Jamaica: History

  1. 1509

    Jamaica is occupied by the Spaniards and most of the indigenous Arawak community dies due to exposure to European diseases.

  2. 1542

    First recorded contact with the West occurs when a Portuguese ship blown off its course lands in Japan.

  3. 1655

    The British capture Jamaica, and African slaves are brought there to work on sugar plantations.

  4. 1838

    Slavery is abolished by the British parliament, effectively ending slavery in Jamaica.

  5. 1854

    Japan's isolation to the rest of the world ends with the Convention of Kanagawa. Over the next several decades, many reforms are taken that Westernize the country's governmental, legal, educational, and social systems.

  6. 1865

    Jamaica becomes a crown colony of Britain.

  7. 1958

    Jamaica becomes a member of the British-sponsored Federation of the West Indies.

  8. 1962

    Within the British Commonwealth, Jamaica becomes independent.

  9. 1999

    The government orders the army to patrol the streets of Kingston after recent surges of crime.

  10. 2012

    Premier Portia Simpson-Miller states that it is time for Jamaica to break away from the British monarchy and become a republic.


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