Jamaica: Political System
Jamaica is a parliamentary monarchy. The 1962 Constitution is based on the
United Kingdom of Great Britain system. The head of state is the English Queen,
who also bears the title "Queen of Jamaica", she is represented by a Governor
General. For the most part, however, both have only ceremonial tasks. The
Jamaican parliament is a bicameral system and consists of the House of
Representatives with 60 members who are elected every five years and the Senate
with 25 members, 13 of which are appointed by the Prime Minister and eight by
the opposition leader. However, the governor general must approve the
candidates. The Prime Minister automatically becomes the leader of the majority
party in the House of Representatives. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Jamaica politics, and acronyms as well.
The official name of the country is:
"Jamaica, land we love" has been Jamaica's national anthem since 1962.
Based on flag descriptions by
lyrics are by Hugh Braham Sherlock, the music was composed by Robert Charles Lightbourne. Text and music were created independently of each other and were
arranged by Mapletoft Poulle.
top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Jamaica.
|Jamaica, land we love
Eternal Father, Bless our Land,
Guide us with thy mighty hand,
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours,
To our leaders, great defender,
Grant true wisdom from above,
Justice, truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love,
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love.
Teach us true respect for all,
Stir response to duty's call,
Strengthen us the weak to cherish,
Give us vision read we perish,
Knowledge send us Heavenly Father,
Grant true wisdom from above,
Justice, truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love,
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love.
In the original version, the word "Guide" is replaced by "Guard" in the 1st
Bob Marley (1945 to 1981)
world-famous reggae musician
The singer, guitarist and songwriter is considered a co-founder of reggae
music. With his band "The Wailers" he achieved worldwide success in the
1970s. The Rastafarian Bob Marley was politically very active in the fight
against the oppression of blacks and was probably the best-known representative
of Pan-Africanism. After surviving an assassination attempt, he died at the age
of 36 of an extremely malignant cancer.
Carlton Barrett (1950 to 1987)
drummer in the band "The Wailers"
He was one of the most influential reggae drummers and was the victim of an
Bunny Wailer (Neville O'Reilly Livingston, born 1947)
The co-founder of Bob Marley's band "The Wailers" later started a solo career
and is still producing former Bob Marley titles to this day.
Peter Tosh (1944 to 1987)
The musician was one of the founding members of Bob Marley's band "The Wailers"
and fought with them for equality for blacks and for his belief,
Rastafarianism. He later started a solo career and also increasingly advocated
the legalization of cannabis. He was murdered.
Jimmy Cliff (born 1948)
Lee "Scratch" Perry (born 1936)
The producer, who is best known for his daring use of effects and mixer, worked
with the band "The Wailers", among others. After his legendary "Black Ark
Studio" in Kingston fell victim to arson, he first moved to New York. Today he
lives in Switzerland and is still active as an artist. His work inspired many
other musicians such as Yello and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Desmond Dekker (1941 to 2006)
ska singer and composer
Shaggy (Orville Richard Burrell, born 1968)
reggae pop musician
The native Jamaican emigrated to the USA and received the Grammy Award for "Best
Reggae Album 1996".
Eek-a-Mouse (Ripton Joseph Hilton, born 1957)
Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques (born 1973)
He received the "Best Music Video Award" at the "MTV Music Awards" in 2003 in
Grace Jones (born 1948)
Singer, model and actress
Burning Spear (Winston Rodney, born 1945)
In 2000, his album "Calling Rastafari" was nominated for a Grammy.
The title "National Hero of Jamaica" (English National Hero) is the highest
honor of the state and consists of an Order (Order of National Hero) with a
fourteen-pointed gold star and the corresponding title "The Right Excellent". So
far, they have been awarded to the following seven people (mostly posthumously):
Paul Bogle (1815 to 1865)
b Baptist deacon and leader of the Morant Bay Uprising
This uprising was waged to improve the living conditions of the former
slaves. Despite its bloody crackdown and the execution of Paul Bogle, the
uprising brought success afterwards.
Alexander Bustamante (1884 to 1977)
First Prime Minister of Jamaica and Mayor of Kingston
As the leader of a resistance movement against the British colonial
administration, he fought for universal suffrage, among other things.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 to 1940)
The committed fighter for black rights is considered to be the founder of the
so-called "Back-to-Africa" movement. He is also one of the founders of the
Rastafarian movement, as he was active as a prophet and in 1927 announced the
coronation of a black king who was supposed to redeem the black race from their
oppression. The Rastafari then considered the Ethiopian King Haile Selassie I to
be the Messiah.
George William Gordon (1820 to 1865)
leader of the Morant Bay Uprising.
The former slave later became a member of the National Assembly of Jamaica and
fought against British colonial policy. He too was executed after the uprising
was put down. Gordon is considered a forerunner of Jamaican nationalism.
