|St. Vincent Grenadines History|
St. Vincent and Grenadines is a nation that forms part of the Lesser Antilles. The modern day St. Vincent & Grenadines is part of the Commonwealth of nations and has a good tourist economy. Due to it's British Empire membership, Queen Elizabeth II is the titular head of state, but why is this the case and how did the island become affiliated to the British? Here is the St. Vincent & Grenadines history to shed some light on this.
St. Vincent and Grenadines
If we need an example of the sheer determination and ferocity of the great Carib tribes, St. Vincent & Grenadines is the best place to look. Until the 18th century, all attempts to settle on the island made by European nations had failed. The Caribs had thus seen off the British, French, Spanish and Dutch; the four empire states of the time and the ones with some of the most sophisticated weapons and armies in existence.
France took control of the islands in 1719 and quickly converted the islands for plantation use. They imported slaves to work these plantations and returned a decent profit. The British took the islands when the French were forced to hand it over; yet regained the island several years later in 1779. The Treaty of Paris stained St. Vincent & Grenadines history in British colors and the French were forced out of the islands.
There was a revolt staged by the Caribs but they didn't get very far; many of them were exported out of the country to crush their rebellion chances. Slavery was abolished by the British Empire in 1833 yet this did little to improve the conditions of the slaves that were brought to the island.
The British imported labor to work on their plantations and the slaves were left in poverty. The British introduced an apprenticeship scheme to ensure they still got free labor from their workers.
The British tried to affiliate the islands of St. Vincent & Grenadines to many other islands in the area that were also under their control. These failed and the islands went through many stages of British dependence. A more independent government was also formed during this stage in St. Vincent & Grenadines history.
1969 saw the islands granted an affiliate statehood which afforded it the right to make its own internal decisions. St. Vincent & Grenadines was the last of the Windward island to gain its independence from the British Empire. A referendum was held to decide whether or not to make the island a republic. This was defeated and the island retained Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.
There have also been some natural disasters during St. Vincent & Grenadines history; 1902 saw 2000 people killed by a volcano eruption and the 1980s and 1990s were littered with hurricanes. This caused a lot of damage to banana and coconut plantations, which were still a vital part of the islands' economy. It has retained its hand in agriculture longer than many other Caribbean islands.
Natural disasters all tried to leave their mark on the island but it remains a beautiful and prosperous part of the British Commonwealth. St. Vincent & Grenadines has its independence now but will always be linked to the British through its vast and colorful history.