THE WEST INDIES: Birth of a Nation

At 5:20 p.m. one day last week, a delegate burst from a closed hall in Jamaica's University College of the West Indies, where the British West Indies federation conference was meeting, and cried: "Trinidad wins!" With the choice of a capital, a new nation was born, the Western Hemisphere's first since the creation of Panama 53 years ago.

The former British colonies—11 main islands with 8,000 sq. mi. of land and 3,000,000 people sprawled across 1,500 miles of the Caribbean Sea—had in earlier weeks picked a name for the nation: The West...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!