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The Leeward
Leeward
Islands /ˈliːwərd/ are a group of islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
meets the western Atlantic Ocean. On a map, they start with the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
east of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and reach southeast to Dominica. In English, the term Leeward
Leeward
Islands refers to the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles
Lesser Antilles
chain. The more southerly part of this chain, starting with Martinique, is called the Windward Islands.

Contents

1 Origin of the name 2 Geography 3 History

3.1 British colony of the Leeward
Leeward
Islands

4 List of the Leeward
Leeward
Islands 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Origin of the name[edit]

Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands

Overlooking Sandy Ground, Anguilla

The name of this island group, Leeward
Leeward
Islands, dates from previous centuries, when sailing ships were the sole form of transportation across the Atlantic Ocean. In sailing terminology, "windward" means towards the source of the wind, while "leeward" is the opposite direction. In the West Indies, the prevailing winds, known as the trade winds, blow out of the southeast. Therefore, an island to the northwest, such as Puerto Rico, would typically be leeward of an island to the southeast, such as Antigua, and conversely, Antigua would typically be windward of Puerto Rico, but leeward of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The early Spanish colonizers called Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and the islands to the west Sotavento, meaning leeward. The islands to the south and east of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
were then called Islas de Barlovento, meaning "windward islands". When the British gained control of many of the Lesser Antilles, they designated Antigua, Montserrat
Montserrat
and the islands to the north as the " Leeward
Leeward
Islands". Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
and the islands to the south were designated as the "Windward Islands". Later on, all islands north of Martinique
Martinique
became known as the Leeward
Leeward
Islands.[1] Thus, Dominica
Dominica
is the southernmost Leeward
Leeward
island. However, even in modern usage in languages other than English, e.g., Spanish, French and Dutch, all of the Lesser Antilles
Lesser Antilles
from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
are known as the Windward Islands
Windward Islands
(Iles au Vent in French, Bovenwindse Eilanden in Dutch, and Islas de Barlovento in Spanish). The islands along the Venezuelan coast, known in English as the Leeward
Leeward
Antilles, in languages other than English are known as the Leeward
Leeward
Islands. Geography[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2010)

The islands are affected by active volcanism, and notable eruptions have occurred in Montserrat
Montserrat
in the 1990s and in 2009 to 2010. History[edit] The Caribs, for whom the Caribbean
Caribbean
is named, are believed to have migrated from the Orinoco
Orinoco
River area in South America
South America
Venezuela
Venezuela
to settle in the Caribbean
Caribbean
islands about 1200 AD, according to carbon dating. Over the century leading up to Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean
Caribbean
archipelago in 1492, the Caribs mostly displaced the Maipurean-speaking Taínos, who settled the island chains earlier in history, by warfare, extermination and assimilation.[2] The islands were among the first parts of the Americas to fall under the control of the Spanish Empire. European contact commenced with Christopher Columbus's second voyage, and many of the islands' names originate from this period, e.g., Montserrat
Montserrat
was named in honour of Santa Maria de Montserrat
Montserrat
(Our Lady of Montserrat), after the Blessed Virgin of the Monastery of Montserrat, which is located on the Mountain of Montserrat, the national shrine of Catalonia. 'Mont serrat' in Catalan means 'saw mountain', referring to the serrated appearance of the mountain range. British colony of the Leeward
Leeward
Islands[edit] Main article: British Leeward
Leeward
Islands The Leeward
Leeward
Islands became a British colony in 1671. In 1699, prior to the War of the Spanish Succession, Christopher Codrington
Christopher Codrington
became the governor of the Leeward
Leeward
Islands. The war lasted from 1701 to 1714. Daniel Parke
Daniel Parke
II was the British governor of the Leeward
Leeward
Islands from 1706 to 1710. He was assassinated during a mutiny triggered by his self-enriching enforcement of Stuart imperialism. Although comparatively much smaller than the surrounding islands in the Caribbean, the Leeward
Leeward
Islands posed the most significant (though decidedly less severe in comparison to the colonies) rebellion to the British Stamp Act.[3] In 1816 the colony was dissolved, with its last governor being James Leith. In 1833, the colony was reformed. From 1833 until 1871, the Governor of Antigua
Antigua
performed the duties of the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Today the Islands are governed by a number of national and colonial administrations. List of the Leeward
Leeward
Islands[edit] From the northwest to the southeast, the islands are:

Puerto Rican Virgin Islands: Vieques, Culebra (U.S.) U.S.
U.S.
Virgin Islands: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Water Island (U.S.) British Virgin Islands: Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada (U.K.) Anguilla
Anguilla
(U.K.) Saint Martin/ Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten
(Fr./Neth.) Saint-Barthélemy
Saint-Barthélemy
(Fr.) Saba
Saba
(Neth.) Sint Eustatius
Sint Eustatius
(Neth.) Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
(forms a sovereign state (a Commonwealth Realm) with Nevis; see Nevis) Nevis
Nevis
(Commonwealth; see St. Kitts) Barbuda
Barbuda
(Commonwealth; see Antigua) Antigua
Antigua
(forms a sovereign state (a Commonwealth Realm) with Barbuda) Redonda
Redonda
(uninhabited part of Antigua
Antigua
& Barbuda; see above) Montserrat
Montserrat
(U.K.) Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
(Fr. overseas department) La Désirade
La Désirade
(dependency of Guadeloupe, Fr.) Îles des Saintes
Îles des Saintes
(dependency of Guadeloupe, Fr.) Marie-Galante
Marie-Galante
(dependency of Guadeloupe, Fr.)

See also[edit]

Geography portal

Antilles British Leeward
Leeward
Islands Leeward
Leeward
Antilles Leeward
Leeward
Islands cricket team Windward Islands

References[edit]

^ J. C. Hart and W. T. Stone (1982), A Cruising Guide to the Caribbean and the Bahamas, Dodd, Mead & Co., p. 601, ISBN 0-396-08023-5. ^ Sweeney, James L. (2007). "Caribs, Maroons, Jacobins, Brigands, and Sugar Barons: The Last Stand of the Black Caribs on St. Vincent", African Diaspora Archaeology Network, March 2007, retrieved 26 April 2007. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Andrew (April 1994). "The Stamp Act Crisis in the British Caribbean". The William and Mary Quarterly. 51 (2): 203–226. doi:10.2307/2946860. JSTOR 2946860. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leeward
Leeward
Islands.

Digital Library of the Caribbean−dloc.org: "The Leeward
Leeward
Islands Gazette"—freely−openly available, with full page images and searchable text Digital Library of the Caribbean−dloc.org: "Antigua, Montserrat
Montserrat
and Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands
Gazette"—openly−freely available, with searchable text and full page images

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