|Antigua Barbuda History|
Antigua and Barbuda is a nation lying on the border between the Caribbean sea and Atlantic Ocean. They are part of the Lesser Antilles and are made up of the two main islands. The total population is roughly 82,000 people and they still accept Queen Elizabeth II as their titular head of state. So what can be learnt from Antigua and Barbuda history and will it turn up any interesting past episodes on the islands?
Antigua and Barbuda Early Inhabitants
The Antigua and Barbuda history begins with the Arawak tribes. These were known also as the ‘Stone People’ and were deeply religious. This is thought to have been as early as 2,900 BC as artifacts of this age have been found on the island. The Arawaks originally named the island ‘The Island of Oil’, due to the eucalyptus oil that was to be found there. Unfortunately, the Arawaks were to be invaded by the Caribs who were the dominant force in the Caribbean before any European involvement.
The Caribs arrived in 1100 AD and easily destroyed the Arawaks. Some even claim that they ate them but this has been disputed. According to many sources, the Europeans found it very difficult to distinguish between these tribes and thus this information is a best guess. There may have been more Arawaks but the Carib superiority in terms of weapons makes this an unlikely outcome.
The Antigua and Barbuda history books first recorded a European influence when Sir Christopher Columbus landed in the islands in 1493, during his second trip to the area. This was not a good time for the Caribs as they were not immune at all to the Spanish diseases and were certainly not immune to the torture that many enslaved Caribs were subjected to. This level of poor treatment and immense malnutrition are seen as the causes of their demise throughout the islands.
Slavery was abolished on the islands in 1834, much earlier then it was in many other countries of the Caribbean. Slaves weren't immediately free as they owned very little land but they gradually gained more and more freedom and the ability to vote and govern their own land.
The Islands had certainly come under many different European nations. The Spanish were the first to settle but they were soon to be displaced by the British who invaded the islands in 1632. The fire of London just happened to coincide with the French taking over the island in 1666, for a relatively short period of time. The Islands returned to British control yet again in 1707 after the Act of Union.
Antigua and Barbuda Independence
Antigua and Barbuda history made a break from the British and all manner of dependence in 1981 when the islands gained their independence from the United Kingdom. They retained Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state but appointed a titular representative for ceremonial duty within the islands. The islands now have a more established system of democracy with an elected government and prime minister.
Antigua and Barbuda history has certainly been painted in many different colors over its long time line. It has been under the rule of several European superpowers over its history and has only just gained its independence. Its fierce tribes made this so very difficult in the beginning but under British rule, the islands were turned into the prosperous place they are today. The two islands will continue to enjoy success and good fortune under their new governance.