History of Barbados
Barbados was inhabited by its indigenous peoples - the Arawaks and Caribs - at the time of European colonization of the Americas in the 16th century. The island was an English and British colony from 1625 until 1966. Since 1966, it has been a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, modelled on the Westminster system, with Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados, as head of state; some evidence suggests that Barbados may have been settled in the second millennium BC, but this is limited to fragments of conch lip adzes found in association with shells that have been radiocarbon-dated to about 1630 BC. Documented Amerindian settlement dates to between about 350 and 650 AD; the arrivals were a group known as the Saladoid-Barrancoid from mainland South America. A second wave of settlers appeared around the year 800 and a third in the mid-13th century; this last group came to rule over the others. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to discover the island. Portuguese navigator Pedro. Frequent slave-raiding missions by the Spanish Empire in the early 16th century led to a massive decline in the Amerindian population, so that by 1541 a Spanish writer claimed they were uninhabited.
The Amerindians were either captured for use as slaves by the Spanish or fled to other, more defensible mountainous islands nearby. From about 1600 the English and Dutch began to found colonies in the North American mainland and the smaller islands of the West Indies. Although Spanish and Portuguese sailors had visited Barbados, the first English ship touched the island on 14 May 1625, England was the first European nation to establish a lasting settlement there from 1627. England is said to have made its initial claim to Barbados in 1625, although an earlier claim may have been made in 1620. Nonetheless, Barbados was claimed from 1625 in the name of King James I of England. There were earlier English settlements in The Americas, several islands in the Leeward Islands were claimed by the English at about the same time as Barbados. Barbados grew to become the third major English settlement in the Americas due to its prime eastern location; the settlement was established as a proprietary colony and funded by Sir William Courten, a City of London merchant who acquired the title to Barbados and several other islands.
So the first colonists were tenants and much of the profits of their labor returned to Courten and his company. The first English ship, which had arrived on 14 May 1625, was captained by John Powell; the first settlement began on 17 February 1627, near what is now Holetown, by a group led by John Powell's younger brother, consisting of 80 settlers and 10 English laborers. The latter were young indentured laborers who according to some sources had been abducted making them slaves. Courten's title was transferred to James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle, in what was called the "Great Barbados Robbery." Carlisle chose as governor Henry Hawley, who established the House of Assembly in 1639, in an effort to appease the planters, who might otherwise have opposed his controversial appointment. In the period 1640–60, the West Indies attracted over two-thirds of the total number of English emigrants to the Americas. By 1650, there were 44,000 settlers in the West Indies, as compared to 12,000 on the Chesapeake and 23,000 in New England.
Most English arrivals were indentured. After five years of labor, they were given "freedom dues" of about ₤10 in goods. Around the time of Cromwell a number of rebels and criminals were transported there. Timothy Meads of Warwickshire was one of the rebels sent to Barbados at that time, before he received compensation for servitude of 1000 acres of land in North Carolina in 1666. Parish registers from the 1650s show, for the white population, four times as many deaths as marriages; the death rate was high. Before this, the mainstay of the infant colony's economy was the growth export of tobacco, but tobacco prices fell in the 1630s, as Chesapeake production expanded. Around the same time, fighting during the War of the Three Kingdoms and the Interregnum spilled over into Barbados and Barbadian territorial waters; the island was not involved in the war until after the execution of Charles I, when the island's government fell under the control of Royalists. To try to bring the recalcitrant colony to heel, the Commonwealth Parliament passed an act on 3 October 1650 prohibiting trade between England and Barbados, because the island traded with the Netherlands, further navigation acts were passed prohibiting any but English vessels trading with Dutch colonies.
