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Guyana - History



Guyana - History
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.05

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    much-abused, near-total, africans, turbulence, commerce, unlivable, administration, banded, prosperity, sole, revolt, leadership, minority, status, arrival, politics
     content words:    South America, Native American, Essequibo River, Dutch West India Company, Napoleonic Wars, British Guyana, Lord Moyne, Moyne Commission, Progressive Party, National Congress


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Guyana - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     Do you know what the phrase "race relations" refers to? Generally, the phrase "race relations" refers to how well people of different races agree or disagree within a society. As most countries throughout the world have different races in their populations, race relations are an important issue in most nations. How are race relations in your country? Do people of different races get along?
 
2     This idea of race relations is explained pretty easily by the history of Guyana. Guyana is a country in northern South America, along the Caribbean coast. Throughout its history, people from all over the world have come to live there. These people come from dramatically different backgrounds: Native American, European, African and Indian. Guyana's history is a story of how those groups have lived together, sometimes agreeing, and sometimes disagreeing violently.
 
3     Guyanese history started about 35,000 years ago with the arrival of native groups to the area. The Arawak and Carib native groups were the largest to settle in the area of Guyana. The Arawak were mostly peaceful types, while the Caribs were warriors. They lived almost entirely unnoticed until the arrival of the Europeans in the 17th century.
 
4     The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle Guyana. They created the first European settlement there in 1616, which was a trading post along the Essequibo River. The Dutch gave control of the settlement and all the known lands of Guyana to the Dutch West India Company. The company would serve as the Dutch government and sole business in Guyana.
 
5     The Dutch weren't very kind to the natives. The natives who didn't die of new European diseases were either forced into slave labor or fled their homes. Most left the areas around the Dutch settlements in the north to the thick jungles of the Guyanese south. What was left wasn't much of a work force, and the Dutch knew they had to bring in more labor. So they turned to a much-abused source of slave labor: Africa.

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