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Our Island

Our Island

Montserrat remains a dependent colony of Great Britain despite a desire for independence on the part of many residents. The British appoint a governor who oversees the affairs of the island with the participation of an Executive and locally elected Legislative council. There are two main political parties; the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and the People’s Liberation Movement (PLM).

The influences of the Native American, Irish and African peoples who successively inhabited Montserrat have fused to create a unique culture. The language of the island is English with a distinctive accent that draws comparisons to the Irish brogue.

African slave ships arrived in Montserrat in the middle 1600’s bringing their human cargo as the sugar plantation system took root in the island as it did throughout the Caribbean. The importation of slaves from Africa continued until the abolishment of the institution of slavery in 1834 on the island.

The Saladoid Native Americans who migrated from South America initially settled the island millennia ago. Archaeologists have found their artifacts at sites on the island. The more warlike Caribs, who gave the region its name, regularly raided Montserrat in later times and established a presence on the island prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

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