Causes Of Rebellions In Jamaica

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Jamaica was a Spanish colony for 140 years. Subsequently in 1655 the English came to subdue the island from the Spaniards. The English maintained control of Jamaica for over 300 years. The island produced a wealth of money for the British West Indian proprietors due to the country’s ability to yield sugar and rum. Harvesting, planting and processing sugar cane was particularly grueling, which meant that many planters depended on the West African slaves, which were purchased through the transatlantic slave trade, to maintain their property. Because of the brutality of the white plantation owners towards the slaves, several munities erupted throughout the island. These revolts did not go unnoticed by the British people. The slave rebellions in Jamaica played a crucial part in propelling the anti-slavery movements in Britain because of the sheer number of rebellions that took place, the bloodshed and unrest among the enslaved Africans.
The geography of Jamaica was not only suitable for plantations, but it also provided ample hiding places for many of the escaped ex-slaves. These “free” men and women descended from the former Spanish settlers and established themselves in the mountains; this community of runaways were known as the Maroons from the Spanish word ‘cimarrones’, meaning ‘runaway slave’. The First Maroon War in Jamaica lasted for roughly nine years, starting in 1790. This was one of the first rebellions that caught the attention of British authorities, because the planters feared the power of the maroons and how they could threaten the prosperity of their sugar industry. The illustration called, Pacification with the Maroon Negros, by Agostino Brunyas in 1801 is an apparent depiction of the meeting of the Maroon communit...

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...ked the eruption of the rebellion witch swept many parishes on December 27, 1831. The rebels seized control over large areas of territory. With the abolition of slavery movement in Britain intensifying, this was great timing for an uprising. Although the slave’s intent was not violence but to press for freedom and a fair wage, fighting broke out between over 20,000 unarmed rebels and the British planters militia. The houses of the planters were torched and became beacons of the rebellion.
Over two hundred slaves died and around one hundred were put on trial and later executed. Sharpe was executed in Montego Bay on the 13th of May in 1831, for leading the insurrection. Samuel Sharpe did not die in vain,

Many of the slave revolts were unsuccessful at the time because many were killed but the rebellions did catch the attention of prominent peoples in Great Britain.
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