West Indies Federation

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Related to West Indies Federation: CARIFTA, Association of Caribbean States

West Indies Federation

West Indies Federation, former federation of 10 British West Indian territories formed in 1958. Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados were the principal members, but the federation included most of the Leeward and Windward islands, then under British control. The seat of government was Port of Spain, Trinidad. Slated for independence in 1962, the federation did not survive its troubled infancy. Jamaica, the most populous and prosperous member, voted (1961) to leave the federation, fearing that it would have to shoulder the burdens of the economically underdeveloped members; Trinidad and Tobago followed suit, and the federation was dissolved in May, 1962.

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago became independent members of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1962, as did Barbados in 1966 and the Bahamas in 1973. In 1967 the West Indies Associated States were created, made up of Antigua (now Antigua and Barbuda), St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent (now St. Vincent and the Grenadines). Each of the states was voluntarily associated with Great Britain and fully self-governing in its internal affairs. Over the next two decades, all gained full independence, the last being St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983.

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), whose founding dates to 1981, is the successor in many ways to the West Indies Associated States. The OECS promotes cooperation and economic integration among its members, who consist of the six former associated states and Montserrat; Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Martinique are associate members. Its institutions include a regional central bank and supreme court. In 2009 a treaty to establish an economic union among OECS members was signed, and citizens of OECS independent nations were allowed full freedom of movement among those countries in 2011.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The West Indies Federation is given passing mention in Chapter Four, and CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which have had a much greater impact on the institutions, forms of governance and development of Antigua are mentioned only once (p.
External support for the West Indies Federation (WIF), however, was not enough and the project fell apart because of conflicts within the West Indies, revealing the limits of international influence on Caribbean relationships.
Albert Marryshow, one of the fathers of the West Indies Federation, whose "highflown phrases and literary allusions" the boy may have listened to (7).
Four years later he was elected the Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation, the first and only man to fill the short-lived role.
While the collapse of the short-lived West Indies Federation in 1962 and the independence of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago brought political change, he notes that "the Second Vatican Council and the merging of the International Missionary Council with the World Council of Churches initiated a time of ecumenical activity that culminated in 1973 in the formation of the Caribbean Conference of Churches."
In that decade, she wrote and published The Orchid House, founded the Dominica Labour Party, ran two political campaigns, and became a minister in the West Indies Federation.
A turning point in Jagan's ultimately failed effort to elicit Afro-Guyanese support was his announcement in 1956 that Guyana would not join the Afro-dominated West Indies Federation. Jagan dressed up his resistance in Marxist language arguing that federation was a trap--a vehicle for imperial control.
That state of disunity was all too clearly revealed when the West Indies Federation collapsed in 1962, only four short years after its inception.

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