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The Antilles (; (Antillas ; Zantiy; Antilles; Antias; Antillen; Antiliiz) is an bordered by the to the south and west, the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and the to the north and east.

The Antillean islands are divided into two smaller groupings: the and the . The Greater Antilles includes the larger islands of , , , (subdivided into the nations of and the Dominican Republic) and the . The Lesser Antilles contains the northerly and the southeasterly . The just north of and the Lucayan Archipelago (consisting of and Turks and Caicos Islands), though part of the , are generally not included among the Antillean islands.Some sources, such as Encarta in Spanish, include the Bahamas in the Antilles. [1] . Archived 2009-10-31.

, the Antillean islands are generally considered a subregion of . Culturally speaking, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico – and sometimes the whole of the Antilles – are included in , although some sources avoid this socio-economic oversimplification by using the phrase "Latin America and the Caribbean" instead (see Latin America, "In Contemporary Usage"). In terms of , the Greater Antilles are made up of continental rock, as distinct from the Lesser Antilles, which are mostly young or .


Background
The word Antilles originated in the period before the European colonization of the Americas, being one of those mysterious lands which figured on the , sometimes as an , sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, its location fluctuating in mid-ocean between the and .

After the 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus's expedition in what was later called the West Indies, the European powers realized that the dispersed lands constituted an extensive archipelago inhabiting the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The Antilles were called multiple names before their current name became the norm. Early Spanish visitors called them the Windward Islands (today having a ). They were also called the Forward Islands by 18th-century British. Thereafter, the term Antilles was commonly assigned to the formation, and "Sea of the Antilles" became a common alternative name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.


Demographics
The Antilles were described in 1778 by as once being called the Caribbee Isles in homage to the Carib people who were the islands' first inhabitants.


Nations and territories

Lucayan Archipelago


Greater Antilles


Lesser Antilles

Leeward Antilles
  • (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  • (Netherlands)
  • Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  • Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
    • Los Monjes Archipelago
    • La Tortuga Island
    • La Sola Island
    • Los Testigos Islands
    • Los Frailes Islands
    • Patos Island
    • Los Roques Archipelago
    • Blanquilla Island
    • Los Hermanos Archipelago
    • Las Aves Archipelago
  • (Venezuela)


Leeward Islands


Windward Islands


Other islands


See also

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