These acts were a precursor to the First Anglo-Dutch War. The Commonwealth of England sent an invasion force under the command of Sir George Ayscue, which arrived in October 1651. After some skirmishing, the Royalists in the House of Assembly led by Lord Willoughby surrendered; the conditions of the surrender were incorporated into the Charter of Barbados, signed at the Mermaid's Inn, Oistins, on 17 January 1652. Sugar cane cultivation in Barbados began in the 1640s, after its introduction in 1637 by Pieter Blower. Rum was produced but by
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres in length and up to 23 km in width, covering an area of 432 km2, it is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. It is about 168 km east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt, its capital and largest city is Bridgetown. Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, prior to that by other Amerindians, Barbados was visited by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown, it first appeared in a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese claimed the island in 1536, but abandoned it, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625.
In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, it became an English and British colony. As a wealthy sugar colony, it became an English centre of the African slave trade until that trade was outlawed in 1807, with final emancipation of slaves in Barbados occurring over a period of years from 1833. On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as its queen, it has a population of 287,010 people, predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island; the name "Barbados" is from either the Portuguese term Os Barbados or the Spanish equivalent, Los Barbados, both meaning "the bearded ones". It is unclear whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree, indigenous to the island, or to the bearded Caribs who once inhabited the island, or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying reefs.
In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, the island of Barbuda in the Leewards is similar in name and was once named "Las Barbudas" by the Spanish, it is uncertain. One lesser-known source points to earlier revealed works predating contemporary sources indicating it could have been the Spanish. Many if not most believe the Portuguese, en route to Brazil, were the first Europeans to come upon the island; the original name for Barbados in the Pre-Columbian era was Ichirouganaim, according to accounts by descendants of the indigenous Arawakan-speaking tribes in other regional areas, with possible translations including "Red land with white teeth" or "Redstone island with teeth outside" or "Teeth". Colloquially, Barbadians refer to their home island as "Bim" or other nicknames associated with Barbados, including "Bimshire"; the origin is uncertain. The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that "Bim" was a word used by slaves, that it derives from the Igbo term bém from bé mụ́ meaning'my home, kind', the Igbo phoneme in the Igbo orthography is close to.
The name could have arisen due to the large percentage of enslaved Igbo people from modern-day southeastern Nigeria arriving in Barbados in the 18th century. The words'Bim' and'Bimshire' are recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries. Another possible source for'Bim' is reported to be in the Agricultural Reporter of 25 April 1868, where the Rev. N. Greenidge suggested the listing of Bimshire as a county of England. Expressly named were "Wiltshire, Hampshire and Bimshire". Lastly, in the Daily Argosy of 1652, there is a reference to Bim as a possible corruption of'Byam', the name of a Royalist leader against the Parliamentarians; that source suggested the followers of Byam became known as'Bims' and that this became a word for all Barbadians. Amerindian settlement of Barbados dates to about the 4th to 7th centuries AD, by a group known as the Saladoid-Barrancoid; the Arawaks from South America became dominant around 800 AD, maintained that status until around 1200.
In the 13th century, the Kalinago arrived from South America. The Spanish and Portuguese claimed Barbados from the late 16th to the 17th centuries; the Arawaks are believed to have fled to neighbouring islands. Apart from displacing the Caribs, the Spanish and Portuguese made little impact and left the island uninhabited; some Arawaks continue to live in Barbados. In the early years the majority of the labour was provided by European indentured servants English and Scottish, with enslaved Africans and enslaved Amerindian providing little of the workforce. During the Cromwellian era this included a large number of prisoners-of-war and people who were illicitly kidnapped, who were forcibly transported to the island and sold as servants; these last two groups were predominately Irish, as several thousand were infamously rounded up by Engli
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the highest court of appeal for certain British territories and Commonwealth countries. Established on 13 August 1833 to hear appeals heard by the King-in-Council, the Privy Council acted as the court of last resort for the entire British Empire, continues to act as the highest court of appeal for several independent Commonwealth nations, the Crown Dependencies, the British Overseas Territories. Formally a statutory committee of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, the Judicial Committee consists of senior judges who are Privy Councillors: they are predominantly Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and senior judges from the Commonwealth, it is referred to as the Privy Council. In Commonwealth realms, appeals are nominally made to "Her Majesty in Council", who refers the case to the Judicial Committee for "advice", while in Commonwealth republics retaining the JCPC as their final court of appeal, appeals are made directly to the Judicial Committee itself.
