Grade: 5 Subject: Social Studies Date: October 2020 Topic: The Coming of the Europeans (The British and Spanish) A quick recap of the previous lesson is that the original inhabitants of Jamaica were the Taino and Arawak people. They lived a modest life including fishing, farming, preparing the land, harvesting and of course practicing there religious beliefs. As we learnt we know that aspects of the native inhabitants way of life are still apart of culture today and words from their vocabulary are still used today. Though it would seem they seemed to have no interest in the outside world, as they were content with their simple way of life, the world was expanding its boundaries and had a growing interest in the region. Which brings us to the arrival of the first European outsiders to arrive on the island, the Spaniards. The Spanish May 5, 1494 Christopher Columbus, a European explorer sailed west to get to the East Indies and came upon the region now called the West Indies, landed in Jamaica. It was his second voyage to the West Indies. Columbus heard about Jamaica from the Cuban people who described it as “the land of blessed gold” and called it then called Xaymaca. What Columbus was soon to find out was that there was no gold in Jamaica. He arrival at St Ann’s Bay, which was inhabited by the Arawak Indians. Due to their appearance and behaviour Columbus thought these Indians were hostile, as they attacked his men when they tried to land on the island. Columbus was here to claim the land for the king and queen of Spain so he was not leaving until he accomplished his goal. He sailed down the coast and docked at Discovery Bay, and found the Arawaks there also hostile towardshim and his men. Columbus decided to use his dogs and crossbows to wage war against the Arawak people who had simple weapons in comparison to what the Spaniards had at their disposal. Many Arawaks were killed and some wounded in this attack. Columbus was thereby able to land and claim the island. When they finally were ale to get on land, the Spaniards tortured and killed the Arawaks to get their land. The ones that survived the attacks were put to work through harsh and volatile conditions. The Spaniards carried diseases that the indigenous people had no immune resistance to and so many died for that. They were also so severely overworked and ill-treated that within a short time they had all died. The island was poor under Spanish rule as few Spaniards settled here. Jamaica served mainly as a supply base: food, men, arms and horse were shipped here to help in conquering the American mainland. Today we can identify the main areas the Spanish settled by the names they have, in St Ann's Bay the first colonist lived and called the town Sevilla La Nueva (New Seville). Another town that still exists today is Spanish Town which is also the old capital of Jamaica. It was called St. Jago de la Vega. Due to the poor state the island was in due to lack of funding and proper leadership along with frequent attacks from pirates the Spanish found the island very troublesome, which gave way for the next European colonists to arrive. The British May 10, 1655, Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables led a successful attack on Jamaica in the name of England, the Spaniards surrendered and freed their slaves after which then fled to Cuba. This set of freed slaves and their descendants who became known as the Maroons. Port Royal was an insignificant town in Jamaica until the traders and pirates/ buccaneers started using it as their main port to dock their ships carrying goods, jewels, gold and spices. Due to the massive increase of wealth Jamaica became known as the Pearl of the Caribbean and Port Royal became known as the "wealthiest and wickedest city in the world". A massive earthquake destroyed Port Royal on June 7, 1692. The survivors of the earthquake who re-settled in Kingston abandoned the Port. Port Royal was then used as a important naval base in the eighteenth century. The English settlers cultivated sugar plantations on the island and formed great houses known as Plantations. On these plantations were slaves who would work the fields and take care of the great house as wellas their owners. Slaves were treated horrendously and forced to live in inhumane conditions, if they attempted to run away and were caught they would be severely flogged, brutalized or killed. The slaves grew tired of that lifestyle and with the help of the maroons and bravery on their part they fought for their freedom. It was a long and difficult strategic effort but it paid off in the end as Slavery and the Slave trade was abolished by the British parliament in 1834 and they were fully Emancipated in 1838, four years later. Jamaica was under the rule of the English from 1670, which was when the Spanish finally gave up ownership, to 1962 when Jamaica became Independent.
The Coming of the Europeans (The British and Spanish)
- The Coming of the Europeans (The British and Spanish)