governor of Jamaica deceptively implied that the Maroons pushed for peace, rather than the English who could not defeat a dangerous foe.
Under the English, sugar really took off. By 1672, seventy sugar plantation existed producing 760 tons of sugar.
Slavery was abolished in 1834. Slave owners complained of shortage of labor. To alleviate shortage, 12,500 East Indian indentured workers immigrated to Jamaica, between 1838 through 1924. This alone did not stem the tide of the death of the sugar industry, Cuban competition and the discovery of sugar beets in European hastened the death of the sugar industry. In 1828, Jamaica produced 72,198 tons of sugar, by 1895 2,585 tons.
Later Jamaica would experience a boom in banana growing till the 20th century. In 1962, Jamaica gained independence as a member of the Commonwealth.
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Koss, Richard(2008). Jamaica. Lonely Planet: ISBN 1741046939, 9781741046939