Netherlands Antilles: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About Netherlands Antilles, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.

Netherlands Antilles

Size--371 sq. mi. (861 sq. km.). Population--240,000.

The Netherlands Antilles are 5 1/2 Caribbean islands (half of one island belongs to France) in 2 distinct groups. The ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) lie just off the Venezuelan coast. The Netherlands Leeward Islands (Saba, St. Eustatius, and the southern part of St. Maarten) lie about 550 mi. northeast of the ABCs. The economy of the entire area is based on the oil refineries of Aruba and Curacao. Thirty to 40% of the population is directly involved in the oil industry. In May, 1969, a general strike in Curacao, protesting automation and working conditions, turned into a riot and caused the downfall of the Government. St. Eustatius was almost totally destroyed by the British in 1780 in revenge for the island's trade ties with Americans during the American Revolution.

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