Barbados was settled by the British during the 1620s and developed as a sugar plantation economy, initially on the basis of slavery until its abolition in the 1840s. In 1951 universal suffrage was introduced, followed in 1954 by cabinet government. Full internal self-government was attained in Oct. 1961. On 30 Nov. 1966 Barbados became an independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth.
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