Jamaica (English: Jamaica) is an island state of the Greater Antilles, 240 km long and 80 km wide, located in the Caribbean Sea. It is located 630 km from the Central American continent, 150 km from Cuba to the north and 190 km from the island of Hispaniola, on which Haiti and the Dominican Republic are located, to the north-east.
The Sovereign of Jamaica coincides with that of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: currently the Queen of Jamaica is Elizabeth II.
The Arawak-speaking Taino natives called the island Xaymaca, which means land of springs or land of wood and water. Jamaica, formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, then became a possession of the British Empire in the West Indies of Jamaica. The country's population is mainly composed of descendants of populations from the sub-Saharan area enslaved by the British. It is the third most populous English-speaking country in the Americas, after the United States of America and Canada.
Indigenous Arawak or Taino natives from South America first settled on the island between 1400 BC. and 1000 BC Although some studies indicate that their disappearance dates back to contact with Europeans, other scholars argue that some indigenous people survived this contact.
Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1494, landing at Discovery Bay, between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. He described the new discovery as "the most beautiful island the human eye has ever seen" and named it Santiago. Subsequently, Jamaica was claimed by Spain, which established its own colony: thus Spanish Jamaica was born, or Colony of Santiago, so-called from Santiago de la Vega, capital of the colony. The conquest of the island was completed by the Catholic kings in the first decade of the 16th century.
In 1655, however, British Admiral William Penn (father of William Penn of Pennsylvania) and General Venables seized the island. Spain officially recognized British sovereignty over Jamaica with the Treaty of Madrid of 1670: the island then became a colony of the British crown, the colony of Jamaica. During the two centuries of British rule, Jamaica became the first nation in the world for sugar exports and produced over 77,000 tons of sugar every year between 1820 and 1824, a result achieved through the massive use of imported slave labor. from Africa.
At the beginning of the 19th century the large importation of slaves by the United Kingdom had the effect of increasing the population of blacks, who outnumbered whites by a ratio of 20 to 1, resulting in constant threats of revolt. Following a series of rebellions, such as the 1830 uprising, slavery was formally abolished in 1834, with the complete emancipation from movable property slavery that was declared in 1838.
Jamaica progressively gained its independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958 became a province of the Federation of West Indies, an organization that encompassed all of the British West Indies. Jamaica gained full independence by breaking away from the Federation of West Indies and the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962.
The rise in foreign debt under Michael Manley's government, determined to alleviate the conditions of severe economic inequity in Jamaica, led to the imposition of IMF austerity measures. Worsening economic conditions and CIA involvement due to Manley's international socialism and his friendship with Fidel Castro led to a desperate all-out re-election campaign between Manley's National People's Party and the main opposition party, the Labor Party. Jamaican. Both political parties colluded with Kingston's duly armed rival gangs. This policy, coupled with the growing state of emergency due to the