Golden Age of Piracy > Greater Antilles

Greater Antilles

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration


The Greater Antilles is the group of larger islands in the West Indies and represented the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands. Collectively these islands represent 80% of the landmass of the West Indies and therefore it was important to control these major islands. Most of the population of the West Indies also resided on these major islands which featured the famous pirate havens such as Nassau, Tortuga, and Port Royal. The Greater Antilles were accompanied by the Lesser Antilles which covered the islands that met the Atlantic Ocean.


The word antilles comes from the earliest days of the European conquest of the new world following its re-discovery by Christopher Columbus. The term Anitlia meant a mysterious land sometimes a chain of islands known as an archipelago that was found on medieval charts. Its location was usually given as between the Canary Islands and the continent of Eurasia.

However, the fact that the location of the Antilles was present on medival charts and no one bothered to connect the dots to earlier ancient sources is either blind to the fact Europeans had been traveling to the "New World" for thousands of years or they wish to cover up history in favor of the European brand because they do not wish to revise their paradigm and re-write history. Regardless the controversy regarding the "discovery" of the "New World" is not an argument that is relevant to piracy and can be discussed further using archaeology and anthropology.

List of Islands

IslandArea (km2)CapitalCrown
Cuba110,860HavanaSpanish Empire
Cayman Islands264British Empire
Santo Domingo48,730Santo DomingoSpanish Empire
Saint-Domingue27,750Saint-DomingueFrench Empire
British Jamaica10,991KingstonBritish Empire
Puerto Rico9,104San JuanSpanish Empire

Golden Age of Piracy



West Indies

East Indies


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources