What were  the causes of the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica in 1865?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The basic causes of the Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865 were the unrepresentative nature of the Jamaican government and the economic problems that Jamaica was suffering from during this time.

The government of Jamaica was controlled by a very few white people.  The black Jamaicans had essentially no voice in government.  Out of the 436,000 people on the island, fewer than 2,000 were allowed to vote (see miami.edu link).  This meant that the mass of black Jamaicans had no feeling of being represented by their government.

At the same time, Jamaica was undergoing serious economic difficulties.  Taxes were high, prices were high, unemployment was high.  In these conditions, many black Jamaicans were living in very impoverished circumstances.

Because their material lives were very difficult, and because they had no voice in government, black Jamaicans were primed to rebel if the occasion arose as it did when Paul Bogle and his fellow protestors were arrested.

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