The caribbean islands
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The caribbean islands. 11-2. I. Physical characteristics. A. 3 islands groups: 1. Greater Antilles – (4 largest islands) Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic), & Puerto Rico

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The caribbean islands

The caribbean islands


I physical characteristics
I. Physical characteristics

  • A. 3 islands groups:

    • 1. Greater Antilles – (4 largest islands) Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic), & Puerto Rico

    • 2. Lesser Antilles – curving arc that includes Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago, Netherland Antilles, and the remaining smaller Caribbean islands

    • 3. Bahamas – archipelago, or group of islands, consists of almost 700 islands

  • B. All of the islands are located in the tropics

  • C. Island Formations

    • 1. the Islands in the Greater Antilles and some of the Lesser Antilles are the tops of volcanic mountains that have been pushed up from the ocean floor

    • 2. some of the Lesser Antilles islands were formed by recent volcanoes & are still active (Martinique & St. Vincent)

    • 3. Coral Islands – those with flatter terrain, were formed by the remains of colonies of coral (Bahamas)

  • D. Marine Climate

    • 1. climate is affected more by sea & wind than by elevation

    • 2. year-round temperatures reach an average of 80 degrees

    • 3. windward side of the islands can reach 200 inches of rain/year

    • 4. leeward side of the islands can get only 30 inches of rain/year

Ii ethnic roots
II. Ethnic roots

  • A. Original Inhabitants

    • 1. within a century of Europeans coming to the Caribbean, most Native Americans vanished

    • 2. many died from disease and others died from the Europeans cruel treatment

  • B. African Descent

    • 1. the colonists needed people to work on their plantations, so they brought with them millions of enslaved Africans

    • 2. much of the Caribbean’s culture has been influenced by its African roots

  • C. Asian Immigrants

    • 1. most of the Asian population today are descendants from those that came voluntarily to work in the 19th century

    • 2. when slavery was abolished, the plantation owners searched for new workers

Iii caribbean nations today
III. Caribbean nations today

  • A. 90% of the population live in independent countries (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, & Trinidad and Tobago)

  • B. The other Caribbean islands are still politically linked to European countries or the US

    • 1. United Kingdom – British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and some smaller islands

    • 2. British Commonwealth – Jamaica and the Bahamas are independent members

    • 3. US Territories – U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico

    • 4. France – Guadeloupe and Martinique

    • 5. Netherlands – Netherlands Antilles and Aruba (govern themselves)

Iv economic activities
IV. Economic activities

  • A. Most islands depend on agriculture

  • B. Much of the world’s sugar, bananas, coconuts, cocoa, rice, and cotton are produced here

  • C. Besides growing these goods, many people in the islands work in industries related to them (like refining, packaging, loading, shipping, etc.)

  • D. Tourism is a very large part of the economy, although most hotels and cruise ships are owned by foreign companies…the islanders do not reap the benefits of these industries

V migration
V. migration

  • A. The sugar plantation’s busy season only lasts for 4 months, so during the dead season (“tiempomuerto”) workers pack up and move to find work in other islands, Central America, or the US

  • B. Unhappiness at Home

    • 1. some political changes have forced people to move to other places

    • 2. Cuba – after Fidel Castro set up a communist government, they were supported by the Soviet Union…when the Soviet Union fell in 1991, Cuba plunged into poverty

    • 3. Haiti – ruled by military dictators and very poor…so many people have fled to find better opportunities

  • C. Economic Benefits

    • 1. many people that move to find jobs elsewhere will send their paychecks home to their families

    • 2. this has helped these countries, because many people are no longer facing intense poverty

    • 3. the people at home use the money to buy goods which boost the economy