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Introduction: The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic...

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Economic Overview: The IMF forecast that Barbados' GDP would contract by 5.3 per cent in 2009. The financial sector is prominent in Barbados. It is seeking to position itself as a gateway to the region and to Latin ...

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History: 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 ...

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History: The original inhabitants of Barbados were Arawak Indians, who were driven off the island around AD 1200 by invading Carib Indians from Venezuela. The Carib Indians in turn abandoned the island around 1500. Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos in 1536 named the island Los Barbados (Bearded Ones), presumably after the long, hanging aerial roots of the island's fig trees, which resemble beards. English settlers established the island’s first European settlement in 1627. In the 1640s the colonists planted their fields with sugarcane and brought slaves to the island to work on the sugar plantations. The sugar industry continued to boom until the ...

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The Commonwealth Caribbean islands make up a large subcomponent of the hundreds of islands in the Caribbean Sea, forming a wide arc between Florida in the north and Venezuela in the south, as well as a barrier between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Varying considerably in size, the islands, which are the isolated upper parts of a submerged chain of volcanic mountains, are scattered ...

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Area Handbook Series
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