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Spanish West Indies
Las Antillas Occidentales
Spanish West Indies
|Status||Colony of Spain |
(Territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1492 to 1898)
|Capital||Santo Domingo (1511–1764)|
|Historical era||Spanish colonization|
|Currency||Spanish colonial real|
|ISO 3166 code||ES|
The Spanish West Indies or the Spanish Antilles (also known as "Las Antillas Occidentales" or simply "Las Antillas Españolas" in Spanish) were Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. In terms of governance of the Spanish Empire, The Indies was the designation for all its overseas territories and was overseen by the Council of the Indies, founded in 1524 and based in Spain.When the crown established the Viceroyalty of New Spain in 1535, the islands of the Caribbean came under its jurisdiction.
The islands ruled by Spain were chiefly the Greater Antilles such as Hispaniola (inclusive of modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. Spain also claimed the Lesser Antilles (such as Guadalupe and the Cayman Islands) but those territories remained mostly under the Carib peoples and were eventually colonised by France and Britain.
The islands that became the Spanish West Indies were the focus of the voyages of the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus in America. Largely due to the familiarity that Spaniards gained from Columbus's voyages, the islands were also the first lands to be permanently colonized by Spanish in the Americas. The Spanish West Indies were also the most enduring part of Spain's American Empire, only being surrendered in 1898 at the end of the Spanish–American War. For over three centuries, Spain controlled a network of ports in the Caribbean including Havana (Cuba), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Veracruz (Mexico), and Portobelo, Panama, which were connected by galleon routes.
Some smaller islands were seized or ceded to other European powers as a result of war, or diplomatic agreements during the 17th and 18th centuries. Others such as Dominican Republic gained their independence in the 19th century.
Today, the term Spanish Caribbean or Hispanophone Caribbean refers to the Spanish-speaking areas in the Caribbean Sea, chiefly Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.An even broader definition can include the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, & Panama), and South America (Colombia and Venezuela), however aside from Panama, Venezuela, and parts of Colombia, most of these countries share little with the Spanish speaking Caribbean islands culturally. It includes regions where Spanish is the main language, and where the legacy of Spanish settlement and colonization influences culture, through religion, language, cuisine, and so on. The varieties of Spanish that predominate in this region are known collectively as Caribbean Spanish.
The Spanish Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico) can be considered a separate subregion of Latin America, culturally distinct from both continental Spanish speaking countries and the non-Spanish speaking Caribbean. Apart from culture, the Spanish Caribbean is different racially as well, in comparison to the majority unmixed black non-Spanish Caribbean and the majority Mestizo continental Latin America, Mulattos and Tri-racials are most dominant in this region. The Spanish Caribbean also has higher Canarian influence compared to continental Latin America, making them the primary European ancestral group. And more French ancestry, due to white French fleeing Haiti after independence to the surrounding Hispanic Caribbean, around 18% of surnames in the Spanish Caribbean are of French origin, second highest after Spanish. This mixture of European (especially Canarian), West African, and Taino, is heavily reflected in the culture.
The term is used in contrast to Anglophone Caribbean, French Caribbean, and Dutch Caribbean, which are other modern linguistic divisions of the Caribbean region. The Hispanophone Caribbean is a part of the wider Hispanic America, which includes all the Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas. Historically, coastal areas of Spanish Florida and the Caribbean South America (cf. the Spanish Main) were closely tied to the Spanish Caribbean. During the period of Spanish settlement and colonization of the New World, the Spanish West Indies referred to those settlements in islands of the Caribbean Sea under political administration of Spain, as in the phrase "a 1765 cedula authorized seven sea ports, in addition to the port of San Juan, to trade with the Spanish Caribbean."Until the early 19th century these territories were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
In a modern sense, the Caribbean islands of Colombia could be included in the Hispanophone Caribbean as well, due to the fact they are located in the Caribbean, but not in the Antilles.
Below is a list of islands belonging geographically to the Greater and Lesser Antilles and that were under Spanish rule in various stages of history, until it became independent from Spain. Several islands which were previously largely under Spanish rule, but since they were passed into the domain of France, England or the Netherlands, are no longer considered part of the Spanish Caribbean.
