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Barbados History Timeline

800 - 1500s

  • (800) Arawak Indians arrived in Barbados
  • (1200) Carib Indians conquered Arawak Indians
  • (1500) Carib Indians disappeared from Barbados
  • (1536) Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos arrived

1600s
  • (1625) Captain John Powell landed on Barbados; claimed island for King James I of England
  • (1627) Captain Henry Powell established colony at Holetown, used white indentured servants from England to cultivate tobacco crops; Britain imported black slaves from Africa
  • (1639) Barbados's first parliament, the House of Assembly held a meeting
  • (1652) Treaty of Oistins signed
  • (1663) Barbados now an English crown possession
  • (1692) First major slave revolt unsuccessful

1800s
  • (1816) Slaves staged revolt
  • (1834) Slavery abolished by British
  • (1876) British proposal for confederation of Barbados and Windward Islands triggered riots in Barbados

1900s
  • (1937) Barbados Labor Party (BLP) founded by Grantley Adams in response to riots and social unrest by working class due to poor economic conditions
  • (1951) Universal adult suffrage introduced; BLP won general elections
  • (1954) Ministerial government established, Grantley Adams was leader
  • (1955) Democratic Labor Party (DLP) formed by unhappy members of BLP
  • (1958-62) Barbados became member of British-sponsored Federation of West Indies; Grantley Adams served as first prime minister
  • (1961) Barbados granted full internal self government with DLP leader Errol Barrow as premier
  • (1966) Island of Barbados became independent, with Errol Barrow as prime minister
  • (1967) Barbados joined United Nations
  • (1972) Barbados established relations with Cuba
  • (1976) BLP, led by Tom Adams, son of Grantley Adams, elected as prime minister
  • (1983) Barbados supported, and provided landing base for U.S. invasion of Grenada
  • (1985) Tom Adams died; Bernard St. John (BLP) replaced him as prime minister
1900s
  • (1986) DLP won general elections; Errol Barrow the new prime minister
  • (1987) Erskine Lloyd Sandiford (DLP) became prime minister after the death of Barrow
  • (1994) BLP Owen Arthur won in landslide election
  • (1999) BLP won landslide in the general elections
2000s
  • (2000) Barbados put on list of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - of countries deemed to be uncooperative tax havens
  • (2002) Barbados removed from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • (2003) BLP won 23 of 30 seats in general elections; Owen Arthur returned for third term
  • (2004) Barbadian fishermen were arrested following sea border disagreement with Trinidad and Tobago; Barbados took border case to UN backed tribunal; Barbados became republic
  • (2005) Barbados broke English tradition of Queen of England as Head of State
  • (2008) Parliamentary elections won by opposition Democratic Labor Party; David Thompson became prime minister; bid for offshore oil exploration led to disagreement with Venezuela over demarcation of maritime border
  • (2009) Prime Minister David Thompson survived no-confidence vote over his handling of financial crisis precipitated by collapse of Trinidad-based insurance company Clico, region's largest casualty of global financial crisis
  • (2010) Prime Minister Thompson died in office; Freundel Stuart became prime minister

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.