The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, (formerly British Guiana) an independent member of the British Commonwealth situated on the northeast coast of South America, has an area of 83,000 sq. mi. (214,969 sq. km.) and a population of 779,000. Capital: Georgetown. The economy is basically agrarian. Sugar, rice and bauxite are exported. ,The original area of Guyana, which included present-day Surinam, French Guiana, and parts of Brazil and Venezuela, are sighted by Columbus in 1498. The first European settlement was made late in the 16th century by the Dutch. For the next 150 years, possession alternated between the Dutch and the British, with a short internal of French control. The British exercised de facto control after 1796, although the area, which included the Dutch colonies of Essequebo, Demerary and Berbice, was not ceded by the Dutch until 1814. From 1803 to 1831, Essequebo and Demerary were administered separately from Berbice. The three colonies were untied in 1952 and full independence, under the traditional name of Guyana, on May 26, 1966.,, ,Notes of the British Caribbean Currency Board circulated from 1950-1965. For later issues see Guyana, Volume 3, Modern Issues.,, Rulers:,,, ,British to 1966,, Monetary System:,,, ,1 Joe = 22 Guilders to 1836,, ,1 Dollar = 4 Shillings 2 Pence. 1837-1965,,