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History

Discovered by Spain in 1499, Guyana came under Dutch control by the mid-1700s, but the Dutch had been exploring the islands for close to a hundred years. In 1814, the British took control of the territory after several failed attempts, and with the transfer of power, large masses of African and East Indian slaves and migrants began to populate the area.  Guyana stopped the practice of importing labor in 1917, by which time some 250,000 people settled in the territory.

Under Cheddi Jagan of the People's Progressive Party (PPP), the first modern political party in the country, Guyana attained self-government status in 1961. In 1953, however, Jagan helped establish the country's constitution, which was quickly abolished by the British for fear it would bring the country into communism. Economic austerity programs implemented shortly thereafter led to widespread riots and strikes forcing the British to step in and restore order in a poor economic climate. The 1964 elections resulted in a coalition government under Forbes Burnham of the People's National Congress (PNC).

On May 26th, 1966 Guyana gained independence from the British. Four years later on February 23rd, 1970 Guyana was officially named The Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

Once again on March 19th. 2001, the Guyanese People went again to the Polls. The PPP/Civic once again won the elections.

 

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Updated: 25 April 2008

Source: http://www.guyana.org/Handbook/history.html

 


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