Jamaica


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Flag of Jamaica Flag of Jamaica
Diagonal yellow cross divides the flag into four triangles - green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side).

The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino Indians, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated, replaced by African slaves. England siezed the island in 1655 and a plantation economy - based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee - was established. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of which became small farmers. Jamaica gradually obtained increasing independence from Britain, and in 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the federation in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs created by the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. The cycle of violence, drugs, and poverty has served to impoverish large sectors of the populace. Nonetheless, many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy. - CIA World Factbook.

Map of Jamaica

Jamaica Coat of Arms

National Symbols of Jamaica
Our National Symbols are representative of our rich history and culture. They define us as a people Jamaicans who are proud of where we are coming from.
www.jis.gov.jm/special_sections/Independence/symbols.html

Jamaica - Fotw
The Flag, Alternate History of the Flag, Coat of Arms, Proposals for the Flag, Subdivisions, Political Flags.
www.fotw.us/flags/jm.html

Jamaica - wikipedia.org
The original Arawak or Taino people from South America first settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC. Although some claim they became virtually extinct following contact with Europeans, others claim that some survived for a while.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica

Jamaica - U.S. Department of State
        Arawaks from South America had settled in Jamaica prior to Christopher Columbus' first arrival at the island in 1494. During Spain's occupation of the island, starting in 1510, the Arawaks were exterminated by disease, slavery, and war. Spain brought the first African slaves to Jamaica in 1517. In 1655, British forces seized the island, and in 1670, Great Britain gained formal possession.
        Sugar made Jamaica one of the most valuable possessions in the world for more than 150 years. The British Parliament abolished slavery as of August 1, 1834. After a long period of direct British colonial rule, Jamaica gained a degree of local political control in the late 1930s, and held its first election under full universal adult suffrage in 1944. Jamaica joined nine other U.K. territories in the West Indies Federation in 1958 but withdrew after Jamaican voters rejected membership in 1961. Jamaica gained independence in 1962, remaining a member of the Commonwealth.
        Historically, Jamaican emigration has been heavy. Since the United Kingdom restricted emigration in 1967, the major flow has been to the United States and Canada. About 20,000 Jamaicans emigrate to the United States each year; another 200,000 visit annually. New York, Miami, Chicago, and Hartford are among the U.S. cities with a significant Jamaican population. Remittances from the expatriate communities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, estimated at up to $1.6 billion per year, make increasingly significant contributions to Jamaica's economy.
www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2032.htm