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The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories historically established in the Anglo-Caribbean: Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.Some definitions also include Bermuda, the former British Guiana (now Guyana) and the former British Honduras (now Belize) although those territories are not usually considered part of the geographical West Indies. Before the decolonisation period in the later 1950s and 1960s the term was used to include all British colonies in the region as part of the British Empire. Following the independence of most of the territories from the United Kingdom, the term Commonwealth Caribbean is now used.
In 1912, the British government divided their territories into different colonies: The Bahamas, Barbados, British Guiana, British Honduras, Jamaica (with its dependencies the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands), Trinidad and Tobago, the Windward Islands, and the Leeward Islands.Between 1958 and 1962, all of the island territories except the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas were organised into the West Indies Federation. It was hoped that the Federation would become independent as a single nation, but it had limited powers and faced many practical problems. Consequently, the West Indies Federation was dissolved in 1962.
The territories are now fully independent sovereign states, except for five – Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands – which remain British Overseas Territories, as does Bermuda. All remain within the Commonwealth of Nations. They also established the Caribbean Community, and many of the nations have joined various international bodies, such as the Organization of American States, the Association of Caribbean States, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and the Caribbean Development Bank among others.
The territories that were originally part of the British West Indies are (date of independence, where applicable, in brackets):
Sir William Stapleton established the first federation in the British West Indies in 1674. He set up a General Assembly of the Leeward Islands in St. Kitts. Stapleton's Federation was active between 1674 and 1685, during his term as governor, and the General Assembly met regularly until 1711.
By the 18th century, each island had kept its own Assembly and made its own laws. The islands continued to share one Governor and one Attorney-General. Although unpopular, Stapleton's Federation was never really dissolved but simply replaced by other arrangements.
Between 1816 and 1833, the Leewards were divided into two groups: St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla and Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat, each with its own Governor. In 1833 all the Leeward Islands were brought together, and Dominica was added, remaining as part of the group until 1940.
In 1869, Governor Benjamin Pine was assigned to organise a federation of Antigua-Barbuda, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. St. Kitts and Nevis opposed sharing their government funds with Antigua and Montserrat, which were bankrupt. Governor Pine told the Colonial Office that the scheme had failed due to "local prejudice and self-interest". His only achievement was to give the Leewards a single Governor. All laws and ordinances, however, had to be approved by each island council.
In 1871 the British government passed the Leeward Islands Act, by which all the islands were under one Governor and one set of laws. The Federal Colony was composed of all islands organised under Governor Pine's previous attempt. Each island was called a "Presidency" under its own Administrator or Commissioner. Like earlier groupings, this federation was unpopular but it continued until 1956, when it was redefined as the Territory of the Leeward Islands. In 1958 the Federation of the West Indies was organised, of which the Leeward Islands became a part.
In 1833 the Windward Islands became a formal union called the Windward Islands Colony. In 1838, Trinidad (acquired in 1802) and St. Lucia (acquired in 1814) were brought into the Windward Islands Colony, but were not given their own assemblies (having previously been Crown Colonies). In 1840 Trinidad left the Colony. Barbados wished to retain its separate identity and ancient institutions, and the other colonies did not want to associate with it. The individual islands resisted British attempts at closer union. Barbados in particular fought to retain its own Assembly and left the union in 1884. Power for the union was then transferred to Grenada as overseer of the bloc.
From 1885 to 1958, the Windward Islands Colony included Grenada and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and St. Lucia during the entire period. Tobago left in 1889, forming a union with Trinidad. Dominica joined the Windward Islands Colony in 1940, after having been transferred from the Leewards, and remained in the Colony until 1958. After 1885 the Windward Islands Colony was under one Governor-General in Grenada, and each island had its own Lieutenant-Governor and its own assembly (as before). Attempts to create a Federal Colony, as in the Leewards, were always resisted. The Windward Islands Colony broke up in 1958 when each island chose to join the new Federation of the West Indies as a separate unit.
The Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands were grouped under Jamaica out of convenience and sometimes for historical and/or geographical reasons. British Honduras (later Belize) was surrounded by hostile Spanish colonies and needed the protection afforded by the Jamaican Army and Navy. In addition, British Honduras had been founded by loggers. It increased in population partly by the settlement of Englishmen migrating from Jamaica in the late 17th and early 18th centuries (settlers also immigrated directly from England; others were born in the colony.) From 1742, British Honduras was a dependency directly under the Governor of Jamaica. In 1749 the Governors of Jamaica appointed Administrators for British Honduras.
In 1862 British Honduras became a Crown Colony; it was placed under the Governor of Jamaica with its own Lieutenant-Governor. In 1884 it finally broke all administrative ties with Jamaica and wanted self governance , as did Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The West Indies Federation was a short-lived federation that existed from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962. It consisted of several Caribbean colonies of the United Kingdom. The Federation's purpose was to create a political unit that would become independent from Britain as a single state, similar to the Federation of Australia or Canadian Confederation. However, the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts over how it would be governed before that could develop.
In 1967, following the termination of the West Indies Federation, a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association form of government along with the United Kingdom called the West Indies Associated States. The arrangement was created through the British House of Commons passing the Associated Statehood Act (1967). As part of the arrangement more sovereignty was granted to the bloc of West Indies countries with the United Kingdom maintaining responsibility for defence and external affairs only.
Cricket has traditionally been the main sport in the British West Indies (though others sports such as football have challenged its dominance since the 1990s). Most of the countries and territories listed above field a combined cricket team called the West Indies, which is one of the ten elite international teams that play at Test match level. The West Indies hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup of ODI Cricket and the 2010 ICC World Twenty20.
