West Indian Federation History

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The West Indian Federation was established in 1958 but it only existed briefly for 4 years as it came to an end in 1962. The federation was established by the British Caribbean Federation Act of 1956 which aimed to form a political union amongst its members. The Federation was made up of ten territories which consisted of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, the then St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago. The West Indian Federation was an avenue for these territories to achieve Self-Governance. The Federation was headed by an Executive Governor-General ( Patrick George Thomas Buchan-Hepburn, 1st Baron Hailes, GBE of Britain) , he was appointed by Britain and included the…show more content…
Cayman was faced with the decision to either become independent as a part of Jamaica or some other unknown alternative. Luckily the 1950s proved to be the years that considerable political changes occurred that help pave the path to political modernism. It was only in 1863 that Cayman became officially attached to Jamaica and up until 1959 had no written constitution. The 1863 Act of Parliament established an Assembly, this assembly was made up of Justices of the Peace and Vestrymen, but what was particularly unusual was the fact that this allowed Jamaica the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Cayman Islands, which meant that they could for any reason stop or amend any laws passed by the Assembly. Undoubtedly this brought about concern for the people of the islands of being dominated by Jamaica even though there was not really any interference by Jamaican authorities. The politicians of the Cayman Islands also wanted to maintain a certain level of independence under the Governor, rather under than the government of Jamaica. It was from 1956 forward that great political distress existed compared to years before. The Cayman Islands position in the West Indian Federation was nonexistent directly as they were known as a part of Jamaica, however, Caymanian Political…show more content…
Also the Cayman Islands did not actually decide to form a formal part of the federation until 1961 the same year as their demise, which meant we had no significant time I suppose to share our views and concerns of self-determination and to use the federation to our full advantage to plan ahead for this colossal change in one’s history. The vision of the West Indian Federation was for these territories to achieve Self-Governance. From the onset the Cayman Islands had been given two opinions either become independent as a part of Jamaica or remain attached to the United Kingdom even if the path was unsure. Cayman did not however, know from the start that they could have opted for internal self-governance under the United Kingdom, in the end this is the option they chose. A few questions arise from my research did the Caymanian Politicians make the right decision in 1960s to become a direct dependency of the United Kingdom? What would the results have been if Cayman would have opted to go independent as a dependent of Jamaica? With the Islands as established as they are now, i.e maintain the Fifth Financial Centre in the world, recognition as an awarding banking industry and a popular tourist destination, could all of this have been obtained if Cayman opted for self-governance? I am of the opinion that Cayman

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