Nearly 400 years after the country became a British colony, Barbados has become the world’s newest republic. The Caribbean island nation removed Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the state in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles.
Before Barbados, the last nation to remove the Queen as head of state was Mauritius in 1992.
History of Barbados as a British colony and after
- Barbados, which is said to have been made a ‘slave society’ by the British, first became an English colony when a ship arrived at the Caribbean in 1625.
- On November 30, 1966, Barbados gained its independence. Barbados, however, will continue to be one of the 54 Commonwealth nations.
For how long has Barbados been preparing to become a Republic?
- While the decision to become a Republic is as recent as last year for Barbados, the island has been thinking about the move for decades.
- In 1979, the Cox Commission to attest to the feasibility of the republican system in Barbados was set up. The commission, however, had concluded that the public wished to remain under the system of constitutional monarchy.
- In 1998, a constitutional committee had recommended that the country adopt the republican status and end the monarchy.
- In 2003, Barbados changed its final court of appeal from the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Back to Basics
- Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of the Americas, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands.
- With a population of about 285,000 people, Barbados is one of the more populous and prosperous Caribbean islands.
- Once heavily dependent on sugar exports, its economy has diversified but has been hit hard by Covid-19 hurting tourism and rising prices caused by supply chain disruptions.
- It is in the western part of the North Atlantic, 100 km (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea.
- It is about 168 km (104 mi) east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 180 km (110 mi) south-east of Martinique and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.
Difference between Democracy and Republic
|In Democracy form of Government, the people have the power to themselves||In Republic form of Government, the power belongs to individual citizens|
|There are 3 major types of democracy namely Direct democracy, Representative Democracy and Constitutional Democracy||There are 5 types of Republics namely Constitutional Republic, Parliamentary Republic, Presidential Republic, Federal Republic and Theocratic Republic|
|In a democratic system of Government all laws are made by the majority (representatives/ people)||In the Republic form of Government, the laws are made by those who are elected representatives of the people of the land.|
|A country can have more than 1 type of democracy||A country can also have more than 1 type of Republic|
|It is the will of the majority that has the right to override the existing rights||In the Republic system of Government, the Constitution protects the rights so no will of people can over-ride any rights.|
|Democracy majorly focuses on the general will of the people||Republic mainly focuses on the Constitution|
|There are no constraints on the Government in a Democracy||There are constraints on the Government in a Republic (bound by the Constitution)|
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