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perjantai 16. syyskuuta 2016

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Cool Facts #140

<= 139. Saint Lucia                                                                                141. Trinidad and Tobago =>

1. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Name Origins

On 22th January in 1498 Christopher Columbus arrived on the islands on Saint Vincent's day, that's where the name comes from. The islands were inhabited by the Caribs, who had conquered the islands from the Arawaks in the 1300s. The Caribs called the island of Saint Vincent as "Hairoun", which means "Blessed land".

The Caribs succeeded resisting the Europeans for centuries until the 1700s. During the centuries when the Caribs managed to keep the Europeans out, indigenous people and slaves escaped to the islands and their descendants developed into the Garifuna ethnic group with indigenous and black heritage.

Saint Vincent of Saragossa

2. Deportation to Roatán and Baliceaux 

Saint Vincent was ceded to Great Britain in 1763 by the Treaty of Paris. In the following decades there were frequently conflicts between the British and the Caribs. 

Baliceaux deportationBetween 1795 and 1796 the Black Caribs fought a series of battles against the British. The Black Caribs were supported by the French of Martinique. The uprising was put down and almost 5000 Black Caribs were exiled to the tiny island of Baliceaux. 

Roatan deportation
The conflict between the Black Caribs and the British continued in 1796 but in 1797 the British put an end to the conflict by crushing the uprising supported by the French radical, Victor Hugues. As a result more than 5000 Caribs were deported to the island of Roatán near the coast of Honduras.
Black Caribs and British authorities during treaty negotiations on Saint Vincent in 1773
3. Petroglyphs of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are the only Caribbean country, in which petroglyphs can be found. The petroglyphs can be found in Yambou, Buccament, Layou and Barroullie. The petroglyphs were revealed to the outside world in 1914 by a British missionary and archeological surveyor in his American Anthropologist article. 

In 1792 Captain William Bligh brought the seedlings of breadfruit tree from Tahiti to Saint Vincent. He did it because he wanted see whether it would be a successful food crop for the slaves there. The fruits of the breadfruit tree became one of the main foodstuff in the West Indies. 

When Saint Vincent and the Grenadines became independent, the leaf of the breadfruit tree was placed on the flag. This flag was used from 1979 until 1985. In 1985 the flag was replaced and the new flag had three green gems forming a V-shape. The V-shape refers to Vincent and the gems to the nickname of the island state, which is "Gem of Antilles". 

William Bligh

5. Geography of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The island consists of the main island Saint Vincent and two-thirds of the 32 islands and cays, which are divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. 

La Soufriére volcano on Saint Vincent is the highest peak of the island state at 1234 meters of altitude. The last eruptions have been in 1979, 1902 and 1812. In 1979 the eruption didn't kill anyone but it caused a lot of damage. In 1902 the eruption killed over 2000 people. 

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies on the hurricane belt, where a lot of hurricanes occur. In 1980 and 1987 hurricanes damaged many banana or coconut plantations. 

La Soufriére volcano
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines map


1498 Christopher Columbus arrived on the islands inhabited by Caribs
1719 After centuries of aggressive Carib resistance against the Europeans, the French succeeded to establish the first European settlement on Saint Vincent
1763 Saint Vincent was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris
1769-1773 First Carib war between the British and the Caribs
1779 The island was restored to French rule
1783 After the Treaty of Versailles the British regained Saint Vincent
1796 After a series of battles between the British and Black Caribs, the Black Caribs were exiled to Baliceaux and later as the conflict continued more than 5000 Black Caribs were deported to Roatan, an island near the coast of Honduras
1812 La Soufriere volcano erupted
1838 Full abolition of slavery, Indian and Chinese contract workers replace the slaves on the plantations
1877 Saint Vincent became a British crown colony
1902 La Soufriere erupted killing 2000 people, damaging farmland and causing the deterioration of the economy
1958-1962 Saint Vincent was part of the West Indies Federation
1969 Saint Vincent got autonomy
1979 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was the last of the Windward Islands to gain independence
1979 La Soufriere erupted, no one was killed but the eruption caused a lot of damages
1980 and 1987 hurricane damaged many banana and coconut plantations
1985 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines got a new flag
2001 Ralph Gonsalves became the Prime Minister replacing James Mitchell, who had been Prime Minister for 16 years
2009 A referendum about becoming a republic didn't get the required majority of 2/3 of the votes

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