1. Basic facts
Capital city
Jamaican dollar
The national anthem
Jamaica, Land We Love
National motto
out of many, one people

2. Significant characteristics
  • the largest island in the West Indies;
  • the third most populous country in the Americas after the USA and Canada;
  • part of the Commonwealth.
3. Key dates
from 4000 BC
The Arawak Indians from South America inhabited the island.
They were wiped out before the English settled on the island.
Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain.
The Spanish started importing slaves from Africa to work on plantations.
The English routed the Spanish and settled on the island.
It became a plantation colony made up of immigrants from Europe and Asia. The main crops: sugar and bananas.
The ship Empire Windrush transported about 500 Jamaicans to England to work there for a few years. Most of them ended up living there permanently and working in hospitals or the transport sector in the London area. It marked the beginning of the Jamaican diaspora and of multi-racial Britain.
1950s – 1960s
Mass emigration to Britain in search of work on account of lack of jobs in Jamaica. 'Chain emigration' : the man came first and his wife and children later.
Jamaica became an independent dominion.

Exercice n°1
1. The country's currency is the same as the USA.
Cochez la bonne réponse.
2. The first inhabitants were Indians from North America.
Cochez la bonne réponse.
3. The first Europeans to settle in Jamaica were Spanish.
Cochez la bonne réponse.
1. Many countries in the world call their currency 'dollar', but it is not necessarily the US dollar.
2. The Arawaks came from South America.
Exercice n°2
1. Jamaica was part of the slave trade.
Cochez la bonne réponse.
2. Jamaica had economic difficulties in the 20th century.
Cochez la bonne réponse.
2. When Europe started developing its sugar beet industry (betterave à sucre), Jamaica lost its place as one of the major sugar producers in the world and the country endured tremendous economic difficulties. This led to many Jamaicans emigrating in search of a better standard of living.
Exercice n°3
1. Who imported slaves from Africa to Jamaica?
Cochez la bonne réponse.
the Spanish
the English
the Spanish and the English
2. What happened to the indigenous population?
Cochez la bonne réponse.
They lived side by side the Europeans.
They were killed by the diseases the Europeans brought with them.
They were victims of a genocide.
3. What was the intention of the Jamaicans who embarked on the Empire Windrush?
Cochez la bonne réponse.
to earn their fortunes and then return home
to find a marriage partner and then return home
to find work, marry and settle in the UK
4. Which part of the UK has the densest Jamaican population?
Cochez la bonne réponse.
Veillez à bien comprendre les causes et les conséquences des différents événements.