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perjantai 9. syyskuuta 2016

Antigua and Barbuda, Cool Facts #133

<= 132. Philippines                                                                                                     134. Bahamas =>

1. Antigua and Barbuda Name History

In 1493 Columbus visited Antigua and named it Santa Maria de la Antigua according to an icon situated in the Cathedral of Seville. The island was inhabited by the local Carib people who resisted the Spanish. The Carib resistance was defeated by the Spanish. First settlers moved to Antigua in 1632.

The name Barbuda comes from the Spanish word meaning "bearded". Barbuda was owned by the Codrington family until 1860, when it was united to Antigua.

Map of the Caribbean

2. Population of Antigua and Barbuda

97% of the population lives in Antigua
3% of the population lives in Barbuda, which is mainly a place visited by ornithologists

Ethnic groups:
91% Black
4.4% Mixed race
1.7% White
2.9% Other (East Indian and Asian mainly)

English is the official language
Antiguan Creole is commonly spoken by the locals
Spanish is spoken by around 10,000 people

3. Christopher and John Codrington 

Codrington is the largest settlement on the island of Barbuda. It's named after the Codrington family, which ruled the island until 1860. 

The English formed a colony in Barbuda in 1666. In 1685 Barbuda was leased to the Codrington brothers Christopher and John, who had founded the town of Codrington. The Codrington family had plantations where they grew food and they transported slaves as labour for their sugarcane plantations  on Antigua. 

There were several slave rebellions against the Codrington family. All slaves were freed in 1834. The Codrington family controlled the island until 1860, when it joined Antigua. 

Old map of Barbuda

4. West Indies Federation 1958-1962

Antigua and Barbuda was part of the British West Indies Federation, which finally broke apart after internal disputes. The intention of the federation was to create a political unit that would have become independent from Great Britain as a single state. 

One of the biggest causes for the dissolution of the federation was the Jamaican discontent. Jamaica decided first to leave the federation and next Trinidad and Tobago left it. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were the biggest 

Causes for the Jamaican discontent:
- Kingston wasn't chosen as the federation capital
- Jamaica was also fairly far from the other islands of the federation
- Jamaica's share of the federal parliament seats was smaller than its share of the total population of the federation
- The smaller islands were thought to drain Jamaica's wealth

Members of the West Indies Federation: 

Jamaica - 1962 independence
Trinidad and Tobago - 1962 independence
Barbados - 1966 independence 
Grenada - 1974 independence
Dominica - 1978 independence
Saint Lucia - 1979 independence
St Vincent and the Grenadines - 1979 independence
Antigua and Barbuda - 1981 independence
Saint Kitts and Nevis - 1983 independence

Montserrat - still a British overseas territory
The Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos - were separated from Jamaica when Jamaica became independent in 1962. The both are British overseas territories. 
Anguilla - separated from Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1980. Currently a British overseas territory.

West Indies Map

5. Bird Family 

Antigua and Barbuda became independent in 1981 and from that date until the year 2004 the Bird family ruled the politics of the country. Vere Bird was the first Prime Minister serving until 1994, when he had to resign after a general strike accused of election forgery and corruption. Vere Bird's son Lester Bird continued the family dynasty and became the next Prime Minister. 

Lester declared his father as a national hero in Antigua and Barbuda. Lester's brother Vere Jr. resigned from the minister's  assignments after being accused for a gun crime. Lester's other brother Ivor was imprisoned due to drug smuggling. 

In 2004 the Bird family dynasty ended as Baldwin Spencer became the Prime Minister. The Bird family ruled Antigua and Barbuda almost authoritarically owning financial institutions, casinos and the most important medias. 

Vere Bird
Lester Bird

Top 5 places that I want to visit in Antigua and Barbuda:

1. Pink Sand Beach at Barbuda
2. Jolly Harbour
3. Indian Town Point
4. English Harbour
5. Willikies


1493 Columbus visited Antigua, the island inhabited by the native Carib people. Columbus named the island Santa Maria de la Antigua according to the icon in the Cathedral of Sevilla
1632 First settlers arrived in Antigua
1661 First settlers inhabited Barbuda creating sugar plantations and bringing African slaves to work there
1860 Barbuda was attached to Antigua
1958-1962 Antigua and Barbuda were part of the West Indies Federation
1967 Antigua and Barbuda got autonomy and the right to break away from colonial rule
1981 Antigua and Barbuda became independent,  Vere Cornwall Bird Sr became the first Prime Minister
1994 Bird had to resign after being accused of corruption. Bird's son Lester Bird became Prime Minister
2004 Baldwin Spencer became Prime Minister

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