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tiistai 13. syyskuuta 2016

Jamaica, Cool Facts #137

<= 136. Dominica                                                                                        138. St. Kitts & Nevis  => 

1. Jamaica's Name Origins

Xaymaca = the Arawakan name of the island, used by the indigenous people before the arrival of the Europeans. It means "Land of Wood and Water" or "Land of Springs". 
Santiago = name used by the Spanish, who were the first European settlers of the island
Jamaica = name used by the British, who conquered the island from the Spanish in 1655

Current colloquial names of the island: 

Rock = currently the colloquial name of the country 
Jamrock = derived from "Rock"
Jamdown = colloquial name
Jamdung = colloquial name
Ja = colloquial name

Columbus meeting the Taino people

2. History of Ethnic Groups in Jamaica 

Jews in Spain and Portugal expelled or forcibly converted to Christianity. Some of the Jews went to the Netherlands and England and from there to Jamaica. 

After the British captured Jamaica from Spain in 1655, the British brought Irish people to Jamaica as indentured labourers and soldiers. The migration of large amounts of Irish people continued until the 1700s. 

AfricansThe British started bringing slaves from Africa until the slave trade and slavery were abolished in the 1800s. The black population is the biggest ethnic group in Jamaica with African or partially African descent, with origins in West Africa. 

Indians and Chinese
The workforce on the plantations declined dramatically after the abolition of slavery in 1838 causing a crisis. Contract workers from China and India replaced the slaves as workers on the plantations. 

Ethnic groups in Jamaica

3. Marcus Garvey 

Marcus Garvey was a significant Jamaican person, who was the father of the Back to Africa movement and a proponent of the Pan-Africanism movement. Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League to advocate Pan-African philosophy. He was also the founder of the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line promoting the return to Africa of the African freed slaves or their descendants.

Garvey was the inspiration of many people and movements like the Rastafari movement, which considered Garvey as a prophet. Garvey himself never identified himself with the Rastafari movement. Garvey was one of the first black people to lead a mass movement and Martin Luther King referred to this fact also in one of his speeches.

Marcus Garvey

4. Independence and the West Indies Federation 

In 1944 Great Britain granted Jamaica a partial autonomy. In 1958 Jamaica joined the West Indies Federation with other Caribbean countries. The British planned that the West Indies Federation would eventually became independent as one federal state with a similar system as Australia or Canada. Jamaica as the biggest member of the West Indies Federation wasn't content with all the terms of the federation and that's why Jamaica decided to leave the federation and became independent. In 1962 Great Britain granted Jamaica independence. 

Causes for the Jamaican discontent:
Kingston wasn't chosen as the federation capital
- Jamaica was also fairly far from the other islands of the federation
- Jamaica's share of the federal parliament seats was smaller than its share of the total population of the federation
- The smaller islands were thought to drain Jamaica's wealth

West Indis Federation members 

5. Jamaican Culture 

As a relatively small country, Jamaican culture has had a really strong global presence for a long time.

The Rastafari movement was developed in Jamaica in the 1930s after the coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. The Rastafari adherents worshipped Haile Selassie I and respected Ethiopia because it had managed to remain independent and resist the European colonization unlike any other African country.

Jamaica has several internationally known artists and it Jamaican artists have influenced many genres, especially reggae. The probably most well known Jamaican artist is Bob Marley.

Jamaica has long traditions in cricket, producing many cricket stars. Jamaica has ruled the last decade in short distance sprint races in track and field. Usain Bolt as the overwhelmingly biggest star has dominated the 100m and 200m sprints with several other Jamaican athletes.

Usain Bolt
Bob Marley

1494 Columbus was the first European in Jamaica, when he sailed to Jamaica on his second expedition
1500s Spanish colonizations started, the Arawaks were repressed and forced to work in cocoa and coffee plantations
1655 Great Britain conquered Jamaica from the Spanish. Jamaica became the most important sugar producer in the British Empire and the center of the Caribbean slave trade
1831-1832 A large slave rebellion was suppressed violently
1838 Slavery was finally abolished, which created a crisis in the sugar plantations as the work force disappeared. Contract workers from China and India arrived to work in the plantations
1865 Former slaves revolted and the British suppressed them violently
1900s Violent demonstrations and uprisings because of the poor living conditions of the black population
1920s Black human rights campaigner Marcus Garvey established the Back to Africa movement, which organized repatriation to Africa
1944 Great Britain granted Jamaica a partial autonomy
1958 Jamaica was attached to the West Indies Federation, but left it in 1962
1972 Leftist Michael Manley carried out social reforms
1973 Jamaica was one of the founding members in CARICOM
1980 Manley lost the elections and Edward Seaga became Prime Minister
1989 Manley returned to the Prime Minister's office but due to health issues resigned in 1992
1992 Percial Patterson became Jamaica's first black Prime Minister
2006 Patterson was replaced by Portia Simpson-Miller, who became Jamaica's first female Prime Minister 

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