British West Indies

From Academic Kids

The term British West Indies sometimes called Royal West Indies are mainly made up of the islands in the Caribbean that are British colonies. Today, the islands of the British West Indies include:

Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Historically, the term British West Indies was once also extended to many of the former colonies of the British in the Caribbean region. Those nations which were once known as being a part of the British West Indies (now known collectively as the Anglophone Caribbean) include:

Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago

Although the word "Indies" was a reference to the word island, it may also have collectively included the two to three mainland Caribbean territories of the British:

The two mainland territories British Honduras(Belize), and British Guiana(Guyana) also became independent, and have changed their names (either before or upon independence).


The majority of the island territories and states which once made up the entire British West Indies are now independent nations. After an attempt at a West Indies Federation to pursue a unified path towards independence, some of the island either remained or reverted to being British colonies. The remaining overseas territories of the British are still titled as British West Indies.


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