Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island. It saw successive settlement by tribes from the Siboney culture, Arawaks, and Caribs. Spanish and Portugese sailors sighted the island during the early 16th century, and the Spanish invaded in 1518. They made no permanent settlement, but due to slavers taking locals, and locals fleeing, the island was deserted when the British claimed it in 1625.1
The British held unbroken control of the island from 1625 to 1966. Sugar was introduced in the 1650s, leading to 745 plantations and over 80,000 African and African descended slaves and indentured European workers on the island by the end of the 18th century. Unsuccessful slave rebellions occured in 1702 and 1816. The British Empire abolished slavery in 1834.2
Barbados was run locally by a House of Assembly from 1639 onward, but, due to property qualifications for enfranchisement, the House was dominated by plantation owners. Universal adult suffurage was established in 1951, and Barbados became an independent state within the Commonwealth in 1966.3
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