Visitors to Barbados will find evidence of the island’s colonial past at sites across the island. Permanent English settlers arrived in 1627. Later, sugar plantations brought over tens of thousands of African slaves, whose descendants populate Barbados today. An 1816 rebellion led by the slave Bussa spurred larger uprisings and ultimately led to slavery’s abolition. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with the British monarch as hereditary head of state.