The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 45, Issue 1

Article 3
Where the Country Meets the Town: Spanish Town, Jamaica, and the Urban Roles of an Inland West Indian Town

James Robertson


Discussions of urban roles in the West Indies remain skewed by colonial administrators’, merchants’ and tourists’ commendations of port towns. This was where the exports at the heart of plantation economics were shipped out. The urban functions that inland urban centres fulfilled received far less official attention. Spanish Town, Jamaica, with its inherited site has appeared an anomaly. Using this town to reconsider what roles an inland town could play offers an alternative perspective on the importance of regional market networks in sustaining local economies, and also the importance that regional markets played in sustaining individual Caribbean towns.