A depiction of daily life in Jamaica from the early 19th century. Watercolor, ink, and pencil. Created between 1808 and 1816. The British also used Jamaica's free people of color, 10,000 strong by 1800, to keep the enslaved population in check. During the Christmas holiday of 1831, a large-scale slave revolt known as the Baptist War broke out. It was organised originally as a peaceful strike by Samuel Sharpe. The rebellion was suppressed by the militia of the Jamaican plantocracy and the British garrison ten days later in early 1832. Because of the loss of property and life in the 1831 rebellion, the British Parliament held two inquiries. Their reports on conditions contributed greatly to the abolition movement and passage of the 1833 law to abolish slavery as of August 1, 1834, throughout the British Empire. The Jamaican slaves were bound (indentured) to their former owners' service, albeit with a guarantee of rights, until 1838 under what was called the Apprenticeship System. The freed population faced significant hardships. Tensions resulted in the October 1865 Morant Bay rebellion led by and Paul Bogle. It was brutally repressed by the government and private militieas. George William Gordon, a friend of Paul Bogle, was hanged because he was thought to have contributed to the riot, although he was not a part of its organization or execution. As the sugar crop declined in importance in the late 19th century, the colony diversified into cultivation of bananas. In 1866 the Jamaican legislature renounced its powers, and the country became a crown colony. In 1872 the capital was moved to Kingston, as the port city had far outstripped the inland Spanish Town in size and sophistication. Some measure of self-government was restored in the 1880s, when islanders gained the right to elect nine members of a legislative council. The establishment of Crown Colony rule resulted over the next few decades in the growth of a middle class of low-level public...
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