Barbados Breaks with Elizabeth II to Turn out to be the World’s Latest Republic – •

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this article to our attention.] Nora McGreevy (Smithsonian Journal) writes that Barbados eliminated the British monarch as head of state however will stay a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Crowds cheered as fireworks illuminated the sky in Bridgetown, Barbados, early Tuesday, marking the formal finish of the island nation’s practically 400-year relationship with the British monarchy.

The previous Caribbean colony declared its independence from the UK on November 30, 1966, however retained Elizabeth II as its ceremonial head of state till this week. By eradicating the queen from her place, the democratic nation of 300,000 folks has lastly forged off one of many final institutionalized vestiges of British colonialism, formally changing into the world’s latest republic.

Barbadian troopers fired a 21-gun salute because the nation’s nationwide anthem performed throughout a crowded ceremony at Heroes Sq. within the capital of Bridgetown. Sandra Mason, who beforehand served as Barbados’ royally appointed governor-general, was sworn in because the republic’s new president.

“Vessel Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage,” stated Mason following the ceremony, per BBC Information. “Might she climate all storms and land our nation and residents safely on the horizons and shores that are forward of us.”

The nation’s leaders first revealed their plan to turn into a republic in September 2020.

“The time has come to completely depart our colonial previous behind,” wrote Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in a speech ready for Mason. “Barbadians need a Barbadian head of state.”

Barbados’ Parliament selected Mason to tackle the newly created position of president final month. Mottley presided over Tuesday’s watershed ceremony, which counted many well-known Barbadians—together with worldwide pop star Rihanna—amongst its attendees. Mottley honored the singer as a “nationwide hero,” citing her “extraordinary dedication to the land of her delivery,” studies Livia Albeck-Ripka for the New York Occasions­.

Although its leaders now not swear loyalty to the crown, Barbados stays a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary group of 54 former British colonies that the queen has sought to uphold all through her reign. As Amy McKeever studies for Nationwide Geographic, the affiliation took form within the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when wars and decolonization actions weakened the once-dominant British Empire.

Fifteen realms within the Commonwealth, together with Canada and Jamaica, nonetheless acknowledge Elizabeth as their head of state, report Yuliya Talmazan and Shira Pinson for NBC Information.

European colonization of Barbados dates to the sixteenth century. In line with Encyclopedia Britannica, the area’s first settlers might have migrated from South America as early as 1600 B.C.E. Indigenous Arawak and Carib folks inhabited the island between roughly 500 and 1500 C.E.

English colonizers laid declare to Barbados in 1625, quickly establishing farms staffed by enslaved African folks. By the top of the so-called sugar revolution within the early nineteenth century, European enslavers had deported some 2.3 million enslaved Africans to sugar plantations in Barbados and different Caribbean colonies, producing large earnings for English buyers.

Historian Hilary M. Beckles of the College of the West Indies has argued that chattel slavery on Barbadian soil set the usual for equally brutal enslavement on different Caribbean islands. Within the preface to his 2016 guide The First Black Slave Society, Beckles wrote that English enslavers’ choices to put money into plantation slavery on Barbados “accelerated the tempo of mass enslavement of Africans as the idea of Europe’s colonial tasks within the Atlantic world.” [. . .]

[Photo above by Toby Melville via Getty Images: Barbados officially became a republic early Tuesday morning, casting off Elizabeth II as head of state and swearing in Sandra Mason as the country’s new president.] For full article, see


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