Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre island is divided 60/40 between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but the two parts are equal in population; the division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the northern French part comprises the Collectivity of Saint Martin and is an overseas collectivity of France. Only the French part of the island is part of the European Union. On 1 January 2009, the population of the whole island was 77,741 inhabitants, with 40,917 living on the Dutch side, 36,824 on the French side. Collectively, the two territories are known as "St-Martin / St Maarten", or sometimes "SXM", the IATA identifier for Princess Juliana International Airport, the island's main airport. St. Martin received the ISO 3166-1 code MF in October 2007; the Dutch part changed in status to a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2010 and was given the code SX.
Saint Martin has a land area of 87 km2, 53 km2 of, under the sovereignty of France, 34 km2 under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This is the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the main cities are Marigot. The Dutch side is more populated; the largest settlement on the entire island is Lower Prince's Quarter, on the Dutch side. The highest hilltop is the Pic Paradis in the centre of a hill chain on the French side. Both sides are hilly with large mountain peaks; this forms a valley. There are no rivers on the island, but many dry gullies. Hiking trails give access to the dry forest covering slopes; the island is located south of Anguilla, separated from the British territory by the Anguilla Channel. Saint Martin is northwest of Saint Barthélemy, separated from the French territory by the Saint-Barthélemy Channel, it is one of the Renaissance Islands. In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus, embarked on his second voyage to the New World on behalf of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella I of Spain.
According to legend, Columbus sighted and anchored at the island of Saint Martin on November 11, 1493, the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours. In his honour, Columbus named the island "San Martin"; this name was translated to "Sint Maarten", "Saint-Martin" and "Saint Martin" in English. At Columbus' time, St. Martin was populated, by Carib amerindians; the former Arawaks had been chased by the Caribs coming from the north coast of South America a short time before the arrival of the Spaniards who followed in Columbus' wake. The Arawaks were agricultural people who fashioned pottery and whose social organization was headed by hereditary chieftains who derived their power from personal deities called zemis; the Caribs' territory was not conquered until the mid-17th century when most of them perished in the struggle between the French, Dutch and Spanish for control of the West Indies islands around the Caribbean Sea. The Dutch first began to ply the island's ponds for salt in the 1620s. Still at war with the Dutch, the Spaniards captured St. Martin in 1633.
One year they built a fort and another artillery battery at Pointe Blanche to assert their claim and control access to Great Bay salt pond. A massive influx of African slaves took place in the 18th century with the development of sugarcane plantations by the French and Dutch. Slavery was abolished in the first half of the 19th century. On some of their territories the British imported Chinese and South Asians to take the place of slaves. Thus, St. Martin and the other islands are populated by a mixture of Amerindian, African and Asian peoples. On 23 March 1648, the Kingdom of France and the Dutch Republic agreed to divide the island between their two territories, with the signing of the Treaty of Concordia. Folklore surrounds the history of the once ever-changing border division between St. Martin and Sint Maarten, a popular story among locals narrates that "to divide the island into two sections, the inhabitants were told to choose two walkers, one chosen by the French-dominated community and the other one by the Dutch-dominated community, who were put back to back in one extreme of the island, making them walk in opposite directions while stuck to the littoral line, not allowing them to run.
The point where they met was set as the other extreme of the island, the subsequently created line was chosen as the frontier, dividing Saint-Martin from Sint Maarten. The French walker had walked more than his Dutch counterpart; the French locals' explanation for this discrepancy is that, as the first man chose wine as his stimulant prior to the race, while the latter chose Jenever, the difference between such beverages' lightness was said to be the cause of the territorial differences. The Dutch locals instead accuse the French walker of running." Under the Köppen climate classification, the island has a tropical monsoon climate with a dry season from January to April and a rainy season from August to December. The precipitation patterns are due to the movement of the Azores high during the year. With the wind direction predominantly from the east or the northeast, northeasterly trades, temperatures
The dollar or peso sign is a symbol used to indicate the units of various currencies around the world, including the peso and the US dollar. The symbol can interchangeably have two vertical strokes. In common usage, the sign appears to the left of the amount specified, as in $1. A common hypothesis holds that the sign derives from the symbolic representation of the Pillars of Hercules; this representation can have either a banner separately around each pillar, or, as in the Spanish coat of arms, a banner curling between them. In 1492, Ferdinand II of Aragon adopted the symbol of the Pillars of Hercules and added the Latin warning Non plus ultra meaning "nothing further beyond", indicating "this is the end of the world", but when Christopher Columbus came to America, the legend was changed to Plus ultra, meaning "further beyond". The Pillars of Hercules wrapped in a banner thus became a symbol of the New World; the link between this symbol and the dollar sign is more seen in Spanish coins of the period, which show two pillars, each with a separate banner, rather than one banner spanning both pillars.
