HOME
TheInfoList



The Commonwealth Caribbean is the region of the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some of w ...
with
English-speaking#REDIRECT English-speaking world ...
nations and territories, which once constituted the Caribbean portion of the
British Empire#REDIRECT British Empire#REDIRECT British Empire {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
and are now part of the
Commonwealth of Nations A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic". The noun "commonwealth", meaning "public welfare, general good or advantage", dates ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. The term includes many independent
island nations An island country or an island nation is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 1996, 25.2% of all independent countries were island countries. Island nations, because of their geography, tend ...
,
British Overseas Territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire and do n ...
and some mainland nations. It is also known as the English-speaking Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean or Anglo-Caribbean. The term is now used in preference over the older term ''
British West Indies The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories historically established in the Anglo-Caribbean: Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin ...
'', which was used to describe the
British colonies Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony administered by the Government of the United Kingdom (the Crown). There was usually a Governor, appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the ''Home'' (UK) Government, with or ...
in the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion of North America, surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island countries and 18 dependencies and other territories in three major archipelagos: the Greater Ant ...

West Indies
(especially the islands, so often excluding Belize and Guyana) during decolonisation and following independence from the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
. ''Anglo-Caribbean'' and ''British Commonwealth Caribbean'' also became preferred replacement terms to ''British West Indies''.


Nations and territories

The Commonwealth Caribbean consists of nations and territories, which include Caribbean islands or parts of the mainland surrounding the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an American mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is b ...
of North and South Americas.


Independent island nations

There are 10 independent island nations within the Commonwealth Caribbean:


Independent mainland nations

There are two independent "mainland Caribbean" nations:


British Overseas Territories

The term may also be applied to
British Overseas Territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire and do n ...
(BOTs) in the Caribbean, as they are also English-speaking and the United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth. However, other terms may also be used to specifically refer to these territories, such as "British overseas territories in the Caribbean", "British Caribbean territories" or the older term "British West Indies". There are 6 territories which are sometimes described as Commonwealth Caribbean:


Other non-Commonwealth

Anglophone#REDIRECT English-speaking world ...
territories


U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

The
United States Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States,Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. The islands ar ...
is another English-speaking territory in the Caribbean, and
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico ('; abbreviated PR, tnq, Boriken, Borinquen), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and unincorporated territo ...
has English as an official language (
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
is its working language however), but they're part of the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, which isn't part of the Commonwealth.


Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten Sint Maarten () is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. With a population of 41,486https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/caribische-deel-van-het-koninkrijk/vraag-en-antwoord/waaruit-bestaat-het-koninkrijk- ...
a constituent country of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands ) when they act as Kingdom Ministers, as for example with "Our Minister of Justice in his capacity as Minister of the Kingdom" ( nl, Onze Minister van Justitie in zijn hoedanigheid van minister van het Koninkrijk), except for the Minister of Fore ...
, is also a majority English-speaking country in the Caribbean. However, as with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it isn't a part of the Commonwealth. English is the day-to-day administrative language and language of communication in Sint Maarten, and the first language of the majority (67.5%) of the population.


West Indies Federation

Between 1958 and 1962, there was a short-lived federation between several English-speaking Caribbean countries, called the
West Indies Federation The West Indies Federation, also known as the West Indies, the Federation of the West Indies or the West Indian Federation, was a short-lived political union that existed from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962. Various islands in the Caribbean that w ...
, which consisted of all the island nations (except the Bahamas), and the territories (excluding Bermuda and British Virgin Islands). British Guiana (Guyana) and British Honduras (Belize) held observer status within the federation. The Commonwealth Caribbean makes up a composite
cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking th ...
team. The
West Indies cricket team The West Indies cricket team, nicknamed the Windies, is a multi-national men's cricket team representing the mainly English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean region and administered by Cricket West Indies. The players on this co ...
also includes Guyana, as another former
British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony administered by the Government of the United Kingdom (the Crown). There was usually a Governor, appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the ''Home'' (UK) Government, with or ...
. Bermuda, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and the
Dutch Caribbean The Dutch Caribbean (historically known as the Dutch West Indies) are the territories, colonies, and countries, former and current, of the Dutch Empire and the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean Sea. They are in the north and south-west ...
also participate in Anglophone Caribbean-related sports activities such as
Twenty20 Twenty20 cricket or Twenty-20 (often abbreviated to T20) is a shortened format of cricket. At the professional level, it was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the inter-county competition. In a Twenty20 game, t ...
cricket.


