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Demerara is a region in South America that began as a Dutch colony, then was captured by the Britishmarker in 1796. It was located about the lower courses of the Demerara Rivermarker, and its main town was Georgetownmarker.

Demerara is so named because originally it came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara.


The British returned the colony to the Dutch in 1802 under the terms of the Peace of Amiens, but re-took control of it a year later. On 13 August 1814 the British combined the colonies of Demerara and Essequibo into the colony of Demerara-Essequibo. On 20 November 1815 the colony was formally ceded to Britain by the Netherlands. On 21 July 1831 Demerara-Essequibo united with Berbice as British Guiana, now Guyanamarker. Demerara is now one of three counties of Guyana, the other two being Berbice and Essequibo.

The name "Demerara" comes from a variant of the Arawak word "Immenary" or "Dumaruni" which means "river of the letter wood".

Large slave rebellions broke out in West Demerara in 1795 and on the East Coast of Demerara in 1823 >. Although these rebellions were easily and bloodily crushed, according to Winston McGowan, they may have had a long-term impact in ending slavery:
"The 1823 revolt had a special significance not matched by the earlier Berbice uprising.
It attracted attention in Britain inside and outside Parliament to the terrible evil slavery and the need to abolish it.
This played a part, along with other humanitarian, political and economic factors, in causing the British parliament ten years later in 1833 to take the momentous decision to abolish slavery in British Guiana and elsewhere in the British Empire with effect from 1 August 1834.
After serving four years of a modified form of slavery euphemistically called apprenticeship, the slaves were finally freed on 1 August 1838."

Notable Demererans

Commanders of Demerara

Governors of Demerara


Lieutenant governors


Leaders of rebellions

See also


  1. Guyana the Name

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