The Jamaica Christmas Rebellion of 1831

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In 1831 right after the Christmas celebration the slaves in Western Jamaica rose up in rebellion. This revolt is known to many though maybe varying in names it is none the less the same revolt in 1831. Popularly called the Christmas Uprising- due to the time of year it occurred, the Sam Sharpe Rebellion- named after the main instigator of the 1831 revolt, the Baptist War- they were thought to be the one who influenced the Africans into starting the revolt ;or rather simply the Great Jamaican Slave Revolt of 1831-32

Though many think that the Christmas revolt was as a result of the conditions that the slaves were undergoing they were wrong. According to Shepherd (2004 ) the revolt was as a result of the political campaign against enslavement. The slaves’ interaction with the Baptist missionaries was also a cause for the revolt as it was this interaction that led the slaves to believe that they were free before there was actually full freedom. As a result the revolt was also called the Baptist Revolt. The slave trade had ended in 1807 and in many of the other colonized islands slaves were revolting so when the Jamaican slaves decided to revolt it was no surprise. This revolt was in the making many months before as there was a serious six month drought followed by torrential rainfall which gave rise to many diseases which reached epidemic proportions. Many slaves died and as a result workers on the estates were in short supply. There was now the need for the mixed race slaves to be doing the same tasks as the blacks. This in and of itself caused a division and increased tension among the slaves. Needless to say this tension helped to fuel the revolt.

The Baptist War was organized mainly by Samuel ‘Daddy’ Sharpe six months prior to it beginning. Though he got help from both male and female Daddy Sharpe was the main man. He however had not bargained for the fires, lost of life and property that came along with the revolt. Sharpe got help from men from...
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