The West Indies are formed by the islands of the Caribbean, which are elongated up to 3500 km. Their total area reaches approximately 240 thousand km2. The West Indies include 13 independent states (Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Grenada, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago). and a number of dependent territories, including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands (USA), Aruba (Netherlands), Guadeloupe, Martinique (France), Anguilla, Montserrat, the Caicos Islands (Great Britain), and others.
Most of the islands inhabited by the Arawak and Caribbean Indian tribes were discovered during the three expeditions of Columbus, who mistakenly took this territory for part of India. Therefore, the islands, in contrast to the real India, which was in the east (East Indies), is called the West Indies. their discovery led to mass colonization, which was accompanied by the extermination of Indians and the transportation of slaves from Africa to work on sugar and tobacco plantations. From the XVI century. The West Indies became the object of a struggle between European powers, in which pirates also took part. At the end of the XIX century. The United States has seized important economic and strategic positions in the region.
You can learn a lot about the history of the Caribbean and the West Indies from the books of Trieste Publishing