BRITISH WEST INDIES: Toward Nationhood

The picturesque West Indies colonies, once rich treasure islands fought over by the fleets of Nelson, Rodney and De Grasse, are now impoverished and decaying. Overpopulated, underfed, off the direct pathways of world trade, they have been kept going in recent years mainly by meager doles from the mother countries and rising U.S. tourist trade. Seeking ways out of their luckless predicament, some have suggested switching allegiance to the U.S., a few have talked of lining up with nearby independent countries, and others, defying harsh economic realities, have demanded immediate independence.

Last week, after years of such debate, a new...

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