Norman Washington Manley (1893-1969)
independence movement politician
Granny Nanny (1700 to 1740)
leader of the Maroon slave liberation movement
Samuel Sharpe (1801-1832)
Baptist minister and leader of the Montego Bay Christmas Rising
Usain Bolt (born 1986)
Usain Bolt, born in Jamaica on August 21, 1986, won a gold medal in the 100 m
and 200 m run at the Beijing Olympics. At the 2007 World Championships in Osaka,
he achieved a silver medal in the 200 m run and a silver medal in the 4x100 m
run. With 9.69 seconds in the 100 m run he set a new world record. In the 200 m
run, too, he set the 12-year-old world record of the American Michael Johnson
with 19.3 seconds. At the World Cup in August 2009
On the evening of August 16, he became world champion in the 100 m race with a
new world record of 9.58 seconds. At the same World Cup on August 20, he won the
200 m run in a new world record time of 19.19 seconds. At the 2012 Olympics in
London, he repeated his victories in Beijing in the 100 m and 200 m run and
again won "gold" twice
Shelly-Ann Fraser (born 1986)
track and field athlete. Fraser won the women's 100m run in 10.78 seconds at the
Beijing Olympics in 2008, winning a gold medal. Her compatriots Kerron Stewart
Sherone Simpson won a silver and bronze medal at the run. At the World
Championships in Berlin in August 2009, she became world champion in the 100 m
run with 10.73 seconds
Merlene Joyce Ottey (born 1960)
athlete. In 2002 the Jamaican took on the Slovenian citizenship. Although she
never won gold at the Olympics, but won some silver and bronze medals, she is
considered one of the most successful sprinters in the history of athletics.
Asafa Powell (born 1982)
The athlete was two-time world record holder in the 100 m run.
Maurice Wignall (born 1976)
All wild animals that live in Jamaica descend from ancestors who once came to
the island via the sea.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Jamaica has a large spectrum of animals
capable of flying and rather few animals living on the ground.
A specialty of the island is the Jamaican piglet rat. This herbivore belongs
to the rodent order, grows up to 35 cm in size, has a short tail and thick,
coarse-haired fur. The piglet rat is widespread over large areas of the
limestone plateau in the interior of the island, where it can find shelter in
caves and niches.
There are no large wild mammals in Jamaica except for the mongoose and the wild
boar that can be found in the mountains.
The mongoose is a diurnal solitary animal whose diet consists of insects,
rodents, birds, lizards and snakes. Just like the boar, the mongoose was
introduced and is now a threat to native wildlife, as it does not only feed on
rats, as originally planned. It is also dangerous for humans, as it can
In addition to the crocodiles that live on the south coast and snakes, there
is the whorled iguana. The special thing about it is that since the 1960s people
thought it was extinct. In 1990 he was rediscovered in Jamaica in the Hellshire
It can grow up to 50 cm long and weigh 7 kg.
It uses its long tail for defense when necessary.
Stray cats and dogs are its greatest threat, as are mongooses, as all three can
attack and kill adult animals.
There are five types of snake in Jamaica, but all of them are non-toxic and very
rare. The largest of these is the Jamaican boa.
In Jamaica there is a great variety of different bird species, of which
around 25 species are endemic (only occurring in Jamaica). Parrots, hummingbirds
and green todis predominate. The best known are the Jamaican hummingbird, with
its two extremely long tail feathers, and the 9.5 cm tall Jamaican todi, also
known as the green todi. Todis are generally the smallest rocket birds with
predominantly green plumage, a crimson throat region, and a long beak.
Both when stationary and in normal flight they produce a whirring noise, which
has earned them the nickname "farters" in Jamaica.
Another endemic species is the Jamaican eared owl, which lives mainly in the
forest areas of Jamaica. Their diet consists of insects, lizards and small
The national bird of Jamaica is the so-called "doctor bird", a species of
The best place to watch Jamaica's birds is at Rocklands Feeding Station near
Numerous water birds also live here
Butterflies are very common in Jamaica, e.g. the extremely rare and protected
Papilio homerus, which has a large black and yellow body.
It is the second largest butterfly in the world and the largest in America. It
is characterized by its spectacular flight and size. It is best seen in May and
And of course flies, mosquitoes, bees and wasps live here
Jamaica has a lush and diverse vegetation. On the northeast slopes are the
remains of the tropical rainforest, in the lowlands of the south savanna bushes
and the coast is overgrown with coconut palms and mangrove species. Orchids grow
particularly well in Jamaica, for example the tiny Lepanthes and Phaius
tancarvilleae, which can grow up to 10 cm. The hibiscus and other tropical
flowers are just as common.
The native trees include the cedar, mahogany, and coconut palm.
Also indigenous is the very fast growing Mahoe tree with flowers that are yellow
in the morning and orange-red in the afternoon. Jamaica is also home to the
bluewood tree, known as the Blue Mahoe. Its trunk contains the strong purple dye
hematoxylin and can thus be used to dye fabrics.
Two other native trees are the allspice and the guaiac tree. The evergreen
allspice tree, which belongs to the myrtle family, can grow up to 20 m tall and
has elongated leathery leaves. Both these leaves and the dried, unripe berry
fruits are used to make essential oils such as eugenol. The guaiac tree is also
an evergreen tree with egg-shaped and entire leaves. It can be up to 15 m high.
The pimentol is obtained from the leaves and berries of the allspice
tree. This helps with flatulence by promoting digestion. It also has an
invigorating effect on the nervous system. The bark of the tree is used for vein
problems and to boost the immune system.
The guaiac tree is also one of the medicinal plants. Medicines against gout and
rheumatism are obtained from its core and sapwood. The guaiac wood also has a
stimulating effect on the liver and kidney functions.
The elongated egg-shaped ackee fruit of the ackee tree is the national fruit
of Jamaica, but it is highly poisonous when unripe. Only when the pale red fruit
pops open and the kernels can be seen, it can be harvested and eaten. The
yellowish pulp is traditionally eaten with stockfish and has an avocado flavor
On plantations as well as on the island one can find the mango tree, banana
plants and the breadfruit tree imported from East India. This has a bulky habit
and large leaves up to half a meter long, as well as fruit clusters weighing up
to 5 kg. The elongated, round breadfruit of the tree has a green, prickly skin
and grows 2 m high. In Europe it is cooked and eaten as a vegetable.