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West Indies

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The West Indies is a region of the and that includes the many islands and island nations of the and the . After the first of the to the , Europeans began to use the West Indies to differentiate that region from the ( and ).

From the 17th through the 19th century, the European of the West Indies were the , , the , the (Dutch West Indies), and the . By extension, some formerly Danish and Spanish islands are now collectively known as the ; however, this use is of recent origin.

In 1916, sold the Danish West Indies to the United States for US $25 million in gold, as per the . The Danish West Indies became an of the US, called the .

Between 1958 and 1962, the United Kingdom reorganised all their West Indies island territories (except the and ) into the . They hoped that the Federation would coalesce into a single, independent nation. However, the Federation had limited powers, numerous practical problems, and a lack of popular support; consequently, it was dissolved by the British in 1963, with nine provinces becoming independent sovereign states and four becoming .

West Indies or West India was the of several of the 17th and 18th centuries, including the , the , the , and the .

is the official term used by the U.S. government to refer to people of the West Indies

Use of the term
Tulane University professor Rosanne Adderly says "The phrase 'West Indies' distinguished the territories encountered by Columbus and claimed by Spain from discovery claims by other powers in Asia's 'East Indies'. … The term 'West Indies' was eventually used by all European nations to describe their own acquired territories in the Americas. … considering British Caribbean colonies collectively as the 'West Indies' had its greatest political importance in the 1950s with the movement to create a federation of those colonies that could ultimately become an independent nation... Despite the collapse of the Federation in… the West Indies continues to field a joint cricket team for international competition."Rosanne Adderly, "West Indies," in Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures, Volume 1: A-D (London and New York: Routledge, 2000): 1584.

The member states of the also include , which is in .

In the modern day, the West Indies refers to:

See also

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