Barbados Essay Research Paper BarbadosBarbados is a
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Barbados Essay, Research Paper Barbados Barbados is a small, independent country with a population of about 252,000 people, located in the Caribbean Sea, and is the most easterly island of the West Indies. Barbados is the second smallest country in the western hemisphere and is located about two hundred miles North – North East of Trinidad and about one hundred miles East – South East of St. Lucia. The one time British colony has only one port, which is in Bridgetown, this town is also the capital of Barbados and has a population of 8,789 people. The major urban centers in the area are Bridgetown, Speightstown, Oistins, and Holetown. The island is underlain with folded sedimentary deposits, and a surface layer of coral attains 90 m (300 ft) in thickness. The land is mainly flat except in the northeastern parts where erosion has exposed rugged ridges that rise upward to one thousand feet and then fall sharply towards the sea. The climate is warm and pleasant. The average annual temperature is about 27 C (80 F), and little daily or annual variation occurs. A dry season (from December to May) alternates with a wet season. The main rains come during the months of July through November. The average annual rainfall is about 40 inches in the coastal areas and about 90 inches in the central areas. Barbados is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. The net migration into Barbados is 4.82 per 1000. The annual growth rate is 0.4%, which is one of the lowest in the world. The annual birthrate is 15.45 per 1000, and the annual death rate is 8.27 per 1000. Barbados ranks fourth in the world in population density, with the overall density being 1,526 per square mile. The whole island is inhabited leaving no sparsely populated areas. Nearly 92% of the island’s population is black. The remainder of the population consists of Whites (3.8%), Mulattoes (3.8%), and East Indians (0.4%). About 70% of the population is Anglican. The other 30% belong to various denominations such as Moravian, Methodist, and Roman Catholic. Barbados was settled by English colonists and run under British control since 1624. Its house of Assembly, which began in 1639, is the third oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. By the time that Britain left in 1966, the island was completely English in culture. The production of sugarcane and its by-products, molasses and rum, long a mainstay of the Barbadian economy, has been replaced by tourism as the chief industry. The development of light industry, offshore banking, and fishing and the diversification of agriculture have been encouraged by the government. To work the sugarcane plantations, slaves were brought from Africa, a practice abolished throughout the British Empire in 1834. Dominance by a small group of British landowners continued, and a political rights movement began, resulting in the founding of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) in 1938 and an offshoot, the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), in 1955. Barbados became independent on Nov. 30, 1966. Errol Barrow of the DLP, the first premier, was succeeded by Tom Adams of the BLP, who held office from 1976 until his death in 1985. The DLP returned to power under Barrow (1986 – 87) and Lloyd Erskine Sandiford (1987 – 94). Owen Arthur of the BLP became premier after elections in 1994 and was returned to office in a landslide victory in 1999. In 1997, Barbados hosted a regional summit attended by the leaders of the English-speaking Caribbean nations and U.S. president Bill Clinton. Late the following year, a constitutional commission recommended that Barbados become a republic and replace the British monarch with an elected president as head of state. The head of state of Barbados is Queen Elizabeth II and she is represented by the Governor General Dame Nita Barrow. The island of Barbados has three general elections and one smooth transfer of power from the DLP to the BLP.