In Jamaica and Canada, modern-day attitudes towards power and ambition are the result of certain institutions that were imposed in the early colony. Though both countries were colonized by the British, the different economic models that the colonies imposed have had very apparent and differing consequences. Jamaica's economy depended heavily on the sugar plantations that were developed by the British. Canada's early economy depended on the fur trade. The outcome of these past economic models continues to impact everyday life in these countries.
England gained formal possession of Jamaica from Spain in 1670 through the Treaty of Madrid. Removing the pressing need for constant defense against Spanish attack, this change served as an incentive to planting. Thereafter it was a largely agricultural British colony peopled mainly by black peasants and workers.
Production of cane sugar became the economic and political strength of the Jamaican British Colony. The sugar plantations dominated economic and political life in Jamaica in every sense.
In general, all commercial and other economic activity depended on the rhythm of activity of the plantation. The sugar plantations led to massive importation of slaves from Africa to provide manual labor and comforts to the plantation owners. They occupied the best lands and the laws of the colony supported the slave system. Newfound prosperity amongst the plantation owners led to extensive trade among other Caribbean Islands, Jamaica and England, not only in sugar trade and other manufactured goods, but in slave trade as well. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the number of slaves in Jamaica did not exceed 45,000, but by 1800 the slave population had increased to over 300,000. Jamaica soon became one of the principal slave-trading centers in the world. New slaves kept arriving and most of them put to work on sugar plantations in appalling...