The ANTILLES (/ænˈtɪliːz/ ; _Antilles_ in French ; _Antillas_ in Spanish ; _Antillen_ in Dutch and _Antilhas_ in Portuguese ) are an archipelago bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the south and west, the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east.
The Antillean islands are divided into two smaller groupings: the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles . The Greater Antilles includes the larger islands of Cuba , Jamaica , Puerto Rico , Hispaniola (subdivided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic ) and the Cayman Islands . The Lesser Antilles contains the northerly Leeward Islands , the southeasterly Windward Islands , and the Leeward Antilles just north of Venezuela . The Lucayan Archipelago (consisting of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands ), though part of the West Indies , are generally not included among the Antillean islands.
Geographically , the Antillean islands are generally considered a subregion of North America . Culturally speaking, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico – and sometimes the whole of the Antilles – are included in Latin America , although some sources avoid this socio-economic oversimplification by using the phrase "Latin America and the Caribbean" instead (see Latin America , "In Contemporary Usage"). In terms of geology , the Greater Antilles are made up of continental rock , as distinct from the Lesser Antilles, which are mostly young volcanic or coral islands .
* 1 Background * 2 Demographics
* 3 Nations and territories
* 3.3 Lesser Antilles
* 3.4 Other islands
* 4 See also * 5 Footnotes * 6 References
The word _Antilles_ originated in the period before the European conquest of the New World , _ Antilia _ being one of those mysterious lands which figured on the medieval charts , sometimes as an archipelago , sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, its location fluctuating in mid-ocean between the Canary Islands and India .
After the 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus 's expedition in what was later called the West Indies, the European powers realized that the dispersed lands constituted an extensive archipelago inhabiting the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico . The Antilles were called multiple names before their current name became the norm. Early Spanish visitors called them the _Windward Islands_. They were also called the _Forward Islands_ by 18th-century British. Thereafter, the term _Antilles_ was commonly assigned to the formation, and "Sea of the Antilles" became a common alternative name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.
NATIONS AND TERRITORIES
Main article: List of islands in the Antilles
Main article: Lucayan Archipelago
Main article: Greater Antilles
Main article: Lesser Antilles
Main article: Leeward Antilles
* Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
* Los Monjes Archipelago * La Tortuga Island * La Sola Island * Los Testigos Islands * Los Frailes Islands * Patos Island * Los Roques Archipelago * Blanquilla Island * Los Hermanos Archipelago * Orchila Island * Las Aves Archipelago * Aves Island
* Nueva Esparta State
Main article: Leeward Islands
* U.S. Virgin Islands ( United States )
* Saint Croix * Saint Thomas * Saint John
Main article: Windward Islands
* ^ Some sources, such as Encarta in Spanish, include the Bahamas in the Antilles. (in Spanish). Archived 2009-10-31. * ^ Kitchin, Thomas (1778). _The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe_. London: R. Baldwin. p. 5.
* _ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Antilles". Encyclopædia Britannica _ (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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