In this example the right-hand pillar resembles the dollar sign, additionally directly relates to the use of money. The symbol was adopted by Charles V and was part of his coat of arms representing Spain's American possessions; the symbol was stamped on coins minted in gold and silver. The coin known as Spanish dollar, was the first global currency used in the world since the Spanish Empire was the first global empire; these coins, depicting the pillars over two hemispheres and a small "S"-shaped ribbon around each, were spread throughout America and Asia. According to this, traders wrote signs that, instead of saying "Spanish dollar", had this symbol made by hand, this in turn evolved into a simple S with two vertical bars; when the United States gained their independence from Great Britain, they created the US dollar, but in its early decades they continued to use the Spanish dollar, more trusted in all markets. The United States after independence, was still using the pound sterling as currency.
This is attested in state legislation of the early 1780s, referring to pounds and pence, which predated the U. S. Constitution and federal legislation. Given the origin of this theory – related to Spanish colonisation of the Americas – it is that the cifrão or peso signs share the same origin, that the double stroke usage is a stylistic variant, rather than a distinct character; the sign is first attested in Spanish American, Canadian and other British business correspondence in the 1770s, referring to the Spanish American peso known as "Spanish dollar" or "piece of eight" in North America, which provided the model for the currency that the United States adopted in 1792 and the larger coins of the new Spanish American republics such as the Mexican peso, Peruvian eight-real and Bolivian eight-sol coins. This explanation holds that the sign evolved out of the Spanish and Spanish American scribal abbreviation "pˢ" for pesos. A study of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century manuscripts shows that the s came to be written over the p, developing into a close equivalent to the "$" mark.
A variation, though less plausible, of this hypothesis derives the sign from a combination of the Greek character "psi" and "S". There are a number of other hypotheses about the origin of the symbol, some with a measure of academic acceptance, others the symbolic equivalent of false etymologies. Among the various hypotheses, the simplest one is that the barred S is a typo modified 8, from its obvious link with the pieces of eight, the popular name of the Spanish dollar; the added bar should be the same used to distinguish a letter dedicated to a currency value, like £. Kingdom of Sicily deniers minted by Manfred of Hohenstaufen in the Kingdom of Sicily between 1258 and 1266 had what can be construed as an early dollar symbol; these coins were circulated outside Europe due to the Crusades, including the Crusade that targeted Tunis. Several alternative hypotheses relate to the dollar sign drawn with two vertical lines. A dollar sign with two vertical lines could have started off as a monogram of'USA', used on money bags issued by the United States Mint.
The letters U and S superimposed resemble the historical double-stroke dollar sign: the bottom of the'U' disappears into the bottom curve of the'S', leaving two vertical lines. It is postulated in the papers of Dr. James Alton James, a professor of history at Northwestern University from 1897 to 1935, that the symbol with two strokes was an adapted design of the patriot Robert Morris in 1778. Robert Morris was such a zealous patriot – known as the "Financier of the Revolution in the West" – that James came to believe that this hypothesis is viable. A similar idea claims that the letters U and S would stand for unit of silver, referencing pieces of eight again, but, unlikely since one would expect it to be in Spanish instead. Another hypothesis is. According to Ovason, on one type of thaler one side showed a crucifix while the other showed a serpent hanging from a cross, the letters NU near the serpent's head, on the other side of the cross the number 21; this refers to the Bible, Chapter 21.
A similar symbol, constructed by superposition of "S" and "I" or "J", was used to denote German Joachimsthaler. It was known in the English-speaking world by the 17th century, appearing in 1
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is a French politician serving as President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra since 2017. He was Minister of the Economy and Digital Affairs from 2014 to 2016. Macron was born in Amiens and studied philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, completed a Master's of Public Affairs at Sciences Po and graduated from the École nationale d'administration in 2004, he worked as a senior civil servant at the Inspectorate General of Finances and became an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque. Macron was appointed Deputy Secretary General to the President by François Hollande in May 2012, he was appointed Minister of Economy and Digital Affairs in August 2014 under the Second Valls government, where he pushed through business-friendly reforