A SHORT HISTORY OF GRENADA

The Arawaks or Taino, an Amerindian tribe from the Amazon basin first settled Grenada in about the 1st Century A. D. The more war like Caribs, who originated in what is now central Brazil, over ran the more peaceful Arawaks and dominated the island until 150 years after Christopher Columbus first named the island Concepción in 1498.

British merchants attempted to settle in1609, but were forced to leave by the Caribs . It was not until 1650 when the French governor of Martinique purchased the island from a French company, that the first european a settlement was established at St. George's. In 1672 it became the property of the French crown till captured by the British in 1762 and formally ceded to the British at the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The French re captured the Grenada in 1779 and it was restored to the British in 1783 under the Treaty of Versailles.

The abomination that was slavery started in earnest in the late 18th century The number of Africans landed alive as slaves on the shores of the western Atlantic ocean was between 10 and 15 million. They were shipped from Africa in appalling conditions to work in the plantations and factories of the West Indies and the New World. A rebellion against British rule was quelled in 1796 and the emancipation of the slaves took place in 1833.

From 1885 till 1958, Grenada was part of the British Windward Islands. It then joined the Federation of the West Indies till ending in 1962. On March 3rd 1967 it became a self governing state, and gained full independence on February 7th 1974. The first Prime Minister was Eric Gairy, leader of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP). The New Jewel Movement (NJM) was a coalition party that opposed Gairy and had a good deal of success in the 1976 Parliamentary elections.

On March 13th 1979 The New Jewel Movement staged a bloodless coup d' état and forme the People's Revolutionary Government under the leadership of Maurice Bishop. The western world was ill at ease with the new administration due to their socialist stance. In 1983 Bishop was over thrown and killed leading to a US led invasion which handed power over to the Governor General, Sir Paul Scoon. General elections were held in 1984 and won by the New National Party led by Herbert Blaize.


Top of the page
Kenyatta's Grenada Front Page.
Kenyatta's World Wide Web Home Page.
Webmaster: Dr. K. Gibbs dokgibbs@solo.pipex.com
Updated December 9th 1995,