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perjantai 16. syyskuuta 2016

Saint Lucia, Cool Facts #139

<= 138. Saint Kitts and Nevis                                                140. Saint Vincent and Grenadines =>

1. Saint Lucia Name Origins

Saint Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman. On 18th September in 1502, Christopher Columbus visited Saint Lucia on his fourth voyage over the Atlantic. Columbus named the island after Saint Lucy of Syracuse. Saint Lucy or Lucia was a young Christian martyr in Syracuse, who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. She died in 304 and was about 21 years.

Saint Lucy

2. Carib Resistance in Saint Lucia

The French pirate François le Clerc (also known as Jambe de Bois, due to his wooden leg) frequently visited Saint Lucia in the 1550s. It was not until around 1600 that the first European camp was started by the Dutch at what is now Vieux Fort. In 1605 an English vessel called the Olive Branch was blown off-course on its way to Guyana, and the 67 colonists started a settlement on Saint Lucia. 

After five weeks only 19 survived due to disease and conflict with the Caribs, so they fled the island. The French officially claimed the island in 1635. The English attempted the next European settlement in 1639, and that too was wiped out by Caribs. 

The Caribs managed to resist the Europeans until 1643, when the French succeeded to establish the first permanent European settlement. The French created sugar plantations and started bringing African slaves to work there. In 1660 the French signed a treaty with the native Caribs. The following decades and centuries the French and British controlled the island and fought several times over the rule of the island. 

Battle of St. Lucia between France and Great Britain in 1778

3. Helen of the West Indies

The control over Saint Lucia shifted so many times between France and Great Britain that the island got a nickname "Helen of the West Indies". The nickname refers to Helen of Troy from the Greek mythology. Helen was considered the most beautiful woman in the world and many men competed over her hand and even abducted her. Helen's abduction by Paris started the Trojan War

The French established the first permanent settlement on the island in 1643. The Caribs resisted the French but in 1660 the Caribs signed a treaty with the French. During the following years the French and the British were in war so many times that the rule of the country changed 14 times, both countries ruled the island 7 times. In 1814 after the Napoleonic Wars Great Britain secured its control over Saint Lucia as part of the Treaty of Paris. 

Because of Saint Lucia's past with both France and Great Britain, the island is part of the British Commonwealth and the Francophonie community

Helen of Troy

4. Slave Rebellion in Saint Lucia

In 1789 the French Revolution started causing chaos in France until 1799 and leading to the Napoleonic Wars in 1803-1815. The French Revolution affected also all the French colonies like Saint Lucia. 

In 1794 Victor Hugues, the French governor of Saint Lucia declared that all the slaves were free. The revolutionary ideas from France had reached Saint Lucia also. Great Britain and France went into war and in 1795 Victor Hugues led the slaves against the British forces, who had invaded the island. 

The French royalists and plant owners allied with the British, who allowed to continue slavery that had been abolished by the French government. After victorious battles Hugues and his forces were defeated by the British troops and finally Hugues was recalled to France and replaced by General Edme Desfoumeaux. 

Victor Hugues

5. British Windward Islands

After the Napoleonic Wars in the Treaty of Paris Great Britain secured its control over Saint Lucia in 1814. In 1833 Great Britain created the British Windward Islands colony, which existed until 1960 when it was succeeded by the West Indies Federation.

Saint Lucia was one of the members of the colony, which wasn't a single colony but a confederation of separate colonies with a common governor-in-chief. The separate colonies had their own legislature, laws, revenue and tariffs.

Timeline of the British Windward Islands: 

1833 The colony established
1871 Federation
1885 Colony of Barbados left
1889 British Tobago left
1940 British Dominica left
1956 The colony became a British overseas territory
1958 West Indies Federation
1962 West Indies Federation dissolved

Map of the Caribbean 


1502 Columbus visited the island on his fourth voyage
1550s The French pirate Francois le Clerc frequently visited Saint Lucia
1600 The Dutch established the first European camp when they built the Vieux Fort on the island
1605 An English vessel on the way to Guyana was blown off-course and the 67 British colonists established a settlement on Saint Lucia, but after five weeks only 19 survived the diseases and conflicts with the Caribs. The survivors fled the island
 1635 The French officially claimed the island
1639 The English attempted to establish a settlement, but it was wiped out by Caribs
1643 The French managed to establish the first permanent settlement on the island and they created sugar plantations
1660 The French signed a treaty with the native Caribs
1674 Saint Lucia became an official crown colony as a dependency of Martinique
1700s Britain and France fought over Saint Lucia several times
1763 In the Treaty of Paris Britain handed Saint Lucia back to France
1794 The French governor of the island declared that all slaves were free
1795 Victor Hugues led the victorious slave rebellion against a British battalion and expelled the white landowners and freed the slaves
1796 The British army invaded the island and defeated the rebelling slaves
1803 Great Britain regained control of the island and for a while continued slavery
1807 The British abolished slave trade
1814 In the Treaty of Paris after the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain secured its control over Saint Lucia
1836 Slavery was abolished in Saint Lucia and throughout the British Empire
1958-1962 Saint Lucia was part of the West Indies Federation
1967 Saint Lucia became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States, with internal self-government
1979 Saint Lucia gained full independence with John Compton as the first Prime Minister, Compton served as the Prime Minister again later in 1982-1996 and 2006-2007
1997 Kenny Anthony became the Prime Minister seeing until 2006 and he served a second term in 2011-2016 as Prime Minister

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