The shrinking British Empire
The British Empire was once the largest empire in the world: the hegemony of the British crown extended to half the world with a slight exaggeration. In addition to Britain and Ireland, the empire included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, British India (now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and many more. Colony The Middle and Far East, Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, and the Pacific archipelago, and Malta and Cyprus in the Mediterranean. A II. However, a major wave of independence began after World War II and is now out of Britain in the narrow sense. The so-called 14 foreign territories fall under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, the site of the war with Argentina or Napoleon’s exile, St. Illinois Island. The legacy of the British Empire is present Commonwealth It is protected by an international body called the Commonwealth of Nations, which at one time belonged to the empire.
With the exception of Britain, 15 independent nations recognize the current British monarch as head of state until November 30, when he is located in the Caribbean. Barbados becomes a republic. II. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth after November 30 He holds the post of President of 14 countries, including the United Kingdom:
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- 7 archipelagos in the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- 2 island nations in the Pacific: Solomon Islands, Tuvalu
In these countries, as in the UK, British rule is the only system of government in which nations are actually run by heads of government. That has been raised by many countries Break the British monarchy once, Which was last discovered in the Indian Ocean Mauritius Declared a republic in 1992. South American Guiana in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean in 1976, the Dominican community in the region became republics two years later, and Fiji in Oceania ceased to be a kingdom in 1987. In Australia They voted in the state form in 1999, but then by a 55-45 percentage The followers of the kingdom were victorious Against the sentiments of the Republicans.
However, for more than three decades now,
Barbados is gaining independence from the British crown, which some say could cause a new Republican wave in countries that still recognize the British ruler as their leader.
In many countries, now 95 years old II. Queen Elizabeth’s person is associated with pro – monarchy sentiments, and after the accession of Prince Charles, these emotional ties are severed, leaving the possibility of complete secession from the rest of the British Empire. 14 countries.
The British colony was a laboratory for slavery
On May 14, 1625, the English ship Olive Blossom landed on the shores of Barbados. The island was captured by the British on behalf of King James I.. The Caribbean island, slightly smaller than Budapest, was uninhabited at the time because its Native Americans were either exterminated or expelled by the Spaniards who first discovered the island. White settlers first came to Barbados, but soon Sending more black African slaves: Between 1627 and 1833, about 600,000 Africans were brought into the country.
The island became the first truly profitable slave-owning community in the UK and served as a kind of laboratory for slave-keeping organizations in the Caribbean and the American South.
For whites about Ten times the population The people of Black Africa often worked on sugarcane plantations, which brought them misery and exploitation, but also enormous wealth for the gardeners. Slavery was abolished in 1838, But more than 90 percent of Barbados’ population of less than 300,000 are still black. Former British Colony He gained independence in 1966.
Complete liberation from the British monarchy and becoming a republic has been a topic on the archipelago for decades. Accelerated by corona virus infection. Many in Barbados were outraged that Britain did not help with vaccinations or funding for World War II. Elizabeth’s former colony is under formal rule, where one of the main sources of income has recently been severely affected. Travel. While there is still some emotional attachment to the British monarchy in older generations, the youth in Barbados no longer have a real attachment to the British past. National Geography According to a recent report. Barbados’ entry into the Republic was greatly facilitated by its constitution A referendum is not required. Earlier, referendums were held in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, but they failed.
The identity change of the state, the real problems in the economy
At a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament on October 21 With a two-thirds majority He chose To the President of Barbados Former Governor of the Island, i.e. II. Elizabeth’s local representative, Sandra Bunch.
Mason will open on November 30, the 55th anniversary of Barbados’ independence, when the island nation becomes a republic in a ceremonial setting.
For the ceremony, the heir to the British throne, Even Prince Charles Are waiting. Barbados continues to seek good relations with the United Kingdom Is a member of the Commonwealth. The function of the head of state will continue to be formal and the real head of the executive branch will be the head of government. In practice, the change of state form and head of state is no more than necessary for II. Wait for Elizabeth to sign when appointing ambassadors and other diplomats of the country. However, its symbolic significance is enormous.
Prime Minister of the country, Mia Motley It means that according to the change of the British monarch
Barbados leaves its colonial past forever.
In a country inhabited mostly by blacks, slavery and the colonial past are still an important issue. Black Lives Matter (BLM) mozgalom Received a new impetus after its American progress. Last November, a bronze statue of Admiral Horacio Nelson, commander and martyr of a successful naval battle against Napoleon in the capital, Bridgetown, was removed because the Admiral was a supporter of slavery.
Some believe that Barbados is becoming a republic Of historical significance, And elvetheti Seeds of Republicanism in the Caribbean, Located in most parts of the former British colony that still recognizes the British monarch as head of state. In countries that have failed in the past, or in Jamaica that have not yet been tried, they may again raise the issue of a referendum. Honestly, According to some comments II. After Elizabeth’s death, the question may arise as to whether there will be republics in Canada and Australia.
Others They are very critical Against the end. For example, Barbados’ largest newspaper, The Nation, wrote in an editorial that the referendum issue should not be wiped off the table. Some say it is important for Prime Minister Mia Motley to hurry to become a republic Corona virus diverts public attention from economic downturn and decline in tourism. However, it is also true that Modley had been campaigning for the Republic before his 2018 election.
This is also the Caribbean population The issue is divided. While pro-Republican politicians emphasize the symbolic historical significance of the event, the Barbados population faces 13 percent unemployment and one of the most stable Caribbean economies facing a double-digit decline in revenue. The island nation has also been affected by the effects of climate change.
From November 30 Barbados will certainly embark on a new journey, even though the majority of the population has disappeared from the names of various public institutions as “royal”. However, the island nation was transformed into a republic It would lead to a further contraction of the ‘empire’ of the British Empire.
Cover Image: II. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will receive Governor-General Sandra Mason of Barbados, who will take over as the country’s first president on November 30. Source: Getty Images