Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Encyclopedia Information
Official name Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Formation 1979 / 1979
Population 103,869 / 793 people per sq mile (305 people per sq km)
Total area 150 sq. miles (389 sq. km)
Languages English*, English Creole
Religions Anglican 46%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, Other 12%
Ethnic mix Black 66%, Mulatto (mixed race) 19%, Other 12%, Carib 2%
Government Parliamentary system
Currency East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents
Literacy rate 88%
Calorie consumption 2806 kilocalories
This is an island country in the Caribbean with Saint Vincent as the main island and the Grenadines being a chain of islands stretching down to, yes, Grenada.
When Europeans turned up they found Saint Vincent populated by Caribs. And as Europeans began to bring slaves into the Caribbean, the Caribs were joined by escaped slaves.
There was an English claim to control the island, but in the end the French became the first Europeans to establish a permanent settlement there when they founded Barrouallie in 1719. In 1762, after attacking Martinique, General Robert Monckton sent a detachment to take Saint Vincent, which it promptly did and the Treaty of Paris in 1763 confirmed our control of the island.
The locals, though, had other ideas, resulting in the First Carib War. The war ended in a stalemate in 1773, in which we conceded control of a large part of the island to the locals under their leader Joseph Chatoyer.
The French had not given up either. In June 1779, French forces landed, and with help from the locals rapidly took control of the island.
In 1780, it was us who were invading to reclaim the island. This wasn’t one of our more successful invasions. Admiral George Brydges Rodney decided from information he had received that the hurricane season had been so bad that the defenders of the island would not be in good shape to resist him. It turned out to be an erroneous interpretation of the situation. Two hundred and fifty British troops under General John Vaughan landed on the island, only to find that they were seriously outnumbered and, after just one day, the invasion was called off and Vaughan’s force re-embarked.
We eventually got the French troops off the island through the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. That still left the issue of how Britain would deal with opposition from the locals.
In the Second Carib War, which started in 1795, Chatoyer was joined by another local leader, DuValle, and by French supporters of the French Revolution. Chatoyer, though, was killed at Dorsetshire Hill by Major Alexander Leith and eventually the rebellion was crushed. Mass deportations followed.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines finally became independent on 27 October 1979.