Barbados is the eastern-most Caribbean island. It is located at 13.4N, 54.4W. The island, which is less that one million years old, was created by
the collision of the Atlantic crustal and Caribbean plates, along with a volcanic eruption. Later coral formed, accumulating to approximately 300 feet.
It is geologically unique, being actually two land masses that merged together over the years.
The first indigenous people were Amerindians who arrived here from Venezuela. Paddling long dugout canoes
They made their new home in Barbados along the coast, leaving fragments of tools made of shell, utensils, refuse and burial places convey but a mystery
of their time. The first Amerindian people that came to the Island where the Arawaks a short, olive-skinned people who bound their foreheads during
infancy to slope it into a point. They considered this along with black and white body painting to be attractive. The Caϱues (chiefs) and influential
members of the tribe wore nose plugs and/or rings made of copper and gold alloys They were an agricultural people and grew cotton, cassava, corn,
peanuts, guavas, and papaws (papaya). The Arawaks also used harpoons, nets, and hooks, to fish for food.
In 1200, the Arawaks were conquered by the Caribs. The Caribs were a taller and stronger Amerindian tribe than the Arawaks. They were cannibals who
barbecued their captives and washed them down with cassava beer. In the History of Barbados. It is reported that Caribs ate an entire French crew in
1596. They were incredibly accurate bowmen and used a powerful poison to paralyze their prey
The Portugese came to Barbados en route to Brazil. It was at this time that the island was named Los Barbados (bearded-ones) by the Portugese explorer
Pedro a Campos. It was so named, presumably, after the island's fig trees, which have a beard-like appearance.
Spanish In 1492 the Spanish imposed slavery on the Caribs. Slavery and the contagious European small pox and tuberculosis ended the Caribs' existence
Spain, however, passed Barbados over in favour of the larger Caribbean islands This left the island open for anyone who wanted to colonize it.
The first English ship touched the island on May 14th 1625 under the command of Captain John Powell. The island was therefore claimed on behalf of
King James I. On February 17th 1627, Captain Henry Powell landed with a party of 80 settlers and 10 slaves to occupy and settle the island. This
expedition landed in Holetown formerly known as Jamestown. The colonists established a House of Assembly in 1639. It was the 3rd ever Parliamentary
Democracy in the world
During the 1630s, sugar cane was introduced to the agriculture. The production of sugar, tobacco and cotton was heavily reliant on the indenture of
servants. White civilians who wanted to emigrate overseas could do so by signing an agreement to serve a planter in Barbados for a period of 5 or 7
years. To meet the labour demands, servants were also derived from kidnapping, and convicted criminals were shipped to Barbados. Descendants of the
white slaves and indentured labour (referred to as Red Legs) still live in Barbados, they live amongst the black population in St. Martin's River and
other east coast regions. At one time they lived in caves in this region.
A potential market formed for slaves and sugar-making machinery by the Dutch Merchants who were to supply Barbados with their requirements of forced
labour from West Africa. Barbadians dominated the Caribbean Sugar Industry in these early years. The sugar plantation owners were powerful and successful
businessmen who had arrived in Barbados in the early years. Many natural disasters occurred in the late 1600s, such as the locust plague of 1663, the
Bridgetown fire and a major hurricane in 1667. Drought in 1668 ruined some planters and excessive rain in 1669 added to their financial problems. However
investment continued in sugar and slaves and was perceived to have good prospects.
By 1720 Barbadians were no longer a dominant force within the sugar industry. They had been surpassed by the Leeward Islands and the Jamaica.
Many people were drawn to Barbados because of the climate and slow pace of life. The island was thought of as a cure for "the vapours" Even Major
George Washington visited the island with his tuberculosis-stricken half brother in hope of ameliorating his illness
Slavery, abolished in 1834, was followed by a 4-year apprenticeship period during which free men continued to work a 45-hour week without pay in exchange
for living in the tiny huts provided by the plantation owners. Freedom from slavery was celebrated in 1838 at the end of the apprenticeship period with
over 70,000 Barbadians of African descent taking to the streets with the Barbados folk song:
"Lick an Lock-up Done Wid, Hurray fuh Jin-Jin (Queen Victoria).
De Queen come from England to set we free
Now Lick an Lock-up Done Wid, Hurray fuh Jin-Jin"
Barbados was first occupied by the British in 1627 and remained a British colony until internal autonomy was granted in 1961. The Island gained full
independence in 1966, and maintains ties to the Britain monarch represented in Barbados by the Governor General. It is a member of the Commonwealth.
The first leader of Barbados as a free nation was the Right Honourable Errol Walton Barrow, of the Democratic Labour Party. The other major political
party is the Democratic Labour Party, led by the current Prime Minister - The Right Honourable David Thompson.
The island of Barbados was first recorded with the spelling Barbadoes, it also has the nickname of 'Little England', and the British colloquial
nickname of 'Bimshire' ("Bim-shur").
One of the signatures on the original United States constitution was a Barbadian, as was the printer of the document.
7 of the first 21 Governors in the U.S. states known as the Carolinas were Barbadians.
The 1652, Treaty of Oistins guaranteed that Barbadians were granted 'No Taxation Without Representation' under the British Government.
During the 1800s Barbados was said to be one of the healthiest countries in the World.
Rum and Grapefruit are said to have been first recorded in Barbados.
Brazilian Jews in exile, were the source of the first introduction of the crop sugarcane to Barbados.
The British system of Longitude was discovered by charting the distance between Portsmouth, England and Bridgetown, Barbados using the position
of the sun in relation to both locations.
In 1884, through the Barbados Agricultural Society, Barbados attempted to become one of the earliest, albeit most distant provinces of Canada.
This proposal of political association with Canada was later mooted yet again by several politicians of the Senate of Barbados in the 1950s and 1960s.
Barbados had attempted a political union along with Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago at the suggestion of Trinidad and Tobago's Patrick Manning
in the 1990s. The political union was stalled after the then-Prime Minister of Barbados Lloyd Erskine Sandiford became ill and subsequently
the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) lost in the general government elections.
Barbados had a United States military base based in the Parish of Saint Lucy at Harrisons Point, under which secret projects were carried out
in Barbados such as Project HARP on Paragon Beach near the airport. It was said the loud explosions could be heard throughout much of the country
and it broke many windows
Barbados has one of the most dense road networks in the world, in addition to being one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Barbados has half as many registered cars as citizens in the country.
Barbados and Japan have the highest per capita occurrences of centenarians in the world.
R&B/Pop Singer Rihanna is originally from Barbados