Windward Islands: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the Windward Islands, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.

Windward Islands

Size--1,292 sq. mi. (3,346 sq. km.). Population--300,000.

Forming the southern arc of the Lesser Antilles in the easternmost Caribbean, the British-controlled Windwards include the major islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. In the 1830s, St. Vincent, Grenada, Barbados, Tobago, and St. Lucia joined together in the Windward Islands Colony. Barbados left in 1885, and Tobago became attached to Trinidad in 1889. In 1940, Dominica joined the Colony, but the Colony was finally dissolved on January 1, 1960, and the 4 islands became 4 separate colonies. In 1974, Grenada declared its independence. Like most of the Caribbean, the Windwards offer sun, beaches, and a more relaxed pace of life. The islands export lime products, sugar, cacao, and spices. St. Vincent has a virtual monopoly on arrowroot, producing about 98% of the total world supply. In late 1974, members of a group called Dreads terrorized white settlers, and the Government responded with a law allowing a person to kill suspected Dreads if they appeared in one's home.

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