Turks and Caicos Islands History

Turks and Caicos Islands History and Government


The first residents of the islands were the indigenous people, including the Arawak people, who were, for centuries, gradually replaced by the Caribs. The first European to document the islands was the Spanish conqueror Juan Ponce de León, who did so in 1512. During the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the islands passed from Spanish, to French, to British control, but none of the three ever-established powers materialized any settlement. Turks and Caicos Islands comprehensive information can be found on simplyyellowpages.

For several decades around the turn of the 18th century pirate havens became popular. Bermuda salt gatherers settled the Turk Islands around 1680. In 1765 – 1783 they were under French occupation. After (American Revolution 1775 – 1783) many loyalists fled to the Caribbean colonies, including (in 1783) the first settlers of the Caicos Islands, cotton briefly became an important crop. In 1799, both the Turks and the Caicos group of islands were annexed by Great Britain as part of the Bahamas.

In 1841, the Trouvadore, a Spanish ship participating in the slave trade, was wrecked off the coast of East Caicos, one of the largest Caicos Islands. One hundred and ninety-two Africans in captivity survived the sinking and reached land, where, under British rule, the slave trade was illegal. These survivors were trainees for a year settled mainly on the Grand Turk Island. A letter of documents from 1878 to the Trouvadore Africans and their descendants, who constitute an essential part of the “working woman” population on the islands. In 2004 Marine archaeologists rediscovered a shipwreck, called the “Black Rock Ship”, which subsequent research has suggested may be that of the Trouvadore. This proposal was endorsed in a NOAA-funded underwater archeology expedition in November 2008 that confirmed artifact remains comprising the style and date of manufacture in support of the association of these remains with that of the Trouvadore. The remains, however, have not been identified with absolute certainty.

In 1848, the Turks and Caicos Islands were declared a separate colony under a Council President. The last holder remained in 1873, when the islands became part of the Jamaica colony, in 1894, the chief officer of the colony was remodeled as a commissioner. In 1917, Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden suggested that the Turks and Caicos Islands join Canada, but this suggestion was rejected by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. The islands remained a dependency of Jamaica until 1959.

The 4 of July of 1959, the islands were again a separate colony, the last commissioner being remodeled administrator, but the governor of Jamaica remained the governor of the islands. Up to 31 of maypole of 1962, which was one of the constituent parts of the Federation of the West Indies.

When Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain in August 1962, the Turks and Caicos Islands became a crown colony. Since 1965, the Governor of the Bahamas was also Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands and oversaw the affairs of the islands. When the Bahamas gained its independence in 1973, the Turks and Caicos Islands received its own governor (the last administrator was remodeled). In 1974, the New Democratic Party of Canada MP Max Saltsman tried to use his private law bill to create legislation to annex the islands of Canada, but it failed in the Canadian House of Commons. [7]

The islands have had their own government headed by a prime minister, the first of whom was James Alexander George Smith McCartney, since August 1976. In 1979, a move towards independence was agreed in principle for 1982, but a change in the government caused a policy change, and instead of approaching the Canadian government to discuss a possible union, but at the same time the Government of Canada it was embroiled in a debate about free trade with the United States, and little attention was paid to the suggestion. In 2004, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia issued an invitation to join, but the Canadian government said it would consider the matter later. Political troubles on the islands in recent years have resulted in a new constitution promulgated in 2006 and a resumption of direct rule by the British government in 2009.


The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British overseas territory, so it is under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, from whom it receives its political structure. It is governed by the 2006 constitution. The head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, who is represented by a governor appointed directly by the monarch, and who oversees the work of a Legislative Council. The UK deals primarily with defense and foreign affairs. The executive is exercised by a chief minister, appointed by the governor from among the parliamentary majority, supported by an Executive Council of 8 members, of which 5 are elected by the governor. Legislative power is in the hands of the Legislative Council (unicameral), made up of 19 members, 13 of whom are elected by popular vote every four years. The Judicial Power is in charge of a Supreme Court of Justice.

Administrative divition

Administratively the Turks and Caicos Islands are divided into six districts.


  • Providenciales and West Caicos, capital of Blue Hills.
  • North Caicos, capital Bottle Creek.
  • Middle Caicos, capital Conch Bar.
  • South Caicos and East Caicos, capital Cockburn Harbor.

Turks islands

  • Grand Turk, capital Cockburn Town.
  • Salt Cay, capital of Balfour Town.

Turks and Caicos Islands History