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Grenada Old History

 

In the middle of the 17th century, the French invaded Grenada, but only after having largely wiped out indigenous fighting in bloody battles. A long-standing struggle for dominion over the island followed between the French and the British, a battle which the British finally won in 1783. At that time, the extensive import of African slaves into European sugar plantations meant that the majority of the population was black. Insurgency and social unrest characterized the island until slavery was abolished in 1834. In 1974, Grenada became an independent state within the Commonwealth.

Grenada was populated at the time of Columbus's arrival in America in 1492 by caribers believed to have come from South America and displaced other peoples who were there before. On his third voyage in 1498, Columbus sailed past Grenada and named the island Concepcion. Spanish sailors preferred the name Granada, after the Spanish city, and this was later taken over by the French (but in its French form, La Grénade) and then by the British (as Grenada).

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Grenada, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

The Caribbean resisted the Europeans' attempt to colonize the island for a century and a half, but in 1650 the French managed to establish a settlement in Grenada. Bloody battles between the colonizers and the natives broke out and most of the latter were killed.

The French, however, found it difficult to retain control of the island and in 1762 Grenada was conquered by the British. France regained dominion in 1779, but in 1783 the island returned under British rule. Like the French, the British imported African slaves to their sugar plantations and the black population was soon in the majority. In an attempt to fight the British, the French, led by Julien Fédon (who was of mixed French and African descent), started a slave uprising in 1795 inspired by the French Revolution and a similar revolt in Haiti. The insurgents, who controlled large parts of the island, were eventually defeated by the British fleet but Fédon was never arrested. He came to be regarded as a hero of many grenades and also inspired future rebel leaders in Grenada (see Modern History).

Old History of Grenada

After the sugar industry was destroyed by a hurricane and ant attack in the late 18th century, a new crop, nutmeg, was introduced. The cultivation of nutmeg, other spices and cocoa contributed to a radical change in agriculture on the island.

Great social tensions continued to prevail in Grenada until 1834, when Britain abolished slavery. In 1877, Grenada became a British crown colony and almost a hundred years later, in 1974, it became an independent state within the Commonwealth.

 
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