The History of Jamaican Slavery

Feb 3rd, 2012
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Yale University
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Jamaica’s history is full of social unrest. The island was originally inhabited by the Arawaks. The Arawaks were a peaceful, pleasant race. In his History of the British West Indies, Sir Alan Burns says, "all accounts credit them with being generous-minded, affectionate and good-humoured" (37). Once Jamaica was "discovered" by Spain in 1494, however, the Arawaks, who had inhabited the island for centuries, quickly died off due to the harsh treatment of the Spaniards. Spain never really developed the land, however, and thus when British forces invaded in 1655, Spain chose not to focus much energy on defending the island.

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