Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Manley, Michael Norman from The Columbia Encyclopedia

1924–97, prime minister of Jamaica (1972–80, 1989–92); son of Norman Manley. A leader of the socialist People's National party, he was first elected to parliament in 1967. Winning a landslide victory in 1972, he shifted Jamaican politics to the left, establishing close relations to Cuba, nationalizing industry, and denouncing U.S. imperialism. He was reelected in 1976, but in 1980 lost to conservative Edward Seaga. Manley was returned to power in 1989, this time leading a more moderate government and encouraging foreign investment. Following serious illness, he resigned in 1992.

Summary Article: Manley, Michael (Norman)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Jamaican trade unionist, centre-left politician, leader of the socialist People's National Party from 1969, and prime minister (1972–80 and 1989–92). A charismatic orator, he was the son of Norman Manley, founder of the socialist People's National Party (PNP), and became leader of the PNP on his father's death in 1969. After a landslide victory in 1972, his ‘democratic socialist’ programme was beset by economic depression, losing him the election in 1980. He was re-elected on a more moderate manifesto in 1989, but ill health forced his resignation as prime minister in March 1992 and retirement from politics. He was succeeded as premier by Percival Patterson.

As prime minister, he nationalized the country's bauxite mines and encouraged economic self-reliance. In his foreign policy he attacked ‘US imperialism’, entered into closer relations with communist Cuba, and founded the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1973. He also advocated political non-alignment and the creation of a new global economic order, benefiting less developed nations. The PNP were re-elected in 1976 but the pro-free-market Jamaican Labour Party (JLP), led by Edward Seaga, gained power in 1980. The more moderate centrist programme of his second premiership included support for economic deregulation and foreign inward investment.

Manley was born in Kingston. He served in the Royal Canadian Airforce, studied at the London School of Economics, and worked as a journalist, before returning to Jamaica to become a leader of the National Workers' Union during the 1950s. He was appointed to the Jamaican senate in 1962 and elected to its house of representatives in 1967.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Manley, Michael (1924 - 1997)
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

Jamaican statesman, who, as leader of the People's National Party, was twice prime minister of Jamaica (1972-80; 1989-92). During...

Full text Article Seaga, Edward Philip George (1930 to )
Chambers Dictionary of World History

US-born Jamaican politician. He went to school in Kingston, Jamaica and then studied at Harvard University. On the staff of the University of West...

Full text Article JAMAICA
World and Its Peoples: The Americas

Jamaica is a tropical island with highlands (the Blue Mountains) inland and narrow coastal plains. Taíno Amerindians settled Jamaica some time...

See more from Credo