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The Caribbean (/ˌkærɨˈbiːən/ or /kəˈrɪbiən/; Spanish: Caribe; Dutch:   Caraïben (help·info); French: Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles) is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean), and the surrounding coasts. ASUS F3M Laptop Keyboard

The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. (See thelist.) Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea.[3]The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands) north of the Greater Antilles and Caribbean Sea.  HP Pavilion dv6-3107ax Laptop Keyboard

In a wider sense, the mainland countries of Belize and Guyana – historically and culturally part of the British West Indies– may be included.

Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North Americaand are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

and dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then United Kingdom dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

The region takes its name from that of the Carib, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest.[9]

The two most prevalent pronunciations of "Caribbean" are kair-ə-bee-ən, with the primary accent on the third syllable, and kə-rib-ee-ən, with the accent on the second.[10] TOSHIBA P000482730 Laptop Keyboard

The former pronunciation is the older of the two, although the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over seventy-five years.[11]It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer kair-ə-bee-ən while North American speakers more typically use kə-rib-ee-ən,[12] although not all sources agree.[13] Usage is split within Caribbean English itself.  SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

The word "Caribbean" has multiple uses. Its principal ones are geographical and political. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation, and the plantation system.

The United Nations geoscheme for the Americas accords the Caribbean as a distinct region within The Americas. TOSHIBA Tecra M9-S5514 Laptop Keyboard

Physiographically, the Caribbean region is mainly a chain of islands surrounding the Caribbean Sea. To the north, the region is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, and the Northern Atlantic Ocean, which lies to the east and northeast. To the south, lies the coastline of the continent of South America  GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

Politically, the "Caribbean" may be centred on socio-economic groupings found in the region. For example, the block known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) contains the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Suriname in South America, and Belize in Central America as full members. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are in the Atlantic Ocean are associate members FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 Laptop Keyboard

  • of the Caribbean Community—as is theCommonwealth of the Bahamas, which is a full member of the Caribbean Community.

Alternatively, the organisation called the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) consists of almost every nation in the surrounding regions that lie on the Caribbean, plus El Salvador, which lies solely on the Pacific Ocean. According to the ACS, the total population of its member states is 227 million people.  FUJITSU Lifebook P1610 Laptop Keyboard

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. These islands include Aruba (possessing only minor volcanic features), Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, The Bahamas, and Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Cuba,Hispaniola,  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Tortola,Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles often vary. The Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles.  SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

The term Lesser Antilles is often used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles.

The climate of the area is tropical but rainfall varies with elevation, size, and water currents (cool upwellings keep theABC islands arid). Warm, moist tradewinds blow consistently from the east creating rainforest/semidesert divisions on mountainous islands.  TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S4618 Laptop Keyboard

Occasional northwesterlies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into 'dry' and 'wet' seasons, with the last six months of the year being wetter than the first half.

The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe of the Atlantic HP G61-424CA laptop keyboard

Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean.[16]

Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike northwards of Grenada and to the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean. Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

The region sits in the line of several major shipping routes with the Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean.

British West Indies/Anglophone Caribbean – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bay Islands, Belize,British Virgin Islands, HP G61-424CA laptop keyboard

  • Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Croix (briefly), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago (from 1797) and the Turks and Caicos Islands

Danish West Indies – present-day United States Virgin IslandsCompaq Presario CQ56-102SE laptop keyboard

  • Dutch West Indies – Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bay Islands (briefly), Saint Croix(briefly), Suriname, Tobago and Virgin Islands

French West Indies – Anguilla (briefly), Antigua and Barbuda (briefly), Dominica, Dominican Republic (briefly),Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat (briefly), Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius (briefly), HP G42-265LA laptop keyboard

Sint Maarten, St. Kitts (briefly), Tobago (briefly), Saint Croix, the current French overseas départements of Martinique andGuadeloupe (including Marie-Galante, La Désirade and Les Saintes), and the current French overseas collectivities of Saint Barthélemy and Saint MartinTOSHIBA Satellite A305-S6841 laptop keyboard

  • Portuguese West Indies – present-day Barbados, known as Os Barbados in the 16th century when the Portuguese claimed the island en route to Brazil. The Portuguese left Barbados abandoned in 1533, nearly a century prior to the British arrival to the island.

