Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people died of disease, and the Spanish transplanted African learning jamaican language pdf to Jamaica as labourers.
Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy highly dependent on slaves forcibly transported from Africa. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British utilized Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations.
The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. Kingston is the country’s capital and largest city, with a population of 937,700.
Jamaicans predominately have African ancestry, with significant European, Chinese, Indian, and mixed-race minorities. Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the 1960s, Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world, particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state.
Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica, an office held by Sir Patrick Allen since 2009. Andrew Holness has served as the head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica from March 2016. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called the island Xaymaca in Arawakan, meaning the “Land of Wood and Water” or the “Land of Springs”.
Colloquially Jamaicans refer to their home island as the “Rock. Ja”, have derived from this.
The Arawak and Taíno indigenous people, originating in South America, settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC. The south coast of Jamaica was the most populated, especially around the area now known as Old Harbour. The Taino still inhabited Jamaica when the English took control of the island in 1655.