The British seized the island in 1655 and developed it into the world's largest sugar exporter through the use of African slaves. By the early 19th century, the slaves outnumbered their white "masters" by 20 to 1 which lead to the abolition of slavery in 1834. Jamaica gained full independence in 1962.
Jamaica is extremely rich in culture and known around most of the world. In particular, its musical culture is a major export and includes reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, and dub, among other genres.