When the Morant Bay rebellion was over, 439 rebels were killed or hanged, 600 flogged and 1,000 houses destroyed. Governor Eyre was sent back to England and in 1866 Sir John Peter Grant arrived as the new Governor of Jamaica up to 1874. There was a change in the form of government in the island with the establishment of Crown Colony rule. There was now to be a single, non-elected house, controlled by the Governor.

Governor Grant made many significant changes during his time, as well as other governors who followed. The 22 parishes that existed at the time were reduced to 14, district courts which served justice were set up throughout the island, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force was formed.

Other changes included the disestablishment of the Anglican Church, the establishment of the Institute of Jamaica (by Governor Sir Anthony Musgrave in 1879); a government savings bank with branches in all parishes; a government medical service; a public works department; free elementary education and more schools. Agriculture also improved with the development of the banana export trade, which provided another export crop apart from sugar. Additionally, in 1870, the Rio Cobre Irrigation Works was started, which provided dry lands lying near to Spanish Town with water. Two years later, in 1872, the capital was transferred from Spanish Town to Kingston.


Many changes were made under the Crown Colony system. However, there were many who criticised that the changes were imposed without consultation. During the 1930s, labour unrest developed due to unemployment and reduced wages. National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante sought to address this situation and became one of the leaders of a new labour movement.

This also gave rise to the formation of political parties. In 1938, the People’s National Party (PNP) was formed by National Hero Norman Manley. He and Bustamante fought for increased wages and a change in the politics of the country. This led to the end of Crown Colony rule in 1944. The country began the journey to self-government with a House of Representatives and full adult suffrage, guaranteeing every adult Jamaican the right to vote.
Bustamante formed the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which won the first elections under Universal Adult Suffrage, and became the island’s first Chief Minister. Then, in 1955, the PNP won the general elections and Manley took over as head of government. In 1957, Cabinet Government was introduced. General elections were called in 1959 and the PNP was returned to power. Independence came in 1962; Bustamante won the elections in that year and he became Jamaica’s first Prime Minister.


Read the passage above and the sentences below, then unscramble the words and fill in the blanks with the correct answer.

  1. naglden: Governor Eyre was sent back to _______ after the Morant Bay Rebellion.
  2. ocnrw: _________Colony rule was established in Jamaica after the Morant Bay rebellion.
  3. praihses: After the rebellion, the 22 _________ of Jamaica were reduced to 14.
  4. licpoe: An up-to-date _________ force was formed after the rebellion.
  5. tnarg: In 1866, Sir John Peter __________arrived in Jamaica as governor.
  6. leynam: In 1838, National Hero Norman_____________ launched the People’s National Party.
  7. manbusetat: National Hero Sir Alexander _________________ was the island’s first Chief Minister.

Correct answers: England, Crown, parishes, police, Grant, Manley, Bustamante.