In the case of Brunei, appeals are made to the Sultan of Brunei, who refers the case to the Judicial Committee for advice. The panel of judges hearing a particular case is known as "the Board"; the "report" of the Board is always accepted by the Queen in Council as judgment. The origins of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council can be traced back to the curia regis, or royal council. In theory, the King was the fount of justice, petitions for redress of wrongs arising from his courts were addressed to him; that power was taken over by Parliament within England, but the King-in-Council retained jurisdiction to hear petitions from the King's non-English possessions, such as the Channel Islands and on, from England's colonies. The task of hearing appeals was given to a series of short-lived committees of the Privy Council. In 1679, appellate jurisdiction was given to the Board of Trade, before being transferred to a standing Appeals Committee in 1696. By the nineteenth century, the growth of the British Empire, which had expanded the appellate jurisdiction of the Privy Council, had put great strains on the existing arrangements.
In particular, the Appeals Committee had to hear cases in a variety of legal systems, such as Hindu law, with which its members were unfamiliar. In 1833, at the instigation of Lord Brougham, the Lord Chancellor, Parliament passed the Judicial Committee Act 1833; the Act established a statutory committee of the Privy Council, known as The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, to hear appeals to the King-in-Council. In addition to colonial appeals legislation gave the Judicial Committee appellate jurisdiction over a range of miscellaneous matters, such as patents, ecclesiastical matters, prize suits. At its height, the Judicial Committee was said to be the court of final appeal for over a quarter of the world. In the twentieth century, the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council shrank as British Dominions established their own courts of final appeal and as British colonies became independent, although many retained appeals to the Privy Council post-independence. Canada abolished Privy Council appeals in 1949, India and South Africa in 1950, New Zealand in 2003.
Twelve Commonwealth countries outside of the United Kingdom retain Privy Council appeals, in addition to various British and New Zealand territories. The Judicial Committee retains jurisdiction over a small number of domestic matters in the United Kingdom; the United Kingdom does not have a single highest national court. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has jurisdiction in the following domestic matters: Appeals against schemes of the Church Commissioners. Appeals from the ecclesiastical courts in non-doctrinal faculty cases. Appeals from the High Court of Chivalry. Appeals from the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports. Appeals from prize courts. Appeals from the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Disputes under the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975. Additionally, the government may refer any issue to the committee for "consideration and report" under section 4 of the Judicial Committee Act 1833; the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the Court of Final Appeal for the Church of England.
It hears appeals from the Arches Court of Canterbury and the Chancery Court of York, except on matters of doctrine, ritual or ceremony, which go to the Court for Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved. By the Church Discipline Act 1840 and the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 all archbishops and bishops of the Church of England became eligible to be members of the Judicial Committee. Prior to the coming into force of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Privy Council was the court of last resort for devolution issues. On 1 October 2009 this jurisdiction was transferred to the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Judgments of the Judicial Committee are not binding on courts wit
A Barbados passport is a travel document issued to citizens of Barbados, in accordance with Citizenship Act from 1978, the Immigration Act from 1997, the Barbados Constitution, for the purpose of facilitating international travel. It allows the bearer to travel in foreign countries and the Commonwealth of Nations, in accordance with visa requirements, facilitates the process of securing assistance from Barbados consular officials abroad, if necessary. A Barbados passport is a document for valid proof of citizenship; the passport is a Caricom passport, as Barbados is a member of the Caribbean Community. There are three types of passport booklets: diplomatic passports. Despite the placement of the Caribbean Community logo at the top of the document's cover-page, Barbados passports are issued by the Immigration Department under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister, at the Diplomatic Missions and Honorary Consulates of Barbados abroad. Regular Barbados citizens are eligible to apply for a passport.
