Figure 1.-- This is the Kingston public market in the 1920s. The ladies are selling produce. The boys may be their children. Women played key roles in markets throuhjout Latin America.

Jamaica in the Greater Antilles is an island in the Caribbean Sea south of Cuba. It is the only large Caribbean island country not part of the Antillean arc. Unlike the other major Antillean islands, it is located in within the Caribbean, not on the perifery separating the Caribbean from the Atlantic. It is the third-largest island in the Caribbean and part of the Greater Antilles. The island in pre-Colombian times was settled by the Taíno/Arawak. They called it Xaymaca, meaning 'Land of Wood and Water' or sometimes tanslated as ''Land of Springs'. The island was discovered by Columbus on his second voyage (1494). Janaica known as Santiago thus became part of the Spanish Main. The Spanish took little interest in Jamaica, especially as their intrest with the Cortez's assault on the Aztec Empire turned to the Mainland (1519). As a result the English were able to seize the island relatively easily and they named the island Jamaica, an English deritive of the Taino nane (1655). They turned the colony into a profitable sugar producer using slave labor. The original Native America population was largely exterminated. Most of the populattion is thus of African origins. Maroon escaped slaves resisted the British in the rugged interior. The Great Slave Revolt (1835) played a major role in the British decesion to abolish slavery. Britain granted independence (1962). We have a more detailed history. Jamaica has a population of some 3 million people making it the third largest Anglophone country in the Americas. After emmancipation, Jamaica began building a school system for the liberated slaves. The first schools were est up my missionaries. Eventually the Government began opening public schools. The poor performance of the economy has caused considerable emigration, many emigrating to Britain. The most important industry is toursim. The couuntry has eautiful rain forests and beaches and is located close to the United States. Violence and crime, however, has adversely affected tourist interest.


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Created: 9:50 PM 2/13/2014
Last updated: 7:52 AM 3/11/2017