Windward Islands

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Windward Islands

Windward Islands, southern group of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies, curving generally southward for c.300 mi (480 km) from the Leeward Islands toward NE Venezuela. Excluding Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, which are in the region but are not part of the group, the Windward Islands consist of the French overseas dept. of Martinique and the former British Windward Islands (c.700 sq mi/1,810 sq km). The former British islands consist of the independent states of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Of volcanic origin, the islands are generally rugged, mountainous, and well forested, and they have many streams and lakes. With an equable climate, ample rainfall, and rich soil, they produce a variety of tropical agricultural crops for export, including bananas, spices, limes, and cacao. The islands are subject to hurricanes. Although small-scale manufacturing has gained importance, the most substantial change has been the growth of the tourist trade, which constitutes the region's economic mainstay. The deep and sheltered harbors encourage considerable interisland commerce. Fort-de-France, on Martinique, and Castries, on Saint Lucia, are the islands' chief cities. The islands are largely inhabited by descendants of Africans, who were brought as slaves during the colonial period. The culture varies from island to island, but the French influence is particularly strong.

For some time after Columbus's exploration of the islands, they were largely ignored by Europeans and left to the indigenous Caribs. In the early 17th cent., colonization was undertaken by the British and the French; settlements and sovereignty overlapped. The long struggle for dominance in the islands was a significant part of the worldwide Anglo-French conflict. Several naval battles were fought there; in 1782, off Saint Lucia, the French Admiral de Grasse was defeated by Admiral Rodney. In the Napoleonic Wars the islands traded hands, and it was only after the close of the conflict that Britain established its dominance over them.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Windward Islands


a group of volcanic islands in the West Indies marking the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea; the eastern islands of the Lesser Antilles. Area, approximately 6,000 sq km.; population, more than 1.1 million (1972).

The largest islands are Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Antigua. The islands are the possessions of Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands. The landscape of the larger islands is primarily mountainous. The volcano Diablotin on Dominica has a maximum elevation of 1,586m. There are active volcanoes. The climate is dominated by tropical trade winds and is humid. Natural vegetation has been almost completely destroyed. There are plantations of sugarcane, citrus fruits, cacao, and bananas. The main cities are Fort-de-France on Martinique and Point-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre on Guadeloupe.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
SUMMARIES: ICC World Cup - Group A, Mumbai Sri Lanka 265-9 (K C Sangakkara 111, D P M D Jayawardene 66) v New Zealand 153 (M Muralitharan 4-25) Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 112 runs Group B, Kolkata Holland 306 (R N ten Doeschate 106, P W Borren 84) v Ireland 307-4 (P R Stirling 101, W T S Porterfield 68, N J O'Brien 57 no) Ireland beat Holland by 6 wkts Tour Match, Dominica England Lions 280-8 (J C Hildreth 100) v Windward Islands TODAY: ICC World Cup - Group A, Colombo: Australia v Pakistan (09.00) Group B, Mirpur: Bangladesh v South Africa (03.30) Tour Match (day 3 of 4) (S) Dominica: Windward Islands v England Lions (14.00) (S) indicates Sunday play TOMORROW: ICC World Cup - Group A, Kolkata: Kenya v Zimbabwe (04.00) Group B, Chennai: India v West Indies (09.00)
Following Plunkett's departure, Leicestershire's Nathan Buck will now remain with the England Lions squad for the final three matches of the tour against Guyana, the Windward Islands and Jamaica.
Desmond's International Investment and Underwriting company are involved in a joint venture at a new marina to be named Glossy Bay in the Windward Islands.
The storm damaged homes, knocked out power and blocked roads with flooding and debris as it swept over St Lucia and St Vincent in the Windward Islands on Saturday.
The Society Island archipelago is divided into the Leeward Islands (Rai'atea, Taha'a, Porapora, Huahine, Maupiti, Tupai) and the Windward Islands (Tahiti and Mo'orea, Me'etia, Maiao, Tetiaroa).
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One of the most significant is a regional divide between Latin American producers and those in the Caribbean Windward Islands (St.
College London) transcribes Low's (1872-1952) correspondence with Dr (later Sir) Patrick Manson (1844-1922), then Medical Adviser to the Colonial Office, describing his observations on the expedition, which centered on the Windward Islands. Low recorded accurately, probably for the first time, the disease spectrum in that geographical location, including parasites and their vectors.
Detectives flew to Trinidad to make an appeal for information in 2006 as the suspect is said to originate from the Windward Islands, according to forensic evidence.
For almost two decades Suzanne has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show and so brought a touch of the lush volcanic paradise of the Windward Islands to Britain.
"In the future, we will continue with a second project connecting Venezuela with Trinidad & Tobago, connecting Fortaleza, Brazil, with Trinidad and further connecting Trinidad with Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean" in what will be called the Windward Islands Project, said Aquafund CEO Ronald J.