A passport for a person under 16 years of age is valid for five years. All applicants aged 16 or above are entitled to apply for a standard Barbados passport. Minors aged 15 and below may remain on their parent's passport. Passport fees Standard Adult's passport, BDS$150 Minor's passport, BDS$100Business Business persons' passport, BDS$225Barbados passports may be issued outside Barbados, for which fees vary per country. Paper size B7 32 pages Barbados passports are dark blue in colour, with logo of CARICOM and the words CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY followed by BARBADOS inscribed on top of the booklet; the Barbados coat of arms is prominently emblazoned in the centre of the cover page, followed on the bottom by the inscription of the words PASSPORT on ordinary passports, DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT on diplomatic passports. The following information is printed on the identification page, in: English and Spanish; the standards are: 5 cm × 5 cm Front view, full face, open eyes, closed mouth, natural expression Full head from top of hair to shoulders White background No shadows on face or in background No sunglasses.
The Barbados passport ranks 1st among CARICOM passport holders that enjoy travel freedom and visa-free access. Holders of a Barbados passport may travel without a visa, or receive a visa upon arrival, to many other countries; as of 28 May 2009, Barbados signed a short-stay visa waiver agreement with the European Union. The agreement allows citizens of Barbados to visit the countries of Europe who are members of the Schengen Area for up to three months in any six-month period without a visa. Citizens of Europe will be able to visit Barbados for the same period without a visa. Visa requirements for Barbadian citizens Monarchy of Barbados Government of Barbados Barbados nationality law Foreign relations of Barbados Commonwealth citizen CARICOM passport Official website of the Barbados Immigration Department Council Decision 7518/08 - Council of the European Union Decision on the signing and provisional application of the Agreement between the European Community and Barbados on the short-stay visa waiver
Guyana the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, Suriname to the east. With an area of 215,000 square kilometres, Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname; the region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters". Major rivers in Guyana include the Essequibo, the Berbice, the Demerara. Inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century, it was governed as British Guiana, with a plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970.
The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African and multiracial groups. Guyana is the only South American nation; the majority of the population, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member; the name "Guyana" derives from Guiana, the original name for the region that included Guyana, French Guiana, parts of Colombia and Brazil. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Guyana" comes from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "land of many waters". There are nine indigenous tribes residing in Guyana: the Wai Wai, Patamona, Kalina, Pemon and Warao; the Lokono and Kalina tribes dominated Guyana. Although Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight Guyana during his third voyage, Sir Walter Raleigh wrote an account in 1596, the Dutch were the first Europeans to establish colonies: Essequibo and Demerara.
After the British assumed control in 1796, the Dutch formally ceded the area in 1814. In 1831 the three separate colonies became a single British colony known as British Guiana. Since its independence in 1824 Venezuela has claimed the area of land to the west of the Essequibo River. Simón Bolívar wrote to the British government warning against the Berbice and Demerara settlers settling on land which the Venezuelans, as assumed heirs of Spanish claims on the area dating to the sixteenth century, claimed was theirs. In 1899 an international tribunal ruled; the British territorial claim stemmed from Dutch involvement and colonization of the area dating to the sixteenth century, ceded to the British. Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966 and became a republic on 23 February 1970, remaining a member of the Commonwealth; the US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency, along with the British government, played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time.
The American government supported Forbes Burnham during the early years of independence because Cheddi Jagan was identified as a Marxist. They provided secret financial support and political campaign advice to Burnham's People's National Congress, to the detriment of the Jagan-led People's Progressive Party, supported by Guyanese of East Indian background. In 1978, Guyana received international notice when 918 members of the American cult, Peoples Temple, died in a mass murder/suicide drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. However, most of the suicides were by Americans and not Guyanese. More than 300 children were killed. Jim Jones's bodyguards had earlier attacked people taking off at a small remote airstrip close to Jonestown, killing five people, including Leo Ryan, a US congressman. In May 2008, President Bharrat Jagdeo was a signatory to the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. Guyana has ratified the treaty; the territory controlled by Guyana lies between latitudes 1° and 9°N, longitudes 56° and 62°W.
