Caribbean: History

Fun in da Sun wit lots'a Rum!

Caribbean History

The first Caribbeans arrived on the islands closest to South America around 4000 BC. They were followed by waves of Arawaks, who began the tradition of island hopping that is still synonomous with Caribbeans of the present day. Around 1200 AD, Caribs from South America arrived and killed the Arawak men and enslaved the women. This triggered another wave of migration, with the Arawaks fleeing as far as Cuba and the Bahamas. As the Arawaks didn’t actually have a written language, not much of their culture survived. The Caribbean region has been involved in many wars throughout its colonial history, but the wars were often based in Europe, with only minor battles being fought in the Caribbean. Some wars, however, were borne of political turmoil in the Caribbean itself. Some Caribbean nations gained independence from European powers during the nineteenth century, while some of the smaller states are still dependencies of European powers today. Until the Spanish American War Cuba remained a Spanish colony. The last 100 years has seen a lot of US intervention in countries such as Cuba, but it is widely thought that this has done more harm than good. However, tourism has taken off in all of the islands - it began taking hold when other sectors of the islands’ economies began to crumble, particularly agriculture.