In addition, the Colombian islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina are located in the Caribbean, but are not part of the Antilles. Under intermittent periods of Spanish rule, these islands were administered as part of the Spanish Main (initially Guatemala, later New Granada).
|Political entity||Islands of the West Indies||Status|
|Cuba||Isla de Cuba — Isla de la Juventud — Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago — Cayo Blanco del Sur — Cayo Levisa — Cayo Los Ensenachos — Cayo Largo del Sur — Jardines de la Reina — Cayo Guillermo — Cayo Coco — Cayo Romano — Cayo Guajaba — Cayo Sabinal — Cayo Santa María — Cayo Paredón Grande — Colorados Archipelago — Cayo Saetía — Cayo Blanco||Independent republic from Spain since 1898|
|Dominican Republic||Eastern Hispaniola — Saona — Beata — Catalina — Alto Velo — Cayo Levantado||Independent republic from Haiti since 1844. Independent from Spain since 1865|
|Puerto Rico||Isla de Puerto Rico — Culebra — Vieques — Mona — Monito — Desecheo — Caja de Muertos — Isla de Cabras — Cayo Batata — Isla Cardona — Cayos de Caña Gorda — Culebrita — Icacos — Cayo Luis Peña — Isla Magueyes — Cayo Norte — Isla Palominos — Isla de Ratones — Isleta de San Juan — Cayo Santiago — Spanish Virgin Islands||Commonwealth of the United States, independent from Spain since 1898|
|Venezuela||Isla de Margarita — Coche — Cubagua (form the state of Nueva Esparta) Los Monjes — Las Aves — Los Roques (Gran Roque, Francisquí, Isla Larga, Nordisquí, Madrisquí, Crasquí, Cayo Espenquí, Cayo Carenero, Cayo de Agua, Dos Mosquises, Cayo Sal, Cayo Grande) — Los Hermanos — Los Frailes — Aves — La Sola — La Tortuga (Cayo Herradura — Islas Los Tortuguillos) — La Orchila — La Blanquilla — Los Testigos — Patos (ceded from British Trinidad in 1942, form the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela)||Independent republic from Spain since 1811, recognized by Spain in 1845|
The Caribbean Sea is an American mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by the north coast of South America.
Hispaniola is an island in the Caribbean archipelago which is known as the Greater Antilles. It is the most populous island in the West Indies and the region's second largest after Cuba.
The history of the Caribbean reveals the significant role the region played in the colonial struggles of the European powers since the 15th century. In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean and claimed the region for Spain. The following year, the first Spanish settlements were established in the Caribbean. Although the Spanish conquests of the Aztec empire and the Inca empire in the early sixteenth century made Mexico and Peru more desirable places for Spanish exploration and settlement, the Caribbean remained strategically important.
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 Greater Antilles is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. Six island states share the region of the Greater Antilles in total, with Haiti and the Dominican Republic sharing the island of Hispaniola.
The Ciboney, or Siboney, were a Taíno people of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and Dominican Republic. A Western Taíno group living in central Cuba during the 15th and 16th centuries, they had a dialect and culture distinct from the Classic Taíno in the eastern part of the island, though much of the Ciboney territory was under the control of the eastern chiefs. Confusion in the historical sources led 20th-century scholars to apply the name "Ciboney" to the non-Taíno Guanahatabey of western Cuba and various archaic cultures around the Caribbean, but this is deprecated.
The Caribbean Basin is generally defined as the area running from Florida westward along the Gulf coast, then south along the Mexican coast through Central America and then eastward across the northern coast of South America. This region includes the islands of the archipelago of the West Indies. Bermuda is also included within the region even though it is in the west-central Atlantic, due to its common cultural history created by European colonization of the region, and in most of the region by the presence of a significant group of African descent.
The West Indies are a subregion of North America, surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island countries and 18 dependencies and other territories in three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.
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.
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Republic of Cuba.
Santo Domingo, officially the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo was the first colony established in the New World under Spain in 1492. The island was named "La Española" (Hispaniola) by Christopher Columbus. In 1511, the courts of the colony were placed under the jurisdiction of the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo.
The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands. The region lies southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and of the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Dominican Republic.
In the history of the Dominican Republic, the period of Era de Francia occurred in 1795 when France acquired the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, annexed it into Saint-Domingue and briefly came to acquire the whole island of Hispaniola by the way of the Treaty of Basel, allowing Spain to cede the eastern colony as a consequence of the French Revolutionary Wars.
This is a timeline of the territorial evolution of the Caribbean and nearby areas of North, Central, and South America, listing each change to the internal and external borders of the various countries that make up the region.
Taíno is an extinct Arawakan language that was spoken by the Taíno people of the Caribbean. At the time of Spanish contact, it was the most common language throughout the Caribbean. Classic Taíno was the native language of the Taíno tribes living in the northern Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and most of Hispaniola, and expanding into Cuba. The Ciboney dialect is essentially unattested, but colonial sources suggest it was very similar to Classic Taíno, and was spoken in the westernmost areas of Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and most of Cuba.
White Haitians, also known as Euro-Haitians, are Haitians of predominant or full European descent.
Nops is a genus of medium-sized South American, Central American, and Caribbean spiders in the family Caponiidae, first described by Alexander Macleay in 1839. It has a great richness on the Caribbean islands, and most mainland species are located in high proportion toward the Caribbean coast. It likely has a neotropical distribution, though most species of South America are known only from the coast of Colombia and Venezuela, including the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire and Trinidad.