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Barbados history

Beginnings

Before the Europeans discovered Barbados in the first half of the 16th century, the island was founded around 1000 AD. probably settled by Aruak Indians. In 1536, the Portuguese Pedro a Campo, sailing for Spain, landed on the island and gave it the name that is still valid today, which is derived from the fig tree Ficus barbata, which is native to Spain. In 1625 the British crown took possession of the deserted island and began to colonize it and subsequently began to grow sugar cane and cotton. The few large white landowners who worked were black slaves from Africa, who soon formed the majority of the population.

Colonial period

Barbados historyIn 1652 Barbados became a British crown colony with limited self-government, and the capital Bridgetown was founded a year later. The island became one of the richest British colonies in the Caribbean, with sugar cane and slave trade dominating.

After the abolition of slavery in all British colonies from 1834, the blacks formed the majority of the population on the island, but had no political participation and were unable to acquire land themselves.

Independent state

In the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries, movements against social injustices in the country and against dependence on Great Britain developed. After anti-British protests, the right to vote was extended to the black population in 1937. In 1958 Barbados became a member of the West Indies Federation, which only existed until 1962. 1961 gave the island full internal autonomy, in November 1966 Barbados declared independence as a parliamentary monarchy under the British Commonwealth. According to AbbreviationFinder, the British royal family thus continued to provide the head of state, who was represented on the island by a governor general.

The party landscape, which has been developing since the 1930s, was based on the British model. The "Barbados Labor Party" (BLP) was the dominant political force for a long time, it represented several heads of government of the country. The "Democratic Labor Party" (DLP), split off from the BLP in 1955, emerged as the second major party. Today there are no longer any significant programmatic differences between the parties.

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