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Jamaican Independence History


Economic growth was on a downfall in 1929 for Jamaica. This was the same for many other countries during that time. This was beginning to affect the social circumstances that were present in an undesirable manner. As a result of this labor riots started in 1938 as a means to counter these conditions. This was the turning point that placed Jamaica on the road to gaining independence and as a result changing its history.

Sir Alexander Bustamante formed the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU). The Jamaica Labor Party later became involved with the labor union. Norman Manley, who was Alexander Bustamante’s cousin, formed the People’s National Party (PNP) in 1938 and then led the country to Self Government. As time passed the first prime minister of Jamaica became Bustamante.

Voting was limited during those times, but in 1944, Adult Suffrage was granted and that allowed persons who were over the age of 21 to be able to vote. Then in 1944, under the Universal Adult Suffrage, the first election was permitted and out of the 32 seats the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) won 25 seats. After that, in 1959, Jamaica was a part of a newly formed group called The Federation of the West Indies.

Later down, a referendum was called as a means to decide if the people of Jamaica would continue being a part of the Federation of the West Indies or not. The people of Jamaica chose independence.

In early 1962, the Independence Constitution was drafted and presented before both Houses for debate. After full discussion it was completely accepted and then initiated. It was decided that the Coat of Arms which is about 300 year old at the time would be kept but the Latin motto would be changed from "Indus Uterque Serviet Uni" to "Out of Many One People" instead.

The British Flag was then lowered at midnight on the 5th of August, 1962. Then the Jamaican Flag was raised on the 6th of August 1962 for the first time ever and on that very day Jamaica was given its independence.

Sir Kenneth Blackburne, who was the last Colonial Governor that day, became the first Governor General for Jamaica then Sir Clifford Campbell, former President of the Senate, held the position as Governor General. He was the first Jamaican to hold such authority. Today Jamaica is a wonderful place to vacate and visit to enjoy all that it has to offer.

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