Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean sea adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. The Caribbean is home to the Greater Antilles island group, which includes Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands.
The Caribbean sea has an area of approximately 1,063,000 square miles. Christopher Columbus discovered the region on behalf of the Spanish crown in 1492. Other European powers, such as England, France and the Dutch Republic, quickly established colonies alongside Spain. The extensive commercial traffic between the colonies and their mother countries, combined with the many island harbors in the region, created an environment where piracy flourished.