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Independence in the Caribbean
Road to Independence

Most Caribbean countries remained under colonial rule after the abolition of slavery. Between 1958 and 1962 most of the British-controlled Caribbean was integrated as the new West Indies Federation in an attempt to create a single unified future independent state.

The West Indies Federation fell apart when the largest island Jamaica withdrew from the federation and declared itself independent in August 1962 followed by Trinidad and Tobago in August 1962. By the end of the 1960s, only few Caribbean islands remained dependent territories. Barbados gained its independence in 1966; the Bahamas in 1973; Grenada in 1974; Dominica in 1978; St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 1979; Antigua and Barbuda in 1981; and St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983.

Currently, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands remained crown colonies with limited internal self-government. Anguilla, having broken away unilaterally from St. Kitts-Nevis in 1967, became an Associated State of Great Britain in 1976.

Chronological List for Independence of Caribbean Countries

Country Date of Independence Previous colony of
Haiti 01 January 1804 France
Dominican Republic 27 February 1844 Haiti
Cuba 20 May 1902 Spain
Learn more Jamaica 06 August 1962 United Kingdom
Learn more Trinidad and Tobago 31 August 1962 United Kingdom
Guyana 26 May 1966 United Kingdom
Barbados 30 November 1966 United Kingdom
The Bahamas 10 July 1973 United Kingdom
Grenada 07 February 1974 United Kingdom
Suriname 25 November 1975 The Netherlands
Dominica 03 November 1978 United Kingdom
Saint Lucia 22 February 1979 United Kingdom
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 27 October 1979 United Kingdom
Belize 21 September 1981 United Kingdom
Antigua and Barbuda 01 November 1981 United Kingdom
St. Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983 United Kingdom
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