The earliest documented colony in Guiana was an English settlement named Marshall's Creek along the Suriname River.
Disputes arose between the Dutch and the English for control of this territory.
Planters' treatment of the slaves was notoriously bad—and many slaves escaped the plantations.
With the help of the native South Americans living in the adjoining rain forests, these runaway slaves established a new and unique culture in the interior that was highly successful in its own right.
In 1667, during negotiations leading to the Treaty of Breda, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Suriname they had gained from the English.
The English were able to keep New Amsterdam, the main city of the former colony of New Netherland in North America on the mid-Atlantic coast.
The official spelling of the country's English name was changed from "Surinam" to "Suriname" in January 1978, but "Surinam" can still be found in English.
The planters of the colony relied heavily on African slaves to cultivate, harvest and process the commodity crops of coffee, cocoa, sugar cane and cotton plantations along the rivers.
At just under 165,000 square kilometers (64,000 square miles), it is the smallest country in South America.
most of whom live on the country's north coast, in and around the capital and largest city, Paramaribo.
This area was occupied by various cultures of indigenous peoples long before European contact, remnants of which can be found in petroglyph sites at Werehpai and other places in Suriname.
The name Suriname may derive from a Taino (Arawak-speaking) indigenous people called Surinen, who inhabited the area at the time of European contact.
In 1954, Suriname became one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.