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Sir Grantley Herbert Adams

(1898—1971) prime minister of the Federation of the West Indies


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(b. St Michael, Barbados, 12 Apr. 1898; d. St Michael, Barbados, 28 Nov. 1971)

Barbadian; Premier 1951–8, Prime Minister of West Indies Federation 1958–62 An important figure in the regional movement towards integration, Adams was knighted in 1957. The following year the West Indies Federation of ten English-speaking territories was established and Adams became its first and only Prime Minister. Soon, however, tensions between the larger islands such as Jamaica and Trinidad and the smaller territories emerged, and Adams was accused of weak and indecisive leadership. The Federation finally collapsed in 1962 and Adams returned to national politics in Barbados, which by now was ruled by the rival Democratic Labour Party (DLP). By this time Adams was perceived as having lost much of the radicalism of the 1930s and he remained in opposition for the rest of his political life.

Barbados won its independence from Britain in 1966 with Adams on the political sidelines, but he is now commonly considered one of the fathers of Barbadian nationhood. His son, Tom Adams, took over control of the DLP which still remains the most important political party in the island.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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