History of Trinidad

Trinidad’s recorded history begins in 1498 when the island was rediscovered by Christopher Columbus. Columbus called the island Trinidad because of the Trinity Hills that are located on the south-eastern end of the island. These hills were the first things that he saw when he rediscovered the land mass.

The Spanish’s settlement on the island a century after Columbus’ discovery of the island caused the death of many of the original settlers on the island, the Amerindians. This colonisation attracted French, Dutch and other non Spanish settlers. Trinidad remained under Spanish rule until the British captured the island in 1797. The first priority of the British after this victory was to secure the island against enemy attack. Forts Picton and George were erected on High hilltops but neither has ever seen any military action.

The British sought to continue the development of the island. August 1st 1834, saw the abolition of slavery, as a result the colonisers turned to Asia for inexpensive labour. The first batch of indentured labourers from India arrived aboard the Fatel Razack on May 30th 1845. Chinese labourers were also brought to the island between 1848 and 1852, when there was a temporary halt in Indian migration. This illustrious history is evident today in the diverse ethnic makeup of the citizenry of the country and the many cultural festivals that are celebrated annually.
The British Monarchy which had had control of the neighbouring island of Tobago since 1803, incorporated the two islands into one state in 1888.

With the rise of social consciousness in the 1900’s and many civil unrest incidents, Trinidad and Tobago was granted independence from Britain in 1962. The Queen maintained a figurehead leadership role for the country until 1976, when the country was given republic status. Where it was able to elect have a president to retain the Queen’s role.


Foreign Relations


Demographics (2011)

There is also the popular combination of the two Trinbagonian(s).
Local vernacular – “Trini”

           None 28%, N/A 4%, Primary 25%, Secondary 27%,

           Advanced (Post Secondary)- 10%, Tertiary (University+) 6%




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