Thursday, January 19, 2006

History of Netherlands Antilles

History of Netherlands Antilles. This site provides information on this Dutch islands territory which consists of Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, and Sint Maarten.

Wikipedia notes, "The Netherlands Antilles (Dutch: Nederlandse Antillen), previously known as the Netherlands West Indies, are part of the Lesser Antilles and consist of two groups of islands in the Caribbean Sea that form an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (none of the other Antilles use this term in their name). The islands' economy is dependent mostly upon tourism and petroleum."

From the site:

In 1845 the Dutch Leeward islands united with Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a political unit. The abolition of slavery hurt the islands' economy until the 20th century, when oil was discovered off the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was established on Curaçao. Also during that period an offshore financial sector was created to serve Dutch businesses.

Since 1945 the federation of the Netherlands Antilles--Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten--have been autonomous in internal affairs. Aruba also was a part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained status apart within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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