The country can be divided into five natural regions. Some of Guyana's highest mountains are Mount Ayanganna, Monte Caburaí and Mount Roraima on the Brazil-Guyana-Venezuela tripoint border, part of the Pakaraima range. Mount Roraima and Guyana's table-top mountains are said to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World. There are many volcanic escarpments and waterfalls, including Kaieteur Falls, believed to be the largest water drop in the world. No
Foreign relations of Barbados
This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Barbados. At the political level, these matters are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which answers to the Prime Minister; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, since November 2008 is: Senator The Hon. Maxine McClean. Barbados is a moderate economic power in the Caribbean region. Between independence in 1966 and the 1990s, Barbados has used a pro business and investment policy to expand its influence in the world. Through the usage of its network of international bilateral relations, the country has been able to maintain an independent foreign policy. Barbados' recent policy has been to focus and strengthen ties with nations that country feels will enhance its diplomacy or foreign trade. Barbados has sought to engage in multilateral diplomacy through the United Nations, the Caribbean Community, the Association of Caribbean States, the group of ACP countries, the Organization of American States, several other agencies which it is engaged.
In 2008 Barbados and the other members of CARICOM signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union and its European Commission. The deal covers CARICOM's membership in the Caribbean Forum. CARIFORUM in turn is a part of the Group of African and Pacific States; the agreement outlines Barbados' future development and trade ties with the European Union, serves as a blueprint for future relations between both trading blocs under the Cotonou Agreement and the Lomé Convention. At times Barbados has found itself as a countervailing force to U. S. political and economic influence in the English-speaking Caribbean. As a small nation, the primary thrust of Barbados' diplomatic activity has been within international organisations. Barbados has established official diplomatic relations with 105 countries around the globe. In 1965, Barbados and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago established the Caribbean Free Trade Association. Following independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, Barbados went on to become a founding member of many other international organizations.
On 4 July 1973, the founding nations of Barbados and Tobago, Jamaica signed the original Treaty of Chaguaramas in Trinidad thus establishing the Caribbean Community and Common Market. The agreement to establish CARICOM wound up succeeded the CARIFTA organisation. By the following year many of the remaining English-speaking Caribbean states followed suit and joined CARICOM by May 1974, bring it to the 15 members it has today. Barbados is a member of the Caribbean Development Bank, established in 1970, with headquarters in Wildey, Saint Michael; the eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System, which associates Barbados with six nations of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is based in Barbados. In July 1994, Barbados joined the newly established Association of Caribbean States. In 2002 the United Nations opened a building in the Marine Gardens area of Hastings found in the Parish of Christ Church the facility called the United Nations House acts as a regional operations headquarters for several programmes of the United Nations in Barbados and for many of the other islands in the Eastern Caribbean region.
Barbados has relations with 105 countries around the world, though principal relations are with the following countries. Principal relations by region. Americas: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Venezuela Eurasia: Austria, China, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, The United Kingdom Middle East: Israel and Iraq, United Arab Emirates List of countries by date of diplomatic relations with Barbados: Canada – 1966 – 30 November – Americas Guyana – 1966 – 30 November – Americas India – 1966 – 30 November – Asia Jamaica – 1966 – 30 November – Americas Trinidad & Tobago – 1966 – 30 November – Americas United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland – 1966 – 30 November – Europe United States – 1966 – 30 November – Americas Germany – 1967 – 14 March – Europe Israel – 1967 – 29 August – Asia Japan – 1967 – 29 August – Asia Chile – 1967 – 3 October – Americas Austria – 1967 – 27 November – Europe Uruguay – 1967 – 6 December – Americas Peru – 1968 – 29 February – Americas France – 1968 – 3 May – Europe Argentina – 1968 – 16 August – Americas Venezuela – 1969 – 21 November – Americas