Barbados elects 72-year-old Dame as its first ever president as country ...

Barbados elects 72-year-old Dame as its first ever president as country ...
Barbados elects 72-year-old Dame as its first ever president as country ...

Barbados was one of the oldest English settlements in the West Indies, being surpassed only by Saint Kitts. 

The countries' historical ties date back to the 17th century and involve settlement, post-colonialism and modern bilateral relations. 

Since Barbados gained its independence in 1966, the nations have continued to share ties through the Commonwealth, with the Queen as Monarch. 

The Barbadian Parliament is the third oldest in the entire Commonwealth and the island continues to practice the Westminster style of government.

Many of the historic Anglican churches and plantation houses across the island show the influence of English architecture. 

In 1627, 80 Englishmen aboard the William and John landed on the Caribbean island and founded Jamestown (close to today's Holetown), in the name of King James I.

The early settlers struggled to develop a profitable export crop and faced difficulties in maintaining supplies from Europe.

However, the Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative and over the next decade more than two thirds of English emigres to the Americas went to Barbados. 

But while this shift to sugar yielded huge profits, it came at a great social cost. Thousands of West African slaves were shipped across the Atlantic to work the plantations and workers suffered from low wages and minimal social services. 

The Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative but came at great social cost

The Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative but came at great social cost 

It is estimated that between 1627 to 1807, some 387,000 Africans were shipped to the island against their will and the country shifted from having a majority white population to a majority black population. 

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