Map - Dominica
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Dominica ( ; ; Kali‘na (Carib): ), officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth of Dominica had a population of 71,293 at the 2011 Census. The capital is Roseau which is located on the leeward side of the island.
Dominica has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" for its unspoiled natural beauty. It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world's second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake. The island features lush mountainous rainforests, home of many rare plant, animal, and bird species. There are xeric areas in some of the western coastal regions, but heavy rainfall can be expected inland. Dominica is the only country in the world with a count of 365 rivers. The Sisserou Parrot (also known as the Imperial Amazon), is found only on the Caribbean Island of Dominica and is the island's national bird. It is featured on the national flag. Dominica's economy is heavily dependent on both tourism and agriculture.
Christopher Columbus named the island after the day of the week on which he spotted it, a Sunday (dominica in Latin), 3 November 1493. In the hundred years after Columbus's landing, Dominica remained isolated. More Caribs settled there after being driven from surrounding islands, as European powers entered the region. France had a colony for several years, importing African slaves to work on its plantations. In this period, the Antillean Creole language developed. France formally ceded possession of Dominica to Great Britain in 1763. Great Britain established a small colony on the island in 1805.
Britain emancipated slaves throughout the British Empire in 1834. By 1838, Dominica became the first British Caribbean colony to have a legislature controlled by an ethnic African majority. In 1896, the United Kingdom took governmental control of Dominica, turning it into a Crown colony. Half a century later, from 1958 to 1962, Dominica became a province of the short-lived West Indies Federation. On 3 November 1978, Dominica became an independent nation.
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