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The Caribbean (/?kĉr?'bi??n/ or /k?'r?bi?n/; Spanish: Caribe; Dutch: Relating to this audio Caraïben (help·info); French: Caraïbe or maybe more frequently Antilles) is really a location that contains the Caribbean Sea, its islands (most of that are enclosed through the sea), along with the bordering coasts. The location is southeast of your Gulf of Mexico and North America, east of Central The us, and north of South America.
Positioned mainly about the Caribbean Plate, the area includes much more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. (Begin to see the list.) These islands commonly variety island arcs that delineate the japanese and northern edges in the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands are component from the fairly bigger West Indies grouping, which includes the Bigger Antilles about the north, the Lesser Antilles around the south and east (together with the Leeward Antilles), the Bahamas along with the Turks and Caicos Islands (the Lucayan Archipelago, which would not border the Caribbean Sea)-and countries this sort of as Belize in Central America and Guyana in South The usa, which are traditionally and culturally component in the British West Indies.
Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are generally regarded as a subregion of North The united states and therefore are organized into 30 territories like sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May perhaps 31, 1962, there was a short-lived country called the Federation with the West Indies made up of 10 English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then United kingdom dependencies. The West Indies cricket group carries on to depict many of these nations.
The location can take its name from that with the Carib, an ethnic group existing from the Lesser Antilles and sections of adjacent South The united states on the time of European make contact with.
The two most commonplace pronunciations of "Caribbean" are KAIR-?-BEE-?n, with all the primary accent over the third syllable, and k?-RIB-ee-?n, with the accent to the 2nd. Most authorities favor placing the tension over the 3rd syllable. This is the older with the two pronunciations, although the stressed-second-syllable variant is founded for over seventy-five yrs. It continues to be recommended that speakers of British English favor KAIR-?-BEE-?n even though North American speakers much more normally use k?-RIB-ee-?n, although not all resources concur. Utilization is break up within just Caribbean English alone.
Map from the Caribbean
The term "Caribbean" has several uses. Its principal types are geographical and political. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with solid cultural and historic connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation technique.
The United Nations geoscheme with the Americas accords the Caribbean being a unique location inside The Americas.
Physiographically, the Caribbean location is principally a series of islands bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the north, the region is bordered because of the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, and also the Northern Atlantic Ocean, which lies for the east and northeast. To your south, lies the shoreline of the continent of South America
Politically, the "Caribbean" might be centred on socio-economic groupings uncovered while in the location. For instance, the block often called the Caribbean Group (CARICOM) is made up of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Suriname in South The united states, and Belize in Central America as comprehensive customers. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which happen to be from the Atlantic Ocean are associate customers with the Caribbean Community-as would be the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, that is a complete member of your Caribbean Community.
Alternatively, the organisation known as the Affiliation of Caribbean States (ACS) consists of almost every nation while in the encompassing regions that lie within the Caribbean, in addition El Salvador, which lies only about the Pacific Ocean. İn accordance with the ACS, the whole inhabitants of its member states is 227 million men and women.
Geography and climate
The Caribbean Plate
The geography and climate from the Caribbean area differs: Some islands during the location have reasonably flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. These islands contain Aruba (possessing only minimal volcanic functions), Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, The Bahamas and Antigua. Some others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges similar to the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Tortola, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Trinidad & Tobago.
Definitions with the terms Larger Antilles and Lesser Antilles often vary. The Virgin Islands as section in the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included while using the Better Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is often used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago plus the Leeward Antilles.
The local climate on the area is tropical but rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist tradewinds blow consistently from the east creating rainforest/semidesert divisions on mountainous islands. Occasional northwesterlies affect the northern islands inside the winter. The area enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into 'dry' and 'wet' seasons, with all the last six months with the year being wetter than the first half.
The waters in the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe on the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is definitely the deepest point in all in the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region normally strike northwards of Grenada and towards the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest with the island of Barbados during the Jap Caribbean.
The area sits while in the line of several major shipping routes with all the Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea along with the Pacific Ocean.
This section requires expansion. (December 2009)
The Caribbean islands are remarkable for that diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International's biodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. The area also is made up of about 8% (by surface area) on the world's coral reefs along with extensive seagrass meadows, both of which happen to be frequently observed in the shallow marine waters bordering island and continental coasts off the location.
For the fungi, there is usually a modern checklist based on nearly 90,000 records derived from specimens in reference collections, published accounts and field observations. That checklist includes in excess of 11250 species of fungi recorded from the area. As its authors note, the work is far from exhaustive, and it is likely that the true whole number of fungal species already known from the Caribbean is higher. The true total number of fungal species occurring while in the Caribbean, such as species not yet recorded, is likely far higher given the usually accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have been discovered. Though the amount of available information is still small, a first effort is made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to some Caribbean islands. For Cuba, 2200 species of fungi have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the island; for Puerto Rico, the number is 789 species; to the Dominican Republic, the number is 699 species; for Trinidad and Tobago, the number is 407 species.
A lot of of the ecosystems from the Caribbean islands have been devastated by deforestation, pollution, and human encroachment. The arrival on the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths. The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened animals (ranging from birds, to mammals and reptiles), fungi and plants. Examples of threatened animals incorporate the Puerto Rican Amazon, two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba along with the Hispaniola island, and the Cuban crocodile.
Saona Island, Dominican Republic
The region's coral reefs, which contain about 70 species of hard corals and between 500-700 species of reef-associated fishes have undergone rapid decline in ecosystem integrity in recent yrs, and therefore are considered particularly vulnerable to global warming and ocean acidification.
Some Caribbean islands have terrain that Europeans discovered suitable for cultivation for agriculture. Tobacco was an important early crop during the colonial era, but was eventually overtaken by sugarcane production because the region's staple crop. Sugar was produced from sugarcane for export to Europe. Cuba and Barbados have been traditionally the largest producers of sugar. The tropical plantation procedure thus came to dominate Caribbean settlement. Other islands were being found to have terrain unsuited for agriculture, by way of example Dominica, which remains heavily forested. The islands within the southern Lesser Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, are extremely arid, making them unsuitable for agriculture. However, they have salt pans that had been exploited from the Dutch. Sea water was pumped into shallow ponds, producing coarse salt when the water evaporated.
The natural environmental diversity of the Caribbean islands has led to recent growth in eco-tourism. This type of tourism is growing on islands lacking sandy beaches and dense human populations.
The population with the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European speak to, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases these as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity) led to a decline inside the Amerindian populace. From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa such because the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners and captured slaves from Ireland, who had been deported during the Cromwellian reign in England. Immigrants from Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.
The populace is estimated to have reached 2.2 million by 1800. Immigrants from India, China, and other nations arrived during the 19th century. After the ending with the Atlantic slave trade, the population increased naturally. The whole regional inhabitants was estimated at 37.5 million by 2000.
The majority in the Caribbean has populations of largely Africans inside the French Caribbean, Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean, there are minorities of mixed-race and European peoples of Dutch, English, French, Italian and Portuguese ancestry. Asians, especially individuals of Chinese and Indian descent, form a significant minority inside the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. All of their ancestors arrived from the 19th century as indentured laborers.
The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race, African, or European majorities. Puerto Rico has a European majority with a mixture of European-African (mulatto), and a large West African minority. One third of Cuba's (largest Caribbean island) inhabitants is of African descent, with a sizable Mulatto (mixed African-European) population, and European majority. The Dominican Republic has mixed majority, primarily descended from West Africans, Spaniards, and Amerindians.
Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago
Much larger islands this kind of as Jamaica, have a very large African majority, in addition to a significant mixed race, Chinese, Europeans, Indian, Lebanese, Latin American, and Syrian populations. That is a result of years of importation of slaves and indentured labourers, and migration. Most multi-racial Jamaicans refer to themselves as either mixed race or simply Black. The situation is similar to the Caricom states of Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrival of your Africans, Indians, Chinese, Syrians, Lebanese, Native Amerindians and Europeans. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and contain Chindian, Mulattos and Dougla.
Flag with the Caribbean Common Market and Local community (CARICOM)
Insignia from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America
Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size, culture, and degree of mobility of their citizens. The current economic and political problems the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems. From a political economic perspective, regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions. In 1973, the first political regionalism within the Caribbean Basin was created by advances on the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution generally known as the Caribbean Common Market and Local community (CARICOM).
Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures from the Caribbean. To the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse, ranging from communist systems these types of as Cuba toward additional capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as while in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial, and that they tend to undermine commonalities while in the various Caribbean states. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a "blending of traditional and modern patterns, yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways." The political systems on the Caribbean states share similar practices.
The influence of regionalism within the Caribbean is often marginalized. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot not exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand, scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. "Proximity as well as historic ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well for a desire for collective action." These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations' desires to compete from the international economic program.
Furthermore, a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism during the area. In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.S. interest. "With the end on the Cold War, U.S. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. For a result there has actually been a significant reduction in U.S. aid and investment into the Caribbean." The lack of international support for these small, rather poor states, helped regionalism prosper.
Following the Cold War another issue of importance from the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due for the United States and European Union's allegations of special treatment toward the area by each other.
United States effects on regionalism
The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge inside the World Trade Organization against the EU about Europe's preferential program, often called the Lomé Convention, which allowed banana exports from the former colonies on the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply. The World Trade Organization sided during the United States' favour and the beneficial elements in the convention to African, Caribbean and Pacific states has long been partially dismantled and replaced with the Cotonou Agreement.
During the US/EU dispute, the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100%) to pressure Europe to change the agreement while using the Caribbean nations in favour in the Cotonou Agreement.
Farmers within the Caribbean have complained of falling profits and rising costs as the Lomé Convention weakens. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs, which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North The us and Europe.
European Union effects on regionalism
The European Union has also taken issue with US based taxation extended to US companies via the Caribbean international locations. The United States has not been in favor of shutting off the practice yet, mainly due to the higher costs that would be passed on to US companies via taxation. Caribbean nations around the world have mainly countered the allegations from the OECD by signing far more bilateral information sharing deals with OECD members, thus reducing the dangerous aspects of secrecy, and they have strengthened their legislation against money laundering and on conditions under which companies can be based in their nations. The Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate within the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight with the offshore industry.