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torstai 22. syyskuuta 2016

Grenada, Cool Facts #142

<= 141. Trinidad and Tobago                                                                                        143. Belize =>

1. Island of Spice

Grenada's nickname is Island of Spice. The country is leading exporter of several different spices. Nutmeg is the most important spice in Grenada and it's even depicted in the flag of the country. Nutmeg was introduced to Grenada in 1843.

Grenada's important role as a spice exporter has to do with its colonial past. The British started the cultivation of spice crops and established also cotton and cocoa plantations after they conquered Grenada from the French in 1763.

Spice exports: 

Nutmeg - 2nd biggest exporter after Indonesia, providing 20% of the world supply.
Orange peels
Wild coffee


2. Colonization of Grenada

Christopher Columbus
In 1498 Columbus sighted Grenada on his third voyage to the New World. Grenada was then inhabited by Caribs, who had driven the more peaceful Arawaks from the island. The Spanish didn't establish a settlement on Grenada.

French colony
The French founded a permanent settlement on Grenada in 1649 and with a few months the indigenous Caribs started a conflict, which ended in 1654 when the French subjugated Grenada completely. Caribs who survived, either left to neighboring islands or moved to more remote areas. The last Carib communities disappeared in the 1700s.

British colony
In the 1700s the British and French fought furiously against each other over the control of the Caribbean islands. In 1762 Great Britain captured Grenada from the French during the Seven Years' War.

In the following year in 1763 Grenada was formally ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris. The French recaptured Grenada during the American Revolutionary War in 1779 but by the Treaty of Versailles Grenada was restored to Great Britain in 1783. In 1877 Grenada became a British crown colony.

Grenada colonial stamp
Grenada map

3. Grenadan Coup and US invasion 

Grenada became independent in 1974, the first Prime Minister Eric Gairy was regarded as authoritarian and that he didn't grasp the social problems enough. 

Coup of 1979
The leftist New Jewel Movement launched a coup removing Gairy and suspending the constitution. The charismatic Maurice Bishop led the People's Revolutionary Government and declared himself prime minister. Bishop initiated the land reform and his radical government didn't please USA and the neighboring countries in the Caribbean. 

Maurice Bishop (in the middle)
Coup of 1983
Bishop was deemed insufficiently revolutionary by some hardline marxist and communist party members. Bernard Coard led the coup and placed Bishop under house arrest, which led to street demonstrations and to the release of Bishop. When Bishop tried to resume power he and seven other people were captured and executed by soldiers. The Coard regime put the island under martial law after these events. 

Bernard Coard
US invasion in 1983 (Operation Urgent Fury)
USA had some concerns with the radical government of Grenada so it carried out an invasion from Barbados together with the Regional Security System forces. The invasion was highly criticized by Britain, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago. The United Nations Security Council condemned the invasion as a flagrant violation of international law. 

Invasion plan 
US battle helicopter

The pre-revolutionary Grenadian constitution came into operation again after the invasion. Many people were sentenced to death and prison for being responsible of the deaths of Maurice Bishop and others.
The American forces left Grenada in December of 1983 and in 1984 the first democratic elections were held since 1976. Grenada National Party won the elections and Herbert Blaize became Prime Minister.

4. Hurricanes in Grenada 

Grenada is on the southern edge of the hurricane belt or hurricane alley, an area between the 10° and 20° N, which is the optimal area for hurricanes to be formed.

Grenada has suffered only three hurricanes in fifty years.

Hurricane Janet - September 23, 1955
With winds of 185km/h causing a lot of damage

Hurricane Ivan - September 7, 2004 
Thirty-nine deaths and a lot of damage

Hurricane Emily - July 14, 2005
Damage in Carriacou and in the north of Grenada

Warm waters of hurricane alley
5. Demographics of Grenada 

- Majority of Grenadine citizens (82%) are descendants of African slaves brought by the English and French
- Grenadians of Indian descent currently the second largest ethnic group. Their ancestors were mainly brought from North Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh between 1857-1885.
- Small community of French and English descendants
- 13% of the population of mixed descent 
 sitä asuttaneilta arawakeilta hieman aiemmin. 

- English official language
- Grenadian Creole considered the lingua franca of the island
- French Patois spoken by 10-20% of the population
- Hindi/Bhojpuri terms used by the Indian descendants

Kirani James

1498 Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada on his third voyage to the New World
1649 The French founded a permanent settlement and within few months a five year conflict started with the indigenous Caribs
1654 Grenada was completely subjugated by the French
1762 The British captured Grenada from the French during the Seven Years' War
1763 Grenada was formally ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris
1779 The French recaptured Grenada during the American Revolutionary War
1783 With the Treaty of Versailles Grenada was restored to Great Britain
1834 Slavery was abolished, Indian contract workers replaced the slaves on the plantations
1843 Nutmeg tree was introduced to Grenada
1877 Grenada became a crown colony
1950 Eric Gairy founded the Grenada United Labour Party
1951 General strike demanding for better working conditions
1958-1962 Grenada was part of the West Indies Federation 
1967 Grenada gained full autonomy as an Associated State
1974 Grenada became independent under the leadership of Eric Gairy
1979 Leftist New Jewel Movement carried out a coup and Maurice Bishop declared himself Prime Minister
1983 Bernard Coard backed by the army overthrew Maurice Bishop, who was executed during the coup. Coard was even more socialist than Bishop that's why USA carried out a military invasion and overthrew Coard with their allies 
1984 First democratic elections since 1976 were won by Grenada National Party under Herbert Blaize as prime minister
1995 Keith Mitchell started his 13 year term as prime minister
2004 Hurricane Ivan hit Grenada, which had been hurricane-free for 49 years
2005 Hurricane Emily damaged the northern part of the island
2008 Kevin Mitchell's 13 year term as prime minister ends as Tillman Thomas assumes the prime minister's office
2013 Kevin Mitchell became prime minister again 

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