Guyana History

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History

Guyana was first sighted by Columbus in 1498, but the first European settlement wasn’t made until the late 1500's by the Dutch. For the next 150 years, rule of the area alternated between the Dutch and British--except for a short period of French rule.

Although the British exercised effective control after 1796, the area was not ceded to the United Kingdom by the Dutch until 1814. It was governed as British Guiana, with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970.

Timeline

1796 -The British assumed control
1814 - The Dutch formally ceded the area
1831 - Guyana became a single British colony known as British Guiana
1966 - Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on
1970 - Guyana became a republic, remaining a member of the Commonwealth