Dominica is often confused with the Dominican Republic, but the two islands
could not be more different and are also politically and geographically
completely separate island states in the Caribbean.
Dominica is certainly the greenest island in the Lesser Antilles to which it
belongs; around 60% of the island is covered with tropical rainforest or other
vegetation. You won't find the typical white Caribbean beaches here.
In return, nature lovers get their money's worth here, the island has several
volcanoes, rainforests and beautiful diving areas.
Whales can also be seen on the south coast; in total there are up to 15
different species that cavort in front of the waters of Dominica all year round.
The last 3,500 descendants of the indigenous people live on Dominica - the
|Name of the country
||The Commonwealth of Dominica
||Commonwealth of Dominica
|Form of government
||Parliamentary democracy, republic
||around 61 ° west longitude
around 16 ° north latitude
||Isle of beauty
||November 3rd (1978 Independence Day)
||rounded up or down:
Mixed race 9%,
Caribbean Indians 3%,
||rounded up or down:
Catholics 80%, besides mostly Anglicans and
||English as the official language and French patoi
||Morne Diablatins with a height of 1,447 m
||Layou River with a length of 18 km
|International license plate
|| East Caribbean Dollar (EC $)
|Time difference to CET
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, mains frequency
||230 volts, 50 hertz; British adapter
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Until around the year 1000
4,000-6,000 years ago Indians who were settled in South America, especially
in today's Venezuela, succeeded in colonizing some Caribbean islands.
Abbreviationfinder website, bone finds and grave goods from the Ciboney, which began around 2000 BC. BC
populated almost all the islands of the Antilles, show a close relationship with
the finds made in Venezuela. The Ciboney were followed between the first and
eleventh centuries by the Arawaks, who also visited the entire Antilles
area; Among other things, they brought agriculture (especially cassava) with
them. The Arawken were peace-loving and consisted of several tribes, such as the
Taino or the Igneri.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
The Arawaks followed the Caribs, they came from the north coast of South
America (Suriname, Guayana) and landed in the Lesser Antilles around the 14th
century, where they attacked the Arawaks, enslaved their husbands and married
their wives. The Arawaks had nothing to oppose the Caribs with their weapons,
which were highly developed for the time. At the time of Columbus, only Trinidad
and the Virgin Islands were inhabited by the Arawaks. Columbus himself
discovered the Antilles in 1492 and since he suspected to have landed in India,
he called the islands the West Indies.
Dominica was only discovered on Columbus' second voyage on November 3, 1493, a
Sunday after the discoverer named the island (Domingo in Spanish). Dominica was
the last Caribbean island to be colonized by the Europeans, as this was where
the resistance of the indigenous population was strongest.
The exploitation of the islands by the Europeans began shortly after their
discovery. As on the other islands, the indigenous indigenous population on
Dominica has been decimated by slave labor or murder. Since the islands could
not boast rich mineral resources, the Caribs were enslaved and shipped to Spain,
most of them died within 5 years due to the climate change and the strenuous
work, then the slave shipping was stopped, but slavery was maintained on the
After most of the natives were massacred on the islands, the first black slaves
were transported to the Antilles in 1524 to work on the plantations of the
immigrant Europeans. After the tobacco market collapsed, the colonists switched
to sugar cane and later rum as an export item.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
In the 18th century, an average of 2,750 black slaves were “imported” to
Dominica every year. In comparison, only around 1,200 whites but a total of
around 15,000 colored people lived on the island. The survival rate of the
slaves during the hard work on the plantations was around five years, after
which cheap supplies from Africa had to fill the gaps again.
The first slave revolts took place in the late 18th and early 19th centuries,
and the slave trade was finally banned in the first quarter of the 19th century.
Dominica had different masters in its past, the English occupied the island in
1627 in order to lose it again to the French, in 1763 they returned the island
to Great Britain, which declared it a colony in 1805.
in the 20th and 21st centuries
When the Panama Canal was opened in 1914, the Lesser Antilles rekindled the
interest of international shipping companies. In addition, the islands became
interesting as a tropical paradise for Europeans and Americans in need of
The Second World War brought a time of endangerment in the Caribbean as well and
the prevailing precarious economic situation would last long after the war. Many
residents of the islands were drawn into the war by their colonial masters, so
Caribbean blood flowed on the European battlefields.
From 1945 onwards, the number of voices calling for the colonies to be separated
from the mother countries increased. New administrative structures were soon
sought, especially in London. Especially the takeover of Cuba by Fidel Castros
in 1959 required a new strategy in order not to make the idea of socialism too
So it came about that Dominica became a province of the West Indian Federation
from 1958 to 1962 and from 1967 Great Britain granted Dominica internal
self-government. Finally, on December 3, 1978, Dominica became an independent
country and five days later a member of the United Nations.
Within a few years there were many small, dwarf states in the region that ran
into major economic problems. That is why there was an effort to bring the
Caribbean region together economically. As a result, the CARIFTA (Caribbean Free
Trade Area) was founded in 1968, which Dominica also joined.
The CARIFTA was converted into the Caribbean Common Market in 1973 and a further
step was the establishment of the Caribbean Development Bank CDB (Caribbean
Development Bank) and above all the establishment of the Organization of East
Caribbean States. The OECS brings the English-speaking islands together, they
all share the same currency, the East Caribbean dollar (EC $).
After Dominica gained independence, Patrick John of the Social Democratic
Party became the country's first Prime Minister. However, his reign was marked
by corruption and personal gain, so that there were bloody demonstrations. As a
result, on June 25, 1979, the office was handed over to the morally honest
Minister of Economics, Oliver J. Seraphin. Its prudent government activities
were brought to an abrupt end by a smear campaign, after which Mary Eugenia
Charles (1919-2005) came to power in 1980; she was the first female head of
state in the Caribbean region to stay in office for 15 years, i.e. until 1995.
Dominica is a member of the British Commonwealth.