Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


First settled by the Dutch West Indian Company about 1620, the territory was captured by Britain to whom it was ceded in 1814 and named British Guiana. To work the sugar plantations African slaves were transported here in the 18th century and East Indian and Chinese indentured labourers in the 19th century. From 1950 the anti-colonial struggle was spearheaded by the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) led by Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham. but after its election with a left-wing programme in the elections of 1953 the British government suspended the constitution. By the time internal autonomy was granted in 1961 Burnham had split with Jagan to form the more moderate People’s National Congress (PNC). After much conflict, instigated by Britain and the USA who tried to destabilise Jagan’s PPP government of 1961-64, Guyana became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1966 with Burnham as the first prime minister.


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Further Reading

  1. Baber, C. and Jeffrey, H. B., Guyana: Politics, Economics and Society. London. 1986Google Scholar
  2. Braveboy-Wagner J. A., The Venezuela-Guyana Border Dispute: Britain’s Colonial Legacy in Latin America. London. 1984Google Scholar
  3. Chambers, R. Guyana. [Bibliography] Oxford and Santa Barbara (CA). 1989Google Scholar
  4. Daly, P. H., From Revolution to Republic. Georgetown. 1970Google Scholar
  5. Daly, V. T., A Short History of the Guyanese People. 3rd. ed. London. 1992Google Scholar
  6. Sanders, A., The Powerless People. London. 1987Google Scholar
  7. Spinner, T. J., A Political and Social History of Guyana. 1945–83. Epping. 1985Google Scholar
  8. Williams, B. F. Stains on My Name. War in My Veins: Guyana and the Politics of Cultural Struggle. Duke Univ. Press, 1992Google Scholar
  9. National statistical office: Bureau of Statistics, Avenue of the Republic and Brickdam. GeorgetownGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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