Grenada is an independent state in the West Indies, compromising of the main island of Grenada and six smaller islands. Grenada is located in the Caribbean Sea, northwest of Trinidad and Tobago. The capital of Grenada is St. George, which also happens to be its largest city with a population of approximately 7500 people.
Grenada was discovered in 1498 by Christopher Columbus, but because of the hostility of the Carib Indians, the island remained unoccupied until 1650 when the French founded St. George. The British captured the island from the French in 1762, but it was then recaptured by the French in 1779 only to be recaptured again by the British in 1783.
Grenada was the administrative headquarters of the British Windward Islands from 1885 to 1958. From 1958 to 1962, Grenada served as a member of the Federation of the West Indies. Grenada politics began with its independence on 7th February 1974.
Unrest in the Grenada's Political Climate
The first Prime Minister of Grenada was Eric Gairy, who was overthrown in a coup in 1979 by Maurice Bishop. A second coup led to the eventual murder of Bishop, which then followed a United States led coalition which was paired with troops from the East Caribbean States on 25th October 1983.
An advisory council was then established until 1984, then after parliamentary elections, a new President by the name of Herbert Blaize was elected. Grenada remained relatively quiet throughout the rest of the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, one event would cripple the country, and it had nothing to do with the country’s political realm.
Impact of Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan struck Grenada as a category 3 hurricane and caused 90% of the homes to be either damaged or destroyed. Grenada was subsequently hit by another smaller hurricane a year later which even further halted the restoration process.
Grenada has seen its fair share of revolutions, which is why a stable government is exactly what it needs. Grenada is considered an overseas British territory, therefore the Queen is the head of state. Since the Queen is unable to reside in Grenada due to her obligations in Great Britain, a Governor General is appointed in her absence.
Government in Grenada Politics
The Prime Minister of Grenada is the leader of the government. The legislature in Grenada consists of a parliament and two chambers. The House of Representatives has 15 members, whereas the Senate has 13 members, of which 10 are appointed by the leading political party and the other 3 by the leader of the opposition party.
Grenada has a very troubled past, as can be noticed by the numerous revolutions that happened in the 18th century. Grenada has been a country at war ever since its discovery by Columbus. It took almost 200 years of British trials before they could colonize the land from the natives. Then there were numerous takeovers from the French.
It was only very recently that Grenada finally found some political stability, and then in 2004 it was hit by a natural disaster in the form of Hurricane Ivan. Grenada is long overdue for a quiet period of stability and prosperity. The rebuilding process of Ivan has helped strengthen the culture of Grenada’s citizens and has helped them push forward into a new millennium.