What were the consequences of the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica had a number of consequences in the history of the island nation.

  • The immediate impact was that nearly 800 protesters were killed by troops or execution after trials. Over six hundred more were met with the violent punishment of flogging or long stretches of prison time. This punishment was exacted on man, women, and child.
  • The response of governor John Eyre was met with scrutiny back in England. He had his share of supporters, but most deemed his action mass murder and wanted him tried as such.
  • Eyre was able to convince the Jamaican parliament that its existence was a threat to peace and security on the island. The parliament in Jamaica was to disband.
  • The British decided to include Jamaica as a crown colony. This meant that local government institutions would be governed in Britain. A colonial government was established.
  • Because of fear of future insurrections, black people were given some opportunities. Large plantation systems were divided into smaller plots and sold to independent farmers. This allowed more Jamaicans to own plots of land and work their own land.
  • Because of the British investment in Jamaica, improvements were seen. This is especially true of infrastructure development to help agriculture, which was a point of contention from the beginning of the insurrection. A large irrigation system was constructed as well as improved transportation networks. A stronger education system was also established.

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