When Were The West Indies Discovered And Developed?


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Kath Senior answered
Many European countries ventured across the Atlantic in search of new lands and in the 15th century the West Indies were discovered. They were given this name because Christopher Columbus at the time mistook these lands for India which he assumed he had found by a different route.

The first island that had a strong British influence was Bermuda in 1609 and this along with all the other islands used the growing slave trade from the 1650's to develop the numerous plantations. The islands produced a variety of products sent back to Europe. These included cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, coffee and a variety of foods like bananas as well as vast amounts of the famous Jamaica rum.

The West Indies comprises of 28 different territories in total but in the whole Caribbean area there are over 7,000 islands from the small uninhabited reefs to the larger ones such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

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