Essay on Neocolonialism in Jamaica

Essay on Neocolonialism in Jamaica

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Neocolonialism in Jamaica: History, practices, and resistance


“The imposition of structural adjustment programs in the Third World since the 1970s has been characterized as a war against the poor, a process of [neo] recolonization” (Turner, 1994: 37). This statement is particularly applicable to the country of Jamaica. The island has been susceptible to a variety of neocolonial acts including the presence of multinational corporations, structural adjustment programs, and loan organizations that have sucked Jamaica’s economy dry. This neocolonial presence has devastated the population in more ways than one. It is apparent that neocolonialism has had and continues to have a large impact on society as a whole in Jamaica. This influence will be shown by presenting a historical portrayal, forms of neocolonialism in the country, and attempts to resist such domination.

THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT:

Colonialism

The history of Jamaica is crucial to understanding the country’s current situation. Many of the problems today are results of neocolonial forces. The roots of such concerns can be found within the country’s long legacy of colonialism extending 300 years in length before reaching independence. “Jamaica was the meeting place of two expropriate populations: the Britisher uprooting himself in search of quick wealth through sugar; and the African uprooted by force from his environment to supply slave labor upon which his owner’s dream of wealth depended” (Manley, 1975: 12).

In 1494 Christopher Columbus arrived on the island to be followed by his son, Diego, in 1509. Diego Columbus sent a delegation to the island thus supporting Spanish control in Jamaica until 1660. During the reign of the Spanish the colonizers ma...


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