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History of Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe was first sited by Christopher Columbus in 1493, but the indigenous Carib population successfully fended off European efforts to settle the island until 1635, when it became a French possession. It was annexed to France in 1674. Over the next century, the island was seized several times by the British. One indication of Guadeloupe's prosperity at this time is that in the Treaty of Paris (1763), France abandoned its territorial claims in Canada in return for British recognition of French control of Guadeloupe.

In an effort to take advantage of the chaos ensuing from the French Revolution, Britain attempted to seize Guadeloupe in 1794. The French retook the island under the command of Victor Hughes[?], who succeeded to free the slaves and turn on the slave-owners who controlled the sugar plantations. When American interests were threatened, Napoleon sent a force to suppress the rebels and reinstitute slavery. French control of Guadeloupe was recognized by the Treaty of Vienna[?]. In 1848, slavery was abolished.

Guadeloupe became an overseas département of France on March 19, 1946. A local independence movement has been involved occasionally in acts of terror against the French government in order to achieve its aims.

The island of Saint-Martin[?] is divided with the Netherlands (whose southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles).

See also : Guadeloupe



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