Leeward Islands

The Leeward Islands consist of the western and northernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles chain in the West Indies. The archipelago is dispersed in the middle of the northeastern Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean. It starts from the British Virgin Islands and the United States Virgin Islands that are part of the Greater Antilles, Anguilla, Saint Martin which is a French-Dutch settlement, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint-Barthelemy, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Montserrat, and Guadeloupe. The Leeward Islands’ name originated from sailing terminology “leeward” which means towards the opposite direction of the wind.

Most of the islands’ population is of African descent. Its economy is driven by the tourism industry that seasonally brings a decent number of visitors from North America and Europe.

In 1660, the Leeward Islands were settled by approximately 8,000 white colonists and about 2,000 slaves from Africa. The islands also became a British colony in 1671. Despite being smaller than other nearby Caribbean islands, the territory initiated the most significant resistance to the British Stamp Act. The federation of islands collapsed in 1816 and each island was ruled individually. However, the colony was restored in 1833.

The Government of Leeward Islands issued banknotes printed by Thomas De La Rue with a unified design on both obverses and reverse. The notes feature King George V in profile at the center of their obverse with the denomination on each side. Meanwhile, the reverse depicts the coat of arms and the denomination. Other notable design elements are leaves, flowers, and fruits. 

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