Netherlands – 1969 – 12 December – Europe Belgium – 1970 – 30 October – Europe Zambia – 1971 – 1 March – Africa Tanzania – 1971 – 8 March – Africa Brazil – 1971 – 26 November – Americas Colombia – 1972 – 28 January – Americas Cyprus – 1972 – 27 February – Europe Costa Rica – 1972 – 6 March – Americas Haiti – 1972 – 5 August – Americas Dominican Republic – 1972 – 8 August – Americas Mexico – 1972 – 11 September – Americas Turkey – 1972 – 20 September – Europe Cuba – 1972 – 8-12 December – Americas The Bahamas, Commonwealth of – 1973 – 10 July – Americas Australia – 1974 – 7 January – Pacific Bangladesh – 1974 – 20 February – Asia Grenada – 1974 – 3 March – Americas Nigeria – 1974 – 24 April – Africa New Zealand – 1974 – 28 August – Pacific Mauritius – 1974 – 14 December – Africa Panama – 1975 – 28 August – Americas Nicaragua – 1975 – 8 November – Americas Senegal – 1976 – 18 March – Africa Sweden – 1976 – 19 March – Europe Norway – 1976 – 23 March – Europe Luxembourg – 1977 – 5 May – Europe China – 1977 – 30 May – Asia Italy – 1977 – 23 August – Europe Romania – 1977 – 11 September – Europe Finland – 1977 – 1 December – Europe Korea – 1977 – 15 November – Asia North Korea – 1977 – 5 December – Asia Iran – 197
Barbados Labour Party
The Barbados Labour Party is the main party of government of Barbados, established in 1938. Led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, the BLP holds 29 of the 30 seats in the House of Assembly of Barbados after MP for St. Michael West, Joseph Artherly decided to become an Independent MP and became the Leader of the Opposition, it was elected to government on 25 May 2018 after 10 years in opposition, with Mottley becoming the country's first female Prime Minister. In common with Barbados' other major party, the Democratic Labour Party or "Dems", the BLP is a broadly centre-left social-democratic party, with local politics being personality-driven and responsive to contemporary issues and the state of the economy; the BLP is a former observer member of the Socialist International. Called the Barbados Progressive League until 1944, the original party was founded on 31 March 1938 at the home of James Martineau. During the first meeting, Chrissie Brathwaite and Grantley Adams were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
The party was the organization vehicle for the political movement brought on by the unrest of 1937 and which resulted in a better living conditions. The objectives of the founders included adult suffrage, free education, better housing and health care, it first participated in general elections in 1940. In 1994 Owen Arthur became the Prime Minister as leader of the Barbados Labour Party. In the 2003 elections the BLP won 23 out of the 30 seats; the number increased to 24 in 2006, when in an unprecedented development the leader of the opposition, after a bitter and tumultuous internal battle within his own party, resigned the post and joined the governing party. The Barbados Labour Party governed from 1994 to 2008, called the "Owen Arthur Administration". Prime Minister Arthur was chosen from among leaders around the globe to deliver the William Wilberforce lecture on the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade Act; the party lost power in the 2008 general election, winning 10 seats against 20 for the Democratic Labour Party.
After the election, Arthur stepped down as BLP leader and was replaced by former Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a leadership election against Attorney-General of Barbados, Dale Marshall. Mottley became Opposition Leader. In the summer of 2008 Hamilton Lashley, MP for St. Michael South East, resigned from the party to become an Independent candidate in the House of Assembly, he was thereafter given a job by the DLP, the party he had belonged before crossing the floor to the BLP, as a consultant on poverty. This move by the member reduced to nine the number of seats the Barbados Labour Party had in the House; the women's branch of the Barbados Labour Party is called the Women's League. The youth branch is called the League of Young Socialists; the BLP uses several forms of Internet mediums to reach out to existing supporters. This includes: Google+, Twitter feeds. Many live meetings of the party are streamed live via YouTube. A "Labour" political party is an amalgam of various trade unions and socialist groups supporting the interests of organized labour and advocating democratic socialism and social equality, bringing together an alliance of social democratic, democratic socialist and trade unionist outlooks.
Considered a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people, in particular arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century to replaced the Liberal, Democrat or Conservative political positions. F. A. Hoyes; the Rise of West Indian Democracy: The Life and Times of Sir Grantley Adams. Advocate Press. Official website