Acts by the British Government which have governed nationality laws in the territories include:
The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the currency of all seven full members and one associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The successor to the British West Indies dollar, it has existed since 1965, and it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $ or, alternatively, EC$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The EC$ is subdivided into 100 cents. It has been pegged to the United States dollar since 7 July 1976, at the exchange rate of US$1 = EC$2.70.
The West Indies Federation, also known as the West Indies, the Federation of the West Indies or the West Indian Federation, was a short-lived political union that existed from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962. Various islands in the Caribbean that were colonies of the United Kingdom, including Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and those on the Leeward and Windward Islands, came together to form the Federation, with its capital in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The expressed intention of the Federation was to create a political unit that would become independent from Britain as a single state—possibly similar to the Canadian Confederation, Australian Commonwealth, or Central African Federation; however, before that could happen, the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts over how the Federation itself would be governed or how it would viably function.
The Antilles is an archipelago bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the south and west, the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east.
The Leeward Islands are a group of islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean. Starting with the Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico, they extend southeast to Guadeloupe and its dependencies. In English, the term Leeward Islands refers to the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain. The more southerly part of this chain, starting with Dominica, is called the Windward Islands. Dominica was originally considered part of the Leeward Islands, but was transferred from the British Leeward Islands to the British Windward Islands in 1940.
The British West Indies dollar (BWI$) was the currency of British Guiana and the Eastern Caribbean territories of the British West Indies from 1949 to 1965, when it was largely replaced by the East Caribbean dollar, and was one of the currencies used in Jamaica from 1954 to 1964. The monetary policy of the currency was overseen by the British Caribbean Currency Board (BCCB). The British West Indies dollar was never used in British Honduras, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, or Bermuda.
The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology was established in 1967 by the member states, all current and ex-British colonies, of the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO). It was amalgamated with the Caribbean Operational Hydrological Institute (COHI) in the mid-1980s to form the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), but the name was only officially changed in September 1999 to reflect the dual role of the Institute. Responsibility for the operation of the Institute, which is located in Barbados, rests with the sixteen Commonwealth Governments which comprise the CMO.
The Leeward Islands cricket team is a first class cricket team representing the member countries of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association, a regional association which again is part of the West Indies Cricket Board. Contrary to the normal English definition of the Leeward Islands, Dominica is not included – for cricketing purposes Dominica is a part of the Windward Islands. As such, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands and Sint Maarten are all part of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association. The team does not take part in any international competitions, but rather in inter-regional competitions in the Caribbean, such as the West Indies' Professional Cricket League, and the best players may be selected for the West Indies team, which plays international cricket. The team competes in the Professional Cricket League under the franchise name Leeward Islands Hurricanes. The Leeward Islands has won a total of ten domestic titles – four in first class cricket and six in one-day cricket, but their last title was in 1997–98 when they won the double.
The term British West Indies refers to the former English and British colonies and the present-day overseas territories of the United Kingdom in the Caribbean.
The following is a list of the Governors-General of the West Indies Federation, consisting of Antigua, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks & Caicos Islands. The Federation was formed on 3 January 1958, and was formally dissolved on 31 May 1962.
British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and formed the United States of America. After the American Revolution, the term British North America referred to the remainder of Great Britain's Canadian possessions. That term was first used informally in 1783, but it was uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), generally known as the Durham Report.
The West Indies Associated States was the collective name for a number of islands in the Eastern Caribbean whose status changed from being British colonies to states in free association with the United Kingdom in 1967. These states were Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Christopher–Nevis–Anguilla, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent.
The British Windward Islands was a British colony in the Windward Islands of the West Indies, existing between 1833 and 1960 and consisting of the islands of Grenada, St Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Barbados, Tobago, and Dominica, previously included in the British Leeward Islands.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization's main objective is the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of Caribbean people.
The British Leeward Islands now refers to the Leeward Islands as an English and later British colony from 1671 to 1958, except for the years from 1816 to 1833. The Leeward Islands was established as an English colony in 1671. In 1816, the islands were divided in two regions: Antigua, Barbuda, and Montserrat in one colony, and Saint Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands in the other.
The flag of the British Leeward Islands was the flag of the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands. It was a Blue Ensign with a badge. The colonies under the Federal Colony had their own badges from 1909. The Governor-in-chief of the Leeward Islands used a Union Flag defaced with the coat of arms.
The Caribbean bioregion is a biogeographic region that includes the islands of the Caribbean Sea and nearby Atlantic islands, which share a fauna, flora and mycobiota distinct from surrounding bioregions.
This is a list of the prime ministers of the West Indies Federation, consisting of ten provinces: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago. The federation was formed on 3 January 1958, and was formally dissolved on 31 May 1962.
The region known as the British West Indies included British Guiana on the South American mainland, British Honduras in Central America, Bermuda, The Bahamas, and Jamaica, along with its former dependencies of the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It also included the Eastern Caribbean territories of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands.
The Caribbean Link for Guiding is a consortium of 21 Girl Guide Associations from throughout the Caribbean. These include associations from independent countries as well as from British Overseas Territories, coordinated by Girlguiding UK. It was created in 1958.
1.1 Ambiguity of terminology of rights: The scope of British nationality has shrunk from including everyone born in a vast empire at the end of the nineteenth century to excluding even some people born in the territory of the UK itself. The term ‘British nationality’ is still legally meaningful, but only the sub-category of ‘British citizen’ necessarily entails the right to enter the UK.
Before the 1905 Aliens Act, which was consequent to the Report of the Royal Commission on Alien Immigration in 1903, the principle of 'ius soli' was important because a Montserratian by reason of birth within the British empire would have enjoyed not only freedom of movement to the UK but also what we now call the 'right of abode in the UK'. The Aliens Act of 1905 was part one in the statutory creation of the alien as an expanding category of people. Bearing on the usual socio-economic and public policy concerns of health, maintenance and accommodation, the Act defined the alien by certain characteristics.