But Canada is bound only by a voluntary allegiance, Guiana is unimportant, and in the West Indian islands, where the independence of Hayti and the loss of Cuba and Porto Rico by Spain have diminished the European sphere, European dominion is only a survival of the colonial epoch.
Attention has been paid in the West Indies to seed selection, by the officers of the imperial Department of Agriculture, with the object of retaining for West Indian Sea Island cotton its place as the most valuable cotton on the British market.
The West Indian possessions of Holland include Dutch Guiana or the government of Surinam, and the Dutch Antilles or the government of Curagoa and its dependencies (St Eustatius, Saba, the southern half of St Martin, Curagoa, Bonaire and Aruba), a total area of 60,000 sq.
The three remaining families of the Hystricoidea, of which one is African while the other two are chiefly South American, are very closely allied and often brigaded in a single family group. In the Capromyidae, which includes only the South American and West Indian hutias, the South American coypu and the African cane-rats, the tympanic bulla of the skull is hollow, the par-occipital process straight, the lachrymal small, and the cheekteeth rooted, with deep enamel-folds; the first front toe Leing occasionally absent.
The still larger North American Pleistocene Castoroides, known by one species of the size of a bear, and the allied West Indian Amblyrhiza, appear to be specialized beavers, although they have been referred to a family by themselves.
It is found also in other West Indian islands, as Antigua and St Vincent.
The latter, like the similar deposits in other West Indian islands, is probably of Oligocene age.
Cargoes of rum, manufactured from West Indian sugar and molasses, were exported to Africa and exchanged for slaves to be sold in the southern colonies and the West Indies.
One clause, the operation of which was limited to two years from the close of the existing war, provided that American vessels not exceeding 70 tons burden might trade with the West Indies, but should carry only American products there and take away to American ports only West Indian products; moreover, the United States was to export in American vessels no molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa or cotton to any part of the world.
The American trading vessels of that period were supposed to be excluded by the navigation laws from commerce with the British West Indian Islands, though with the concealed or very slightly disguised assistance of the planters, they engaged in a good deal of contraband commerce.