History of Barbados

Barbados draws in tourists with its exquisite scenery and lively community. It contains beautiful white-sanded beaches, coral reefs, rolling hills, and tropical species of birds and plants. Residents are friendly and cordial, and their culture provides a lot of luscious art, fun activities, and lively night life for all visitors to enjoy. But what is perhaps the most endearing of Barbados is its vast and intriguing history.

Archeological discoveries suggest that Arawak Indians settled in Barbados in 1623 B.C. They had sailed out in dugout canoes, and were brought to Barbados through a narrow sea channel called the "Dragon's Mouth."

The Arawaks grew crops on the lush lands and fished on the vast seas. Their residence ended; however, when the Carib Indians overthrew them and lived on the island for 400 years before abandoning it. The Portuguese then came across the island, and named it Barbados, or "the Bearded Ones," presumably after the island's fig trees that resembled beards.

On May 14, 1625, English Captain John Powell claimed Barbados on behalf of King James I. Years later, political unrest in England led to many English men immigrating to Barbados. English culture spread over the island so fast that it became known as "Little England." Much of the lands were defrosted for tobacco and cotton plantations. In the 1630s, sugar cane was introduced to agriculture, and it became very high in demand.

Slavery became introduced in Barbados in order for the island to acquire enough efficient workers to work in the sugar cane fields. Indentured English servants and slaves from West Africa were brought over to work. Barbados dominated the Carribean Sugar Industry during these years, and sugar plantation owners became powerful and successful businessmen. This power was eventually lost in 1720.

1838 brought a complete end to slavery. Happy Barbadians had gathered the streets and sang joyful folk songs in spirit of the event.

Afterwards, Barbados gradually became the island that it is today. It was given a two-party system and a cabinet government in the 1950s, and gained full independence on November 30, 1966. It still maintains ties to the British government.

Many people have been drawn to Barbados for its warm climate and slow pace of life. It was thought of as a cure for ailments.

So come to Barbados, and feel yourself be rejuvenated by the island's healing atmosphere.

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