Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: History

  1. 1498

    Christopher Columbus visits the main island, calling it St. Vincent.

  2. 1719

    French settlers begin to cultivate coffee, tobacco, indigo, cotton, and sugar, bringing African slaves to work the plantations.

  3. 1783

    St. Vincent is formally given to Britain under the Treaty of Versailles.

  4. 1796

    Conflicts between the British and black Caribs reach a tipping point when the Caribs revolt. The British, with help from France, crush the revolt and deport over 5,000 Caribs to Belize.

  5. 1834

    Slavery is abolished, leading to the freeing of over 18,000 slaves.

  6. 1958

    St. Vincent joins the short-lived West Indies Federation which collapses in 1962.

  7. 1979

    Following a referendum, St. Vincent and the Grenadines become independent.

  8. 1981

    As the islands go through a recession, a general strike is organized to protest new industrial relations legislation.

  9. 2003

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines is taken off a list of countries that are not adequately fighting money laundering.

  10. 2009

    Voters defeat a referendum that would have replaced the monarchy with a republic.


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