Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


First settled by the Dutch West Indian Company about 1620, the territory was captured by Britain to whom it was ceded in 1814 and named British Guiana. To work the sugar plantations African slaves were transported to Guyana in the 18th century and East Indian and Chinese indentured labourers in the 19th century. From 1950 the anti-colonial struggle was spearheaded by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) led by Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham. By the time internal autonomy was granted in 961 Burnham had split with Jagan to form the more moderate People’s National Congress (PNC). Guyana became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1966 with Burnham as the first prime minister, later president. By the 1980s, desperate economic straits had forced Guyana to seek outside help which came on condition of restoring free elections. Dr Jagan returned to power in 1992. Following his death in March 1997 his wife, Janet Jagan, was sworn in as President.


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Further Reading

  1. Braveboy-Wagner, J. A., The Venezuela-Guyana Border Dispute: Britain’s Colonial Legacy in Latin America. London, 1984Google Scholar
  2. Daly, V. T., A Short History of the Guyanese People. 3rd. ed. London, 1992Google Scholar
  3. Williams, B. F., Stains on My Name, War in My Veins: Guyana and the Politics of Cultural Struggle. Duke Univ. Press, 1992Google Scholar
  4. National statistical office: Bureau of Statistics, Avenue of the Republic and Brickdam, Georgetown.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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