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Brief History of Barbados:
In 1625 English sailors landed on the island of Barbados. They found an uninhabited island and claimed it for Britain. The place where the sailors landed is the town of Holetown today. The first settlers from England arrived two years later in 1627. They established a local House of Assembly which largely ruled the British colony.The main industry was sugar. The island became divided into huge estates called plantation. Slaves were imported from Africa to work the sugar fields until slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1834. Even without slavery, the British still ruled the land. In the 1930's the descendents of the slaves started to fight for their political rights. One of their leaders was Sir Grantley Adams who founded the Barbados Labour Party and would become the first Prime Minister of Barbados. The first general election was in 1951. Ten years later in 1961, Barbados became an independent country.
The people of Barbados decided that they wanted to be part of the British Commonwealth again and November 30, 1966 it rejoined Britain as an independent state.
The Geography of Barbados
Total Size: 431 square km
Size Comparison: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 13 10 N, 59 32 W
World Region or Continent: Central America
General Terrain: relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: Mount Hillaby 336 m
Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Major cities: BRIDGETOWN (capital) 112,000 (2009), The Crane, Speightstown
The People of Barbados
Type of Government: parliamentary democracy
Languages Spoken: English
Independence: 30 November 1966 (from UK)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 30 November (1966)
Nationality: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
Religions: Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%
National Symbol: Neptune's trident
National Anthem or Song: The National Anthem of Barbados
Economy of Barbados
Major Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Agricultural Products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
Natural Resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas
Major Exports: sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Major Imports: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Currency: Barbadian dollar (BBD)
National GDP: $6,929,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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