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History of barbados

The first inhabitants of Barbados were the Arawak Indians. They were driven off the island in 1200 AD by the invading Carib Indians from Venezuela. The Caribs abandoned Barbados by the time the first European sailed in to the region.

In 1536 Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos discovered the island en route to Brazil. He named the island Los Barbados, meaning the 'Bearded One' after the islands Fig Tree's whose long hanging aerial roots have a beard like resemblance.

In 1625 Captain John Powell landed and claimed the uninhabited island for England. Two years later his brother Captain Henry Powell landed with a party of 80 settlers and 10 slaves. More settlers followed in their wake and by the end of 1628 the population was around 2000.

Major and local towns and cities in Barbados:

Bridgetown, Barbados
Speightstown, Barbados
Oistins, BarbadosBathsheba, Barbados
Holetown, Barbados

Facts of Barbados-Size. Barbados is a tiny speck on the map, 21 miles long by 14 miles wide. That's 166 square miles (430 square kilometers).
Crab Hill, BarbadosBlackmans, Barbados
Greenland, Barbados
Hillaby, Barbados

The colonists originally planted the fields with tobacco and cotton, but by 1640 they had discovered the potential of Sugar Cane. To meet the labor demands of the new crop they began to import large amounts of African Slaves. The first large sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean became immensely profitable. In 1663 Barbados was made into a British Crown Possession, by the mid 17th century the planters and merchants were thriving.

In 1816, due to the poor living conditions and treatment, the slaves staged a revolt. In 1834 Slavery was abolished. This unfortunately failed to solve the dire conditions as the land remained in the hands of the large estates and most of the slaves had no alternative other than to stay and work on the land. Those who left ended up in Shanty Towns.

An economic Depression hit in the 1930's, which led to street riots. As a consequence the British Colonial Welfare was established providing large amounts of cash to improve living conditions and quality of life. To counter political unrest, the British reluctantly gave black reformers political roles. One of the key reformers, Grantley Adams became the first Prime minister and was knighted by the queen.

Barbados gained internal self government in 1961 and in 1966 gained full independence and retained its status as a Commonwealth country. Independence Day is celebrated annually on the 30th November. In 1967 Barbados joined the United Nations

After World War Two the sugar Cane industry went into decline and the tourism industry started to take off to supplement the islands economy.

Barbados is now a peaceful democratic society without major incident. The current Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, took office after the sudden death of the late Prime Minister David Thompson, who died at age 48 of Pancreatic Cancer on October 23rd 2010. Prime Minister Stuart represents the DLP (Democratic Labour Party) who came in to power in 2008. The previous government BLP (Barbados Labour Party) was led by Owen Arthur who had been in power since 1994.

History of Barbados

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British sailors who landed on Barbados in the 1620s at the site of present-day Holetown on the Caribbean coast found the island uninhabited. As elsewhere in the eastern Caribbean, Arawak Indians may have been annihilated by invading Caribs, who are believed to have subsequently abandoned the island.

From the arrival of the first British settlers in 1627-28 until independence in 1966, Barbados was a self-funding colony under uninterrupted British rule. Nevertheless, Barbados always enjoyed a large measure of local autonomy. Its House of Assembly, which began meeting in 1639, is the third-oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, preceded only by Bermuda's legislature and the Virginia House of Burgesses.

As the sugar industry developed into the main commercial enterprise, Barbados was divided into large plantation estates, which replace the small holdings of the early British settlers. Some of the displaced farmers relocated to British colonies in North America. To work the plantations, slaves were brought from Africa; the slave trade ceased a few years before the abolition of slavery throughout the British empire in 1834.

Plantation owners and merchants of British descent dominated local politics. It was not until the 1930s that the descendants of emancipated slaves began a movement for political rights. One of the leaders of this movement, Sir Grantley Adams, founded the Barbados Labor Party in 1938. Progress toward more democratic government for Barbados was made in 1951, when the first general election under universal adult suffrage occurred. This was followed by steps toward increased self-government, and in 1961, Barbados achieved internal autonomy.

From 1958 to 1962, Barbados was one of 10 members of the West Indies Federation, and Sir Grantley Adams served as its first and only prime minister. When the federation was terminated, Barbados reverted to its former status as a self-governing colony. Following several attempts to form another federation composed of Barbados and the Leeward and Windward Islands, Barbados negotiated its own independence at a constitutional conference with the United Kingdom in June 1966. After years of peaceful and democratic progress, Barbados became an independent state within the British Commonwealth on November 30, 1966.

On July 4, 1973, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Jamaica signed a treaty in Trinidad to found the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). In May 1974, most of the remaining English-speaking Caribbean states joined CARICOM, which now has 14 members. Barbados also is a member of the Caribbean Development Bank, established in 1970, with headquarters in Bridgetown. The eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System, which associates Barbados with six other island nations, also is headquartered in Barbados. In July 1994, Barbados joined the newly established Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

As a member of CARICOM, Barbados supported efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute personnel to the multinational force, which restored the democratically elected government of Haiti in October 1994.

In May 1997, Prime Minister Owen Arthur hosted President Clinton and 14 other Caribbean leaders during the first-ever U.S.-regional summit in Bridgetown, Barbados. The summit strengthened the basis for regional cooperation on justice and counternarcotics issues, finance and development, and trade.

The ruling BLP was decisively returned to power in May 2003 elections, winning 23 seats in the Parliament with the DLP gaining seven seats. The Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, who also serves as Minister of Finance and Minister of Culture, has given a high priority to economic development and diversification. The main opposition party, the DLP, is led by Sen. Clyde Mascoll, who was elected President of the DLP in 2001, as part of a party reorganization.