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The Governor-General also had the full power by the British Government to veto any laws passed by the Federation. The Federal Parliament was bicameral , consisting of a nominated Senate and a popularly elected House of Representatives. The Senate consisted of nineteen members.


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These members were appointed by the Governor General, after consulting the respective territorial governments. Two members represented each unit with only one from Montserrat.

The House of Representatives had 45 total elected members — Jamaica had seventeen seats, Trinidad and Tobago ten seats, Barbados five seats, Montserrat one seat, and the remaining islands two seats each. However the government executive would be a Council of State, not a Cabinet. It would be presided over by the Governor-General and consist of the Prime Minister and ten other officials.

Three member states were proposed as hosts for the capital city of the federation: Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Earlier in the federal negotiations the general opinion had been that the capital should be one of the smaller islands so that the capital would be in a neutral position to the larger territories and it would be able to inject some buoyancy into one of the then poorer economies.

To this end, Grenada was "tentatively" selected as the member state to host the capital but this was abandoned after protests from some of the parties involved, and at the London Conference the smaller islands were ruled out for consideration. In preparation for the first federal elections, two Federation-wide parties were organised as confederations of local political parties.

A small third party, the Federal Democratic Party was founded in November by a group of Trinidadians, although it did not win any seats. The platforms for the two major national parties were similar in many respects. Both advocated maintaining and strengthening ties with the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada countries with which the islands had strong cultural and economic links ; encouraging and expanding tourism; working to bring British Guiana and British Honduras into the Federation and to obtain loans, financial aid, and technical assistance.

Despite these similarities, there were differences. The WIFLP had advocated the encouragement of agriculture while the DLP had promised a climate favourable to both private industry and labour, development of human and economic resources. The WIFLP also campaigned to establish a central bank for the extension of credit resources and advocated a democratic socialist society and full internal self-government for all the unit territories, whilst avoiding the issues of freedom of movement and a customs union.

The DLP said nothing about full internal self-government, attacked socialism, wished to avoid high taxation via loans and technical aid and emphasized West Indian unity, freedom of worship and speech, and encouragement of trade unions. Federal elections were held on March 25, The selection of Adams as the Prime Minister was indicative of the problems the Federation would face.

Eric Williams , Premier of Trinidad and Tobago. However, neither had contested the Federal elections, preferring to remain in control of their respective island power bases. This suggested that the leaders of the two most important provinces did not see the Federation as viable. The absence of the leading Jamaican politicians from any role at the federal level was to undermine the Federation's unity.

The Federation also had a number of units deemed to be common services for the entire federation, these were: [22]. The politics of the embryonic Federation were wrecked by struggles between the federal government and the provincial governments, and between the two largest provinces Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and the smaller provinces.

The West Indies Federation had an unusually weak federal structure.


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  8. For instance, its provinces were not contained in a single customs union. Thus, each province functioned as a separate economy, complete with tariffs, largely because the smaller provinces were afraid of being overwhelmed by the large islands' economies. Also, complete freedom of movement within the Federation was not implemented, as the larger provinces were worried about mass migration from the smaller islands.

    In this sense, the current European Union can be said to have implemented a more unified economic space than the West Indian attempt. Nor could the federal government take its component states to task.

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    The initial federal budget was quite small, limiting the federal government's ability to use its financial largess as a carrot. It was dependent upon grants from the United Kingdom and from its member states. The provincial budgets of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were both larger than the federal budget. This led to repeated requests for those states to provide greater financing to the federal government. These requests were not well received, as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago together already contributed 85 percent of the federal revenue, in roughly equal portions.

    Furthermore, the office of the Prime Minister was a weak one. The Federation maintained a particularly close relationship with Canada , which had a similar past in that it was a federation of several former British colonies. In the early years, several Caribbean leaders suggested that the West Indies Federation should investigate the possibility of becoming a Canadian province.

    Despite the breakdown in talks, in May , Canada presented the West Indies Federation with two of the region's most important gifts: two merchant ships , named The Federal Palm and The Federal Maple. Many reasons have been put forward to explain the demise of the federation. These include the lack of local popular support, competing insular nationalism , the weakness of the federal government, prohibitions on federal taxation and freedom of movement, inadequacies in the Federal constitution , fundamental changes made to the constitution very early in its existence, political feuds between the influential leaders, the decision of the three most influential politicians not to contest Federal elections, friction between these leaders and the Federal government, the overwhelming concentration of population and resources in the two largest units, geographic and cultural distance between the units, the lack of a history of common administration, and the impact of the period of self-government that followed the promotion from Crown Colony system.

    However, the immediate catalyst for the dissolution of the Federation was Jamaican discontent. By , there were a number of reasons for Jamaica's dissatisfaction with the state of affairs:.

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    The most important reason for Jamaican dissatisfaction was the Federation's continuing colonial status. Jamaica had joined the Federation because its leaders had believed that the West Indies would quickly be granted independence. Nearly three years after the formation of the Federation, this had not occurred; meanwhile, smaller British colonies, like Cyprus and Sierra Leone , had gained independence.

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    Thus, many Jamaicans believed that the island could and should seek independence in its own right. There were also problems with the Federation's proposed capital in Chaguaramas , at that time still in the hands of the United States having leased it as a naval base from the United Kingdom during World War 2.

    Many of the Caribbean provincial leaders wanted Chaguaramas to be the Federation's capital. For many Jamaicans it appeared that the Federation would then just hamper their development and movement towards independence. Manley himself lost the subsequent island elections in April , and Bustamante became the first Prime Minister of an independent Jamaica on 6 August After Jamaica left, there was an attempt to salvage a new federation from the wreckage of the old. Much depended on Premier Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, who had stated previously that he wanted a "strong federation".

    Premier Vere Bird of Antigua responded that his province would only be in a federation with Trinidad as an equal partner, not as "a little Tobago". He did indicate that a strong federation was acceptable provided that no attempt was made to create a unitary state. Negotiations on this new federation began in September ; however, they indicated that Trinidad would have to provide 75 to 80 percent of the new Federation's revenue.

    Also, even though Trinidad would now represent 60 percent of the new Federation's population, the proposals under consideration would give it less than half of the seats in parliament. By November, Williams indicated that he was now in favour of the idea of a unitary state. Failing that, he resolved to take Trinidad and Tobago into independence. In this, he was buoyed by his re-election as Trinidadian leader on December 4, Williams himself stated that "one from ten leaves nought"—in other words, without Jamaica, no Federation was possible.

    Trinidad and Tobago became independent on August 31, Seven years are spent in primary school. During the final year of primary school, students prepare for and sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment SEA which determines the secondary school the child will attend.

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    Public Primary and Secondary education is free for all, although private and religious schooling is available for a fee. Government also currently subsidises some Masters programmes. Both the Government and the private sector also provide financial assistance in the form of academic scholarships to gifted or needy students for study at local, regional or international universities.

    Trinidad and Tobago has a diverse culture mixing African, Indian and European influences, reflecting the various communities who have migrated to the islands over the centuries. The island is particularly renowned for its annual Carnival celebrations. Trinidad and Tobago claims two Nobel Prize -winning authors, V.

    Trinidad and Tobago is the birthplace of calypso music and the steelpan. Holder also has a distinguished film career, and Headley has won a Grammy Award as well. Trinidad and Tobago is also smallest country to have two Miss Universe titleholders and the first black woman ever to win: Janelle Commissiong in , followed by Wendy Fitzwilliam in ; the country has also had one Miss World titleholder, Giselle LaRonde.

    Hasely Crawford won the first Olympic gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago in the men's metre dash in the Summer Olympics. Nine different athletes from Trinidad and Tobago have won twelve medals at the Olympics, beginning with a silver medal in weightlifting , won by Rodney Wilkes in , [] and most recently, a gold medal by Keshorn Walcott in the men's javelin throw in Ato Boldon has won the most Olympic and World Championship medals for Trinidad and Tobago in athletics, with eight in total — four from the Olympics and four from the World Championships.

    Boldon was the sole world champion Trinidad and Tobago has produced until Jehue Gordon in Moscow At the World Championship in London, the Men 4x relay team captured the title, thus the country now celebrates three world championships titles. Keshorn Walcott as stated above came first in javelin and earned a gold medal, making him the second Trinidadian in the country's history to receive one.

    This also makes him the first Western [ clarification needed ] athlete in 40 years to receive a gold medal in the javelin sport, and the first athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to win a gold medal in a field event in the Olympics.

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    Sprinter Richard Thompson is also from Trinidad and Tobago. He came second place to Usain Bolt in the Beijing Olympics in the metres feet with a time of 9. In The Court of Arbitration for Sport made its final decision on the failed doping sample from the Jamaican team in the 4 x relay in the Olympic Games. The team from Trinidad and Tobago will be awarded the Gold medal, because of the second rank during the relay run. Cricket is a popular sport of Trinidad and Tobago, often deemed the national sport, and there is intense inter-island rivalry with its Caribbean neighbours. The national team plays at the first-class level in regional competitions such as the Regional Four Day Competition and Regional Super Trinidad and Tobago along with other islands from the Caribbean co-hosted the Cricket World Cup.

    Brian Lara , world record holder for the most runs scored both in a Test and in a First Class innings and other records, was born in a small town of Santa Cruz and is often referred to as the Prince of Port of Spain or simply the Prince. This legendary West Indian batsman is widely regarded along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar [ citation needed ] as one of the best batsmen ever to have played the game, [ citation needed ] and is one of the most famous sporting icons in the country.

    Association football is also a popular sport in Trinidad and Tobago. The men's national football team qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time by beating Bahrain in Manama on 16 November , making them the second smallest country ever in terms of population to qualify, after Iceland. The team, coached by Dutchman Leo Beenhakker , and led by Tobagonian-born captain Dwight Yorke , drew their first group game — against Sweden in Dortmund , 0—0, but lost the second game to England on late goals, 0—2.