In 1494, Christopher Columbus’s exploratory travels on behalf of the King and Queen of Spain brought him to the island of Jamaica. His arrival represented the beginning of the Spanish period in Jamaica’s history which ended with the English capture of the island in 1655.
Despite spanning more than a full century and a half, the Spanish history of Jamaica has remained in virtual obscurity. This English translation of Francisco Morales Padrón’s Spanish Jamaica, originally published in Seville, Spain in 1952 as Jamaica Española, not only brings to light Spain’s contribution to Jamaica’s history but also reveals how this history subsequently affected Spain’s colonial fortunes in the Western Hemisphere.
Padrón’s Spanish Jamaica provides details of the social, economic and political conditions existing in the island during the period of Spanish rule. Of particular importance is the author’s analysis of Jamaica’s strategic importance to Spain as a gateway to mainland America, and how, by not exploiting this strategic advantage, the Spanish colonial enterprise never achieved its full potential.
Spanish Jamaica provides a rare insight into the Spanish occupation of Jamaica through “Spanish eyes” and represents an invaluable source of information on an important but hitherto obscure period in the island’s colourful history.
- List of Illustrations
- The Admiral and Jamaica
- Spanish Geography of the Island
- The Foundations of Administration
- Spanish Governors
- The Abbacy of Jamaica
- Finance and War
- Man and Economy
- The Western Design
- Change of Sovereignty
- Documentary Sources