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Conditions in Jamaica in the 1860's

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Conditions in Jamaica in the 1860's

In the 1860's the conditions in Jamaica were very bad. The small
farmers and plantation owners were affected by drought. The small
farms also had to pay greater taxes and were only allowed to farm poor
soil because no one would sell fertile land to black people. They were
victims of injustice from the government and planters. A petition was
sent to Queen Victoria in Britain because of the amount of protests.



Bogles Response
===============

Paul Bogle was a farmer, Baptist lay preacher and an election agent
for George William Gordon, who was a spokesman for the poor people who
had no vote and spoke against Governor Eyre and his policies. Paul
Bogle led a delegation to see Eyre, who refused to see him. Gordon
began to collect money to send a delegation to England. The governor
told the Custos to send 8 policemen to arrest Bogle when he heard a
rumour that he was forming an army to drive the Europeans out of the
district. Bogle and his friends captured 3 of the policemen and sent
them back with a message that they would to Morant Bay the next day
and discuss injustices. Bogle and 300 other armed men were told not to
enter and when they disobeyed a fight broke out and 27 people
including the Custos were killed. Governor Eyre declared marital law.
The militia and soldiers went on rampage searching for Bogle and the
other men.



Short Term Consequences
=======================

After Bogles response some of the short-term consequences included
that over 1000 peoples homes had been burnt to the ground, Gordon was
arrested and was hanged on 23 October with no evidence that he had
been involved. Bogle was also hanged. About 1180 black people were
either flogged killed or hanged.



Long-Term Consequences
======================


Some of the long-term consequences included that Eyre was recalled to
Britain, at the end of the 19th century very limited democracy was
restored and the British government realised that conditions had to be
improved but still the islands income remained very low. To stop
outbreaks of lawlessness children were given education which taught
them that all Whites were superior and anything coming from Europe was
much better than anything or anyone of African descent. Some families
could not afford school fees so they were stopped to encourage more
children to go to school. The councils did not mind when spending on
education went down because of the continued strikes, riots, poverty
and homelessness as they were only concerned for their own property
and wealth. The plan of using education to stop rebellion had failed.
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