West Indies

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West Indies
Waters Caribbean Sea , Atlantic Ocean
Geographical location 17 ° 59 ′  N , 63 ° 53 ′  W Coordinates: 17 ° 59 ′  N , 63 ° 53 ′  W
West Indies (Atlantic Ocean)
West Indies
Main island CubaCuba Cuba

The West Indies (West Indies) consist of several archipelagos off Central America and South America in the Atlantic Ocean . The great arch of islands in the Antilles forms the northern and eastern borders of the Caribbean Sea . Further north are the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands (which are sometimes referred to as " Lucayen ").


The West Indies in the Caribbean are divided into:

Caribbean - Greater Antilles.PNG Greater Antilles CubaCuba Cuba , Jamaica , Hispaniola and Puerto RicoJamaicaJamaica Puerto RicoPuerto Rico 
Caribbean - Lesser Antilles-2010-24-05.PNG Lesser Antilles Leeward Islands ( Virgin Islands to Grenada ) and  Leeward Islands ( Isla Margarita to Aruba ) GrenadaGrenada 
Bahamas in its region.svg BahamasBahamas Bahamas Located northeast of Cuba
Turks and Caicos Islands in its region.svg Turks Islands and Caicos IslandsTurks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands Located north of Hispaniola


Herman Moll : A Map of the West Indies , 1736

In the historical name West India , the part of the name ... india is derived from the fact that Christopher Columbus actually wanted to find the western sea route to "India" (that is, East Asia) and on his four journeys he was never aware that he had found a new continent .

However, the name is misleading. West Indian usually means "in the west of India," which is not the case in this case. Rather, the naming is based on the fact that the West Indies were discovered on the western route to India - in contrast to the previously known India, which was always associated with the idea of ​​the route to the east (" East India "). That there was a western sea route from Spain to India was an assumption that was also expressed by the English philosopher Roger Bacon , who referred to Seneca, Pliny and Aristotle.

The Anglophone part of the West Indies is known as the British West Indies .


Regional studies and hydrology

  • Gerhard Beese: Caribbean Islands. West Indies from Cuba to Arub a. DuMont, Cologne, 4th edition 1990, ISBN 3-7701-1466-3 .
  • Helmut Blume : Antilles. Tropical islands in the Caribbean Sea . Kümmerly & Frey, Bern 1972.
  • German Hydrographic Institute (ed.): West India Handbook . Part 2: The Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and the Greater Antilles (except Cuba) . German Hydrographic Institute, Hamburg 1967.
  • Rudolf Glusa: On the political geography of West India . Diss. University of Münster, 1961.
  • Hans-Dieter Haas , Udo Bader, Jörg Grumptmann: Caribbean small and micro-states. Economic external dependence and integration efforts. Helmut Blume on his 65th birthday . Attempto-Verlag, Tübingen 1985, ISBN 3-921552-62-1 .
  • Willy Georg Kükenthal, Robert Hartmeyer : Results of a zoological research trip to the West Indies in 1907 . G. Fischer, Jena 1929.


  • Heinrich Loth: The slave ship. The history of the slave trade. Africa, West Indies, America . Union-Verlag, Berlin 1981.


  • Janheinz Jahn (Ed.): Jubilee day in Jamaica. West Indies in Tales of Its Best Contemporary Writers . Erdmann, Herrenalb 1965.
  • Peter Schultze-Kraft (Ed.): The discovery of West India. Tales from the Caribbean . Gutenberg Book Guild, Frankfurt am Main 1989.
  • VS Naipaul : On the slave route. My trip to the West Indies . Translated by Nikolaus Stingl. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-455-11274-9 .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ John Henry Bridges: The Opus Maius of Roger Bacon. 2 volumes, London 1900, p. 290.