Spanish West Indies – Cuba, Hispaniola (present-day Dominican Republic, HP Mini 210-1081NR laptop keyboard

  • Haiti (until 1609 to France)), Puerto Rico,Jamaica (until 1655 to Great Britain), the Cayman Islands (until 1670 to Great Britain) Trinidad (until 1797 to Great Britain) and Bay Islands (until 1643 to Great Britain), coastal islands of Central America (minus Belize), and some Caribbean coastal islands of Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela.

Swedish West Indies – present-day French Saint-Barthélemy, Guadeloupe (briefly) and Tobago (briefly). HP G42-265LA laptop keyboard

  • Courlander West Indies – Tobago (until 1691)

The British West Indies were united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962. The independent countries formerly part of the B.W.I. still have a joint cricket team that competes in Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. TOSHIBA Satellite A305-S6829 laptop keyboard

The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories such as Trinidad. TOSHIBA PK13AT10600 laptop keyboard

The Caribbean islands are remarkable for the diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International'sbiodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. SONY VGN-FE21B laptop keyboard

The region also contains about 8% (by surface area) of the world's coral reefs[18] along with extensive seagrass meadows,[19] both of which are frequently found in the shallow marine waters bordering island and continental coasts off the region.

For the fungi, there is a modern checklist based on nearly 90,000 records derived from specimens in reference collections, published accounts and field observations.[20] COMPAQ Presario CQ50-210US laptop keyboard

That checklist includes more than 11250 species of fungi recorded from the region. As its authors note, the work is far from exhaustive, and it is likely that the true total number of fungal species already known from the Caribbean is higher. The true total number of fungal species occurring in the Caribbean, including species not yet recorded, is likely far higher given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have been discovered.[21] DELL V119525BS1 laptop keyboard

Though the amount of available information is still small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to some Caribbean islands. For Cuba, 2200 species of fungi have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the island;[22] for Puerto Rico, the number is 789 species;[23]  TOSHIBA 9J.N9282.W01 laptop keyboard

for the Dominican Republic, the number is 699 species;[24] for Trinidad and Tobago, the number is 407 species.[25]

Many of the ecosystems of the Caribbean islands have been devastated by deforestation, pollution, and human encroachment. The arrival of the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths.[26] SONY KFRMBA151B laptop keyboard

The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened animals (ranging from birds, to mammals and reptiles), fungi and plants. Examples of threatened animals include the Puerto Rican Amazon, two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba and the Hispaniola island, and the Cuban crocodile. TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1196 laptop keyboard

The region's coral reefs, which contain about 70 species of hard corals and between 500–700 species of reef-associated fishes[27] have undergone rapid decline in ecosystem integrity in recent years, and are considered particularly vulnerable to global warming and ocean acidification.[28] HP Pavilion DV6-1205ee laptop keyboard

Some Caribbean islands have terrain that Europeans found suitable for cultivation for agriculture. Tobacco was an important early crop during the colonial era, but was eventually overtaken by sugarcane production as the region's staple crop. Sugar was produced from sugarcane for export to Europe. Cuba and Barbados were historically the largest producers of sugar. SAMSUNG Q320 laptop keyboard

The tropical plantation system thus came to dominate Caribbean settlement. Other islands were found to have terrain unsuited for agriculture, for example Dominica, which remains heavily forested. The islands in the southern Lesser Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, are extremely arid, making them unsuitable for agriculture. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

However, they have salt pans that were exploited by the Dutch. Sea water was pumped into shallow ponds, producing coarse salt when the water evaporated.[29]

