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Barbados: Independence Day

Barbados celebrates its independence on 30 November – the date in 1966 when it attained full statehood.

It became an English colony in 1625 and (if you exclude the evolution from English rule to British rule with the Act of Union in 1707) is the only Caribbean island not to have changed hands during the colonial era. However, it might have become Canadian at more than one stage; in 1884 the Barbados Agricultural Society wrote to Canadian politician Sir Francis Hincks to ask him whether the Dominion of Canada would welcome Barbadian accession, and then in the 1950s politicians in the short-lived West Indies Federation resurrected the idea.

With the collapse of the West Indies Federation after just four years in 1962 – after it became clear that membership of the WIF was not likely to accelerate independence from the UK, and after (partly for that reason) Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago left the federation – Barbados negotiated its own route to independence in June 1966. It did, however, retain Elizabeth II as Queen of Barbados.

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