Barbados: History

Live life like the Bajan's

Barbados History

The history of Barbados is strongly linked with Britain but it is thought that the Arawak Indians were the first inhabitants of the island. However, by the time the Europeans moved onto the island it was uninhabited. The Portuguese led the way to Barbados but the British established a colony there in the early 1600s. In the 1600s the inhabitants began cultivating tobacco, cotton and then sugar. Sugar turned out to be the most profitable of its exports and brought wealth to the island. It was when the African slaves were brought over to work on the sugar plantations that the population became mostly black. Britain granted the colony independence in 1966 which is when Barbados became a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth.

Britain shaped much of the architecture to be seen in Barbados today with the long and narrow medieval buildings as well Georgian, Jacobean and Victorian designs and the wealth that the sugar created led to the great plantation homes, mahogany furnishings and solid coral structures.