The natural environmental diversity of the Caribbean islands has led to recent growth in eco-tourism. This type of tourism is growing on islands lacking sandy beaches and dense human populations.  HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European contact, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity)[31] led to a decline in the Amerindian population.[32] SONY VAIO VGN-AR630E Laptop Keyboard

From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa[33] such as the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners and captured slaves from Ireland, who were deported during the Cromwellian reign in England.[34] Immigrants from Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.[35] SONY VAIO PCG-FR315M Laptop Keyboard

The population is estimated to have reached 2.2 million by 1800.[36] Immigrants from India, China, and other countries arrived in the 19th century.[37] After the ending of the Atlantic slave trade, the population increased naturally.[38] The total regional population was estimated at 37.5 million by 2000. DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

The majority of the Caribbean has populations of mainly Africans in the French Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean, there are minorities of mixed-race and European peoples of Dutch, English, French, Italian and Portuguese ancestry. Asians, especially those of Chinese and Indian descent, DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

form a significant minority in the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. All of their ancestors arrived in the 19th century as indentured laborers.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race, African, or European majorities. Puerto Rico has a European majority with a mixture of European-African (mulatto), and a large West African minority. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

One third of Cuba's (largest Caribbean island) population is of African descent, with a sizable Mulatto (mixed African–European) population, and European majority. The Dominican Republic has mixed majority, primarily descended from West Africans, Spaniards, and Amerindians. HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

Larger islands such as Jamaica, have a very large African majority, in addition to a significant mixed race, Chinese, Europeans, Indian, Lebanese, Latin American, and Syrian populations. This is a result of years of importation of slaves and indentured labourers, and migration. Most multi-racial Jamaicans refer to themselves as either mixed race or simply Black. HP G62-367DX Laptop Keyboard

The situation is similar for the Caricom states of Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrival of the Africans, Indians, Chinese, Syrians, Lebanese, Native Amerindians and Europeans. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and include Chindian, Mulattos and Dougla. DELL V119525BS1 Laptop Keyboard

Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size, culture, and degree of mobility of their citizens.[40] The current economic and political problems the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems.  SONY Vaio PCG-K33 Laptop Keyboard

From a political and economic perspective, regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions. In 1973, the first political regionalism in the Caribbean Basin was created by advances of the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution known as the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM).[41]  DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures of the Caribbean. On the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse, ranging from communist systems such as Cuba toward more capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial, and that they tend to undermine commonalities in the various Caribbean states. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a "blending of traditional and modern patterns, yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways."[42] DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

The political systems of the Caribbean states share similar practices.

The influence of regionalism in the Caribbean is often marginalized. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand, scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. HP 643263-001 Laptop Keyboard

"Proximity as well as historical ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well as a desire for collective action."[43] These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations' desires to compete in the international economic system.[43]

Furthermore, a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism in the region. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.S. interest. "With the end of the Cold War, U.S. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. As a result there has been a significant reduction in U.S. aid and investment to the Caribbean."[44] The lack of international support for these small, relatively poor states, helped regionalism prosper. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Following the Cold War another issue of importance in the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due to the United States and European Union's allegations of special treatment toward the region by each other.

The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge in the SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

World Trade Organization against the EU over Europe's preferential program, known as the Lomé Convention, which allowed banana exports from the former colonies of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply.[45] The World Trade Organization sided in the United States' favour and the beneficial elements of the convention to African, TOSHIBA Satellite L755-S5216 laptop keyboard

Caribbean and Pacific states has been partially dismantled and replaced by the Cotonou Agreement.[46]

During the US/EU dispute, the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100%) to pressure Europe to change the agreement with the Caribbean nations in favour of the Cotonou Agreement.[47]  HP Pavilion DV6z artist edition 2 laptop keyboard

Farmers in the Caribbean have complained of falling profits and rising costs as the Lomé Convention weakens. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs, which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North America and Europe.  HP Pavilion dv6-3142se laptop keyboard

The European Union has also taken issue with US based taxation extended to US companies via the Caribbean countries.[when?] The United States has not been in favor of shutting off the practice yet, mainly due to the higher costs that would be passed on to US companies via taxation.[ TOSHIBA Satellite P300-ST3712 laptop keyboard

Caribbean countries have largely countered the allegations by the OECD by signing more bilateral information sharing deals with OECD members, thus reducing the dangerous aspects of secrecy, and they have strengthened their legislation against money laundering and on conditions under which companies can be based in their nations.[ HP G42-265LA laptop keyboard

] The Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight of the offshore industry.

One of the most important associations that deal with regionalism amongst the nations of the Caribbean Basin has been the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Proposed by CARICOM in 1992, the ACS soon won the support of the other countries of the region. SONY VAIO VGN-FS620 laptop keyboard

It was founded in July 1994. The ACS maintains regionalism within the Caribbean on issues unique to the Caribbean Basin. Through coalition building, like the ACS and CARICOM, regionalism has become an undeniable part of the politics and economics of the Caribbean. The successes of region-building initiatives are still debated by scholars, yet regionalism remains prevalent throughout the Caribbean.HP Pavilion dv3-2155mx laptop keyboard

The history of the Caribbean reveals the significant role the region played in the colonial struggles of theEuropean powers since the 15th century. In the 20th century the Caribbean was again important during World War II, in decolonization wave in the post-war period, and in the tension between Communist Cuba and the United States (US). TOSHIBA PK130BH2A00 laptop keyboard

Genocide, slavery, immigration and rivalry between world powers have given Caribbean history an impact disproportionate to the size of this small region.

The oldest evidence of humans in the Caribbean is the Casirimoid culture in Cuba and Hispaniola which dates back to 4500 BCE and is associated with edge grinders similar to those used in Archaic Age Central America. SONY VAIO VGN-CR123E laptop keyboard

There is also another series of Archaic Age sites discovered by Christi Torres Trinidad at Banwari Trace where 4000-year-old remains have been found. These sites, which belong to the Archaic (pre-ceramic) age, have been termed Ortoiroid. The earliest evidence of humans in theLesser Antilles are from 2000 BCE in Antigua. Lenovo ThinkPad T510-4339 laptop keyboard

A lack of pre-ceramic sites in the Windward Islands and differences in technology suggest that these Archaic settlers may have Central American origins. Whether an Ortoiroid colonisation of the islands took place is uncertain, but there is little evidence of one.

Between 400 BCE and 200 BCE the first ceramic-using agriculturalists, the Saladoid culture, entered Trinidad from South America. HP Pavilion dv6-2130ca laptop keyboard

They expanded down the Orinoco River to Trinidad, and then spread rapidly up the islands of the Caribbean. Some time after 250 CE another group, the Barrancoid entered Trinidad. The Barancoid society collapsed along the Orinoco around 650 and another group, the Arauquinoid, expanded into these areas and up the Caribbean chain. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Around 1300 a new group, the Mayoidentered Trinidad and remained the dominant culture until Spanish settlement.

At the time of the European arrival, three major Amerindian indigenous peoples lived on the islands: the Taíno in the Greater Antilles, The Bahamas and the Leeward Islands; the Island Caribs and Galibi in the Windward Islands; and the Ciboney in western Cuba. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

The Taínos are subdivided into Classic Taínos, who occupied Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, Western Taínos, who occupied Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamian archipelago, and the Eastern Taínos, who occupied the Leeward Islands.[1] Trinidad was inhabited by both Carib speaking and Arawak-speaking groups. HP Pavilion DV6z artist edition 2 Laptop Keyboard

New scientific DNA studies have changed some of the traditional beliefs about pre-Columbian indigenous history. Juan Martinez Cruzado, a geneticist from theUniversity of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez designed an island-wide DNA survey of Puerto Rico's people. According to conventional historical belief, HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

Puerto Ricans have mainly Spanish ethnic origins, with some African ancestry, and distant and less significant indigenous ancestry. Cruzado's research revealed surprising results in 2003. It found that, in fact, 61 percent of all Puerto Ricans have Amerindian mitochondrial DNA, 27 percent have African and 12 percent Caucasian.[2]  DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

This scientific evidence shows that the official history of Puerto Rico has been incorrect.

Soon after the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, both Portuguese and Spanish ships began claiming territories in Central and South America. These colonies brought in gold, and other European powers, most specifically England, SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

theNetherlands, and France, hoped to establish profitable colonies of their own. Imperial rivalries made the Caribbean a contested area during European wars for centuries.

During the first voyage of the explorer Christopher Columbus (mandated by the Spanish crown to conquer) contact was made with the Lucayans in the Bahamas and the Taíno in Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola, HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

and a few of the native people were taken back to Spain. Small amounts of gold were found in their personal ornaments and other objects such as masks and belts. The Spanish, who came seeking wealth, enslaved the native population and rapidly drove them to near-extinction. To supplement the Amerindian labor, HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

the Spanish imported African (slavery/slaves) (see also Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies) Although Spain claimed the entire Caribbean, they settled only the larger islands of Hispaniola (1493), Puerto Rico (1508),Jamaica (1509), Cuba (1511), and Trinidad (1530),  TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

although the Spanish made an exception in the case of the small 'pearl islands' of Cubagua and Margarita off the Venezuelan coast because of their valuable pearl beds which were worked extensively between 1508 and1530.

The other European powers established a presence in the Caribbean after the Spanish Empire declined, TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2804 Laptop Keyboard

partly due to the reduced native population of the area from European diseases. The Dutch, the French, and the British followed one another to the region and established a long-term presence. They brought with them millions of slaves imported from Africa to support the tropical plantation system that spread through the Caribbean islands. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

Francis Drake was an English privateer who attacked many Spanish ships and forts in the Caribbean, including San Juanharbour in 1595. His most celebrated Caribbean exploit was the capture of the Spanish Silver Train at Nombre de Dios in March, 1573. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

British colonisation of Bermuda began in 1612. British West Indian colonisation began with St. Kitts in 1623 and Barbadosin 1627. The former was used as a base for British colonisation of neighbouring Nevis (1628), Antigua (1632),[3]Montserrat (1632), Anguilla (1650) and Tortola (1672). DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

French colonisation too began on St. Kitts, the British and the French splitting the island amongst themselves in 1625. It was used as a base to colonise the much larger Guadeloupe (1635) and Martinique (1635), St. Martin (1648), St Barts (1648), and St Croix (1650), but was lost completely to Britain in 1713. From Martinique the French colonised St. Lucia (1643), Grenada (1649), Dominica (1715), and St. Vincent (1719). Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

  • The English admiral William Penn seized Jamaica in 1655 and it remained under British rule for over 300 years.[4]

Piracy in the Caribbean was widespread during the early colonial era, especially between 1640 and 1680. The term "buccaneer" is often used to describe a pirate operating in this region.  HP Pavilion zv6223ea Laptop Keyboard

In 1625 French buccaneers established a settlement on Tortuga, just to the north of Hispaniola, that the Spanish were never able to permanently destroy despite several attempts. The settlement on Tortuga was officially established in 1659 under the commission of King Louis XIV. In 1670 Cap François (later Cap Français, now Cap-Haïtien) was established on the mainland of Hispaniola. Under the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, Spain officially ceded the western third ofHispaniola to France.[5]  Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

  • The Dutch took over Saba, Saint Martin, Sint Eustatius, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba,[6] Tobago, St. Croix, Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Anguilla and a short time Puerto Rico, together called the Dutch West Indies, in the seventeenth century.

The Danish first ruled part, then all of the present U.S. Virgin Islands since 1672, selling sovereignty over these Danish West Indies in 1917 to the United States which still administers them. ACER Aspire 4736Z laptop keyboard

The development of agriculture in the Caribbean required a large workforce of manual labourers, which the Europeans found by taking advantage of the slave trade in Africa. The Atlantic slave trade brought African slaves to British, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spanish colonies in the Americas, including the Caribbean.  HP Pavilion DV7t-3100 laptop keyboard

Slaves were brought to the Caribbean from the early 16th century until the end of the 19th century. The majority of slaves were brought to the Caribbean colonies between 1701 and 1810.

Abolitionists in the Americas and in Europe became vocal opponents of the slave trade throughout the 19th century. HP Pavilion dv6-2150es laptop keyboard

The importation of slaves to the colonies was often outlawed years before the end of the institution of slavery itself. It was well into the 19th century before many slaves in the Caribbean were legally free. The trade in slaves was abolished in the British Empire through the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807. HP Pavilion dv6-3107ax laptop keyboard

Men, women and children who were already enslaved in the British Empire remained slaves, however, until Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. When the Slavery Abolition Act came into force in 1834, roughly 700,000 slaves in the British West Indies immediately became free; other enslaved workers were freed several years later after a period of forced apprenticeship.  SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

Slavery was abolished in the Dutch Empire in 1814. Spain abolished slavery in its empire in 1811, with the exceptions of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo; Spain ended the slave trade to these colonies in 1817, after being paid ₤400,000 by Britain. Slavery itself was not abolished in Cuba until 1886. France abolished slavery in its colonies in 1848. HP Pavilion DV7-3165dx laptop keyboard

"The official plantocratic view of slave marriage sought to deny the slaves any loving bonds or long-standing relationships, thus conveniently rationalising the indiscriminate separation of close kin through sales."[8][a] "From the earliest days of slavery, indiscriminate sales and separation severely disrupted the domestic life of individual slaves."[9] SONY VAIO VGN-NW25GF laptop keyboard

Slaves could be sold so that spouses could be sold separately. "Slave couples were sometimes separated by sale .... They lived as single slaves or as part of maternal or extended families but considered themselves 'married.'"[10] Sale of estates with "stock" to pay debts, more common in the late period of slavery, was criticized as separating slave spouses.[9] Compaq Presario CQ71-317EA laptop keyboard

William Beckford argued for "families to be sold together or kept as near as possible in the same neighburhood"[9] and "laws were passed in the late period of slavery to prevent the breakup of slave families by sale, ... [but] these laws were frequently ignored".[9] "Slaves frequently reacted strongly to enforced severance of their emotional bonds",[9] feeling "sorrow and despair",[9HP Pavilion dv6-2129ev laptop keyboard

] sometimes, according to Thomas Cooper in 1820, resulting in death from distress.[11] John Stewart argued against separation as leading slave buyers to regret it because of "despair[,] ... utter despondency[,]or 'put[ting] period to their lives'".[12] Separated slaves often used free time to travel long distances to reunite for a night[11] and sometimes runaway slaves were married couples.[11] FUJITSU Lifebook P1610 laptop keyboard

However, "sale of slaves and the resulting breakup of families decreased as slave plantations lost prosperity."

European plantations required laws to regulate the plantation system and the many slaves imported to work on the plantations.  Packard Bell NEW90 laptop keyboard

This legal control was the most oppressive for slaves inhabiting colonies where they outnumbered their European masters and where rebellion was persistent, such as Jamaica. During the early colonial period, rebellious slaves were harshly punished, with sentences including death by torture; less serious crimes such as assault, theft or persistent escape attempts were commonly punished with mutilations, such as the cutting off of a hand or a foot.[14] SONY VAIO VGN-FS640/W laptop keyboard

Under British rule, slaves could only be freed with the consent of their master, and therefore freedom for slaves was rare. British colonies were able to establish laws through their own legislatures, and the assent of the local island governor and the Crown. British law considered slaves to be property, and thus did not recognize marriage for slaves,  HP 405963-001 laptop keyboard

family rights, education for slaves, or the right to religious practises such as holidays. British law denied all rights to freed slaves, with the exception of the right to a jury trial. Otherwise, freed slaves had no right to own property, vote or hold office, or even enter some trades.[14]  HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The French Empire regulated slaves under the Code Noir (Black Code) which was in force throughout the empire, but which was based upon French practises in the Caribbean colonies. French law recognized slave marriages, but only with the consent of the master. French law, like Spanish law, gave legal recognition to marriages between European men and black or Creole women. SONY VAIO VGN-FS315M Laptop Keyboard

French and Spanish laws were also significantly more lenient than British law in recognizingmanumission, or the ability of a slave to purchase their freedom and become a "freeman". Under French law, free slaves gained full rights to citizenship. The French also extended limited legal rights to slaves, for example the right to own property, and the right to enter contracts. TOSHIBA Satellite C650-182 Laptop Keyboard

The exploitation of the Caribbean landscape dates back to the Spanish conquistadors around 1600 who mined the islands for gold which they brought back to Spain. The more significant development came when Christopher Columbus wrote back to Spain that the islands were made for sugar development.[16] SONY VGN-FE21H laptop keyboard

The history of Caribbean agricultural dependency is closely linked with European colonialism which altered the financial potential of the region by introducing a plantation system. Much like the Spanish enslaved indigenous Indians to work in gold mines, the seventeenth century brought a new series of oppressors in the form of the Dutch,  HP G72-b60SF laptop keyboard

the English, and the French. By the middle of the eighteenth century sugar was Britain's largest import which made the Caribbean that much more important as a colony.[17]

Sugar was a luxury in Europe prior to 18th century. It became widely popular in 18th century, then graduated to becoming a necessity in the 19th century. HP Mini 110-3180sv laptop keyboard

This evolution of taste and demand for sugar as an essential food ingredient unleashed major economic and social changes.[18] Caribbean islands with plentiful sunshine, abundant rainfalls and no extended frosts were well suited for sugarcane agriculture and sugar factories.

Following the emancipation of slaves in 1833 in the United Kingdom, many liberated Africans left their former masters. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

This created an economic chaos for British owners of Caribbean sugar cane plantations. The hard work in hot, humid farms required a regular, docile and low-waged labour force. The British looked for cheap labour. This they found initially in China and then mostly in India. The British crafted a new legal system of forced labour, which in many ways resembled enslavement.[19] HP Mini 110-3180sv laptop keyboard

Instead of calling them slaves, they were called indentured labour. Indians and southeast Asians, began to replace Africans previously brought as slaves, under this indentured labour scheme to serve on sugarcane plantations across the British empire. The first ships carrying indentured labourers for sugarcane plantations left India in 1836. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E125 laptop keyboard

Over the next 70 years, numerous more ships brought indentured labourers to the Caribbean, as cheap and docile labor for harsh inhumane work. The slave labor and indentured labor - both in millions of people - were brought into Caribbean, as in other European colonies throughout the world.. HP Pavilion dv6-3230us laptop keyboard

The “New World” plantations were established in order to fulfill the growing needs of the “Old World”. The sugar plantations were built with the intention of exporting the sugar back to Britain which is why the British did not need to stimulate local demand for the sugar with wages. ACER K052030A1 laptop keyboard

A system of slavery was adapted since it allowed the colonizer to have an abundant work force with little worry about declining demands for sugar.[24] In the 19th century wages were finally introduced with the abolition of slavery. The new system in place however was similar to the previous as it was based on white capital and colored labor.[25]  DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

Large numbers of unskilled workers were hired to perform repeated tasks, which made if very difficult for these workers to ever leave and pursue any non farming employment. Unlike other countries, where there was an urban option for finding work, the Caribbean countries had money invested in agriculture and lacked any core industrial base.[26] TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

The cities that did exist offered limited opportunities to citizens and almost none for the unskilled masses who had worked in agriculture their entire lives. The products produced brought in no profits for the countries since they were sold to the colonial occupant buyer who controlled the price the products were sold at. ACER Aspire 7741G Laptop Keyboard

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