Caribbean Community

The English-speaking parts of the Caribbean established the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 1973, and it currently includes all the independent English-speaking island countries plus Belize, Guyana and Montserrat, as well as all other British Caribbean territories and Bermuda as associate members. English was its sole official language until 1995, following the addition of Dutch-speaking
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana ...

Suriname
.


Informal Anglophone communities in Central America

In addition to these formally recognised countries, there are substantial communities of Commonwealth Caribbean origin along the Atlantic or Caribbean coast of Central America, as a part of the
western Caribbean zone#REDIRECT Western Caribbean zone {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
. These communities, which began forming in the seventeenth century, include areas of Nicaragua and Honduras that made up the Miskito Kingdom (which was under British protection after 1740), the
Garifuna The Garifuna people ( or ; pl. Garínagu in Garifuna), are a mixed African and indigenous people who are descended from the Black Caribs, who lived on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent, and speak Garifuna, an Arawakan language. The Gari ...
community (which was deported to the coast in 1797 and took up English as its language), the
Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina The Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina ( es, Archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina, ), or, in everyday language, San Andrés and Providencia, is one of the departments of Colombia. It consists of two isla ...
(Colombia), and the many and numerous Anglophone Caribbean people who were brought to Central America by the canal companies (the French and American
Panama Canal The Panama Canal ( es, Canal de Panamá, link=no) is an artificial waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. One of the largest a ...
efforts), railroad companies, and particularly the fruit companies, such as
United Fruit The United Fruit Company, now Chiquita Brands International, was an American corporation that traded in tropical fruit (primarily bananas) grown on Latin American plantations and sold in the United States and Europe. The company was formed in 1899, ...
after the 1870s and particularly in the first decades of the twentieth century. Many have never fully integrated into the otherwise Spanish-speaking communities in which they reside, such as the Caracoles of
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean a ...
.


See also

*
Anglo-America Anglo-America (also referred to as Anglo-Saxon America) most often refers to a region in the Americas in which English is a main language and British culture and the British Empire have had significant historical, ethnic, linguistic and cultural im ...
*
British Empire#REDIRECT British Empire#REDIRECT British Empire {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
*
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire's colonial territories in North America from 1783 to 1907, not including the Caribbean. The Atlantic island of Bermuda (originally part of Virginia and, with the Bahamas, grouped with North Ame ...
*
British West Indies The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories historically established in the Anglo-Caribbean: Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin ...
*
Caribbean Community The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteen states and dependencies throughout the Caribbean having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of inte ...
*
Caribbean English Caribbean English dialects of the English language are spoken in the Caribbean and Liberia, most countries on the Caribbean coast of Central America, and Guyana and Suriname on the coast of South America. Caribbean English is influenced by but is d ...
*
English-speaking world#REDIRECT English-speaking world ...
*
Languages of the Caribbean The languages of the Caribbean reflect the region's diverse history and culture. There are six official languages spoken in the Caribbean: :*Spanish (official language of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bay Islands (Honduras), Corn Isla ...
*
West Indies cricket team The West Indies cricket team, nicknamed the Windies, is a multi-national men's cricket team representing the mainly English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean region and administered by Cricket West Indies. The players on this co ...
*
West Indies Federation The West Indies Federation, also known as the West Indies, the Federation of the West Indies or the West Indian Federation, was a short-lived political union that existed from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962. Various islands in the Caribbean that w ...


Other parts of the Caribbean

* American Caribbean * Danish Caribbean *
Dutch Caribbean The Dutch Caribbean (historically known as the Dutch West Indies) are the territories, colonies, and countries, former and current, of the Dutch Empire and the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean Sea. They are in the north and south-west ...
*
French Caribbean 270px, ''Les Salines'' in Martinique The term French West Indies or French Antilles (french: Antilles françaises) refers to the eight territories currently under French sovereignty in the Antilles islands of the Caribbean: * The two overseas dep ...
*
Spanish Caribbean The Spanish West Indies or the Spanish Antilles (also known as "Las Antillas Occidentales" or simply "Las Antillas Españolas" in Spanish) were Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. In terms of governance of the Spanish Empire, The Indies was the de ...
* Swedish Caribbean


Notes

{{reflist


Further reading

* Mawby, Spencer. ''Ordering Independence: The End of Empire in the Anglophone Caribbean, 1947–69'' (Springer, 2012).
U.S. Library of Congress - The Commonwealth Caribbean
Geography of the Caribbean British West Indies English-speaking countries and territories