Interesting PODs concerning little island nations of the Caribbean

Any Lesser Antilles fans over here ? If so, join the discussion !

Alternate prehistory of the lands, alternate colonization by native Caribbeans/Europeans/whoever, alternate island economies, alternate changes of owners, alternate grantings of independence, etc., etc.

So, feel free to come up with some nice and plausible PODs !

We'll make an exception and also allow post-1900 PODs in this thread, just to have it as one core thread for this topic. Okay ?

List of countries and territories that I have in mind:

Antigua and Barbuda
Anguilla
Aruba
The Bahamas
Barbados
The Cayman Islands
Dominica
The Dominican Republic
Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
The (now former) Netherlands Antilles (Saba, St. Marteen, Curacao, etc.)
Saints Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos
The various Virgin Islands (American, British, Danish, etc.)
The various French territories like Saint Barthélemy, Martinique, Guadelope, etc.

I am deliberately avoiding Cuba and Puerto Rico. They've been discussed to death. So, please, don't put PODs about them in here.
 

Grey Wolf

Gone Fishin'
St Barts could remain Swedish without the hurricaine which wrecked Gustavia

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
Well not 'exact' PODs but could we see more Communist nations?
Communist ? Well, that's a bit tricky. More socialist-style nations, maybe. Grenada and its JEWEL movement were hot OTL candidates (until the intervention). Just because Cuba - a very different isle compared to the rest of the Carribbean - went communist, doesn't mean all other island nations in the region would start adopting communism like hotcakes.
 
I think a POD worth discussing (and even exploring for someone who has the knowledge and interest) would be if the Haitian occupation of the Dominican Republic was not so heavy-handed as it was. Much to the contrary of many Dominicans nowadays, there was a large group of people, particularly among the elites of the northern Cibao region that supported the union of the Dominican Republic with Haiti. And the actual invasion and conquest was a bloodless affair though it helped that the Dominicans, even if they wanted to, couldn't mount much of an effective army to defend the country against the hardened Haitian army.

The annexation put an effective end to the practice of colonial slavery and a constitution modeled on that of the United States. Had they not passed several resolutions aimed at turning the Dominicans into second-class citizens and thus pushing them towards separatism, the island of Hispaniola would have remained united.
 
Another interesting geologic POD is the Soufrière Hills volcano erupting earlier.

IOTL, the volcano became active in 1995 and erupted. The eruption was catastrophic for Montserrat, the island on which it is located. Half of the land area became uninhabitable, 2/3 of the population was forced to flee, and the capitol city, Plymouth, was completely destroyed. The ash cloud, meanwhile, caused economic damage throughout the northern Lesser Antilles.

An eruption of the volcano at any point from 1650 onwards would certainly be an interesting POD, affecting both British, French, and Dutch colonial strategies in the area.

A second POD that could have minor, but interesting consequences is the Nevis independence referendum, in 1998.

Cheers,
Ganesha
 
Lots of them here. I'll avoid the usual revolutionary ones:

The country isn't partitioned between Christophe and Pétion in 1807 or, alternatively, it stays partitioned, with a black state in the north centered on Cap-Haitien and a mulatto-dominated state in the south with its capital at Port-au-Prince. The two countries adopted very different development models during the partition, with Christophe trying to organize the rural population into plantation serfdom while Pétion went for land reform, so either an absence of partition or continued separatism would have major knock-on effects.

Lysius Salomon doesn't try for a second term, and is able to pick a successor with similar modernizing views (most likely one more acceptable to the mulatto elite).

No American occupation. For this, we'd probably have to butterfly two things: the German dominance of the urban economy (which made the United States very nervous during the run-up to WWI) and the descent into failed state status during 1911-15. Preventing Leconte's death/assassination (nobody's sure) might help, but might not be sufficient in itself.

A more successful noiriste administration under Dumarsais Estimé in the 1940s - would probably require less corruption, and an American administration more tolerant of left-wing populism in the near abroad.

Wolf_brother has suggested that the Morant Bay rebellion of 1865 might be avoided. If so, rebellion or protest would break out eventually, because the underlying grievances would remain, but Jamaica would retain internal self-government rather than becoming a crown colony, and George Gordon would survive and remain in the assembly. This could open the door to gradualist reform during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
 
Prior to the joint American-CPF invasion of Grenada, a congressional study group made the conclusion that the invasion was justified, as most members felt that American students studying abroad in the country could be taken as hostages as the US diplomats in Iran several years prior. The report led to then House Speaker Tip O'Neill to support the invasion. If there was no study group or they had come to a different conclusion, the Americans might not have involved itself directly in the invasion though I'm sure with a man like Reagan commanding the Presidency, he would have sent support somehow.

No Goldwater-Nichols Act, or at least nothing like it for a couple more years.
 
Fantastic ! This is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping for ! :cool: Keep it coming, guys. :) I'm going to be busy during the weekend, but I swear I'll post a few ideas on Sunday, when I get back home.

For now, here's a few rather simple ones:

Saint Vincentian Caribs get defeated by the European colonial powers sooner and the island is colonized prior to 1719 (in OTL, it held out uncolonized until then, which is rather remarkable).

What if Saint Vincent's economy isn't geared purely towards one crop, allowing it to diversify and acquire wealth more early on, particularly after gaining independence ? Furthermore, what if Grenada wasn't so overly specialized on nutmeg production ?

What if Rastafarianism never comes into being in Jamaica ? Could it have some other peculiar replacement ?

What if the failed-in-OTL West Indies Federation survives in some form or other ?

What if Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla stays a reality for a longer time (maybe even until today), with Anguilla becoming fully intergrated into an OTL-esque Kittsian-Nevisian federation ?

What if more distinct Carribbean native populations survive on the islands, as in OTL Dominica ?
 
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Trinidad and Tobago is a fascinating country.

The Jamaat al Muslimeen coup attempt could likely have been avoided if Eric Williams was not so anti-Islamic. That would mean better relations and perhaps an influx of African muslim immigration in last twenty years.

Cheers,
Ganesha
 
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There is that (in)famous choice the British gave the French after the Seven Years War on whether to keep Martinique or New France. The French chose Martinique as it was an actually profitable colony and the companies chartered to run New France were exceedingly inept and never managed to make it amount to much. Now, if there was a competent Company of 100 Associates that ran New France and made it just as successful as any of the neighbouring British holdings, perhaps the French may have chosen differently and let the Brits keep Martinique.

We'll make an exception and also allow post-1900 PODs in this thread, just to have it as one core thread for this topic. Okay ?
Okay!

In 1911 the government of the Bahamas asked to join the Dominion of Canada, but the idea was shot down by Ottawa. I've always been fascinated by the idea of the Bahamas beicoming the tenth province, but I don't really know of any PoDs that would make Ottawa more receptive to the idea.
 
A bit far-fetched, but what if the plan of those militionist hicks would succeed and they'd temporarily invade Dominica (i.e. no "Bayou of Pigs", as in OTL) ?

In 1911 the government of the Bahamas asked to join the Dominion of Canada, but the idea was shot down by Ottawa. I've always been fascinated by the idea of the Bahamas beicoming the tenth province, but I don't really know of any PoDs that would make Ottawa more receptive to the idea.
Haha, yeah ! That's one of the wackiest of all the PODs. I love the sheer ballsiness of it. :D

Trinidad and Tobago is a fascinating country.
Indeed. Given the dynamic and multicultural history of Caribbean countries, a lot of seemingly small political changes could have far reaching effects on their culture and society. I mean, if Guyana and Suriname became Spanish territories early on, they (along with TT) would've been far more South American in feel than the "Carribbean-culture-on-the-mainland-with-forests" that we know today.

Fun fact: Guyana had its first railway constructed already in 1848 (!!!). :eek: When most South American countries weren't even dreaming of it. It gradually died in the 20th century, but the railway enthusiast deep down in you wishes that it would have survived in an ATL. ;) For that matter, the railway and tramway history in the Carribbean is richer than the average person thinks. Most of the wealthier small islands had quite a lot of railways in the past. Even Turks and Caicos, lol. :D Only the one on St. Kitts survives, if we don't count bigger islands like Jamaica. Curiously, the Dominican Republic built its first railways only in the 20th century. Cuba's railways are the oldest (1837), but Cuba is tabu in this thread. ;)
 
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My personal favourite is what if the planners for Cromwell's West Indies Expedition in 1655 made proper plans, thus when the New Model Army attacks Hispaniola, rather than being humiliated, they smash the Spanish defences and capture that islands, instead of Jamaica as they did IOTL.
 
My personal favourite is what if the planners for Cromwell's West Indies Expedition in 1655 made proper plans, thus when the New Model Army attacks Hispaniola, rather than being humiliated, they smash the Spanish defences and capture that islands, instead of Jamaica as they did IOTL.
Related to this, the previous retaking of the British colonies in the Carribean from the royalists in 1651 was not that well prepared either. The quick victory on Barbados included some considerable luck and treason among Barbados´ leadership and caused the other colonies to surrender almost immediatly. But what if the roundheads need longer, take only one of the less important islands or are even forced to retreat?
 
I've read from somewhere that the Portuguese might of visited the Lesser Antilles prior to the Spaniards. What if these visits turned into an even earlier colonization? Generally it would be interesting to see a proper time line where the Portuguese have more of an interest in the West Indies instead of the East Indies. Perhaps Christopher Columbus sails for the Portuguese as well.

A Portuguese Empire fully focused on the Atlantic trade will keep their empire together longer. While the Eastern trade might go to either the Spanish or even someone else. I am not sure if the Portuguese could do both a West Indies trade and settlement as well as sending vessels into the Indian Ocean.
 
The 1930 Labour riots could have produced very interesting results.
Especially Trinidad and Tobago, were there were Communist and Fabian Socialist elements present and active.

On the darker side, Trinidad and Tobago could very well have ended up running through serious racial issues (eg. sectarian violence, apartheid, etc...) or multiple coups , due to the diverse inhabitants and their former greivances against one another (Indians, Douglas, Blacks, etc.), and having one of the biggest militaries in the English speaking Caribbean.
 
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Related to this, the previous retaking of the British colonies in the Carribean from the royalists in 1651 was not that well prepared either. The quick victory on Barbados included some considerable luck and treason among Barbados´ leadership and caused the other colonies to surrender almost immediatly. But what if the roundheads need longer, take only one of the less important islands or are even forced to retreat?
Good point, though I doubt they'd have been able to hold out for much longer... Then again if they managed to repel every inevitable Roundhead attack on the islands, then by the Anglo-Dutch War (if it still happens) then the Dutch could help the Cavaliers out.Though I think the islands just cannot repel the Roundheads.
 
Good point, though I doubt they'd have been able to hold out for much longer... Then again if they managed to repel every inevitable Roundhead attack on the islands, then by the Anglo-Dutch War (if it still happens) then the Dutch could help the Cavaliers out.Though I think the islands just cannot repel the Roundheads.
I have to admit I have only limited knowledge about age and area. Anyway my two cents:
From what I recall the initial force had only seven ships. Only when using 13 ships bound for Virginia Ayscue dared to do more than raids on Barbados. A major victory shortly thereafter in combination with bad weather caused the governour to surrender and Barbados received very generous terms. An overconfident pariamental commander might decide to attack before the reinforcements arrive, thereby receiving serious losses. Or the reinforcements are delayed some weeks and Barbados thus holds out longer. And finally there is always the possibility that Barbados receives harsher terms than otl. Even if Barbados still falls, each of this PODs might cause the other colonies to fight instead of simply giving up. You surely can imagine the numerous changes that can mean. British America as royalist stronghold? A more independent British Americas even after restoration? Even in a full victory a more difficult campaign would change Cromwells plans for the West Indies fundamentally. He might have to abandon expansion alltogether with the need to garrison the exsisting restive colonies. Or perhaps someone realizes that warfare in the carribean is a lot more difficult than otls West Indies expedition took into equation. The possibilities are endless.
 
Napoleons borther in law, Leclarc, succeeds in crushing the the resistence from the just newly independent haitians, restoring slavery, and cementing the economic boom france needed for napoleons dreams of keeping and securing his empire in the new world.
 
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