Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-
Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Named Santiago, it remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered the island and renamed it Jamaica. Under British rule, Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, its plantation economy highly dependent on slaves imported from Africa, and later, on Chinese and Indian indentured labor. Full emancipation was granted to all slaves in 1838, with the country achieving independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962.
With 2.8 million people, Jamaica is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada, and the fourth most populous country in the Caribbean. Kingston is the country's capital and largest city, with a population of 937,700. Jamaicans are of predominately African descent, with significant European, Chinese, Indian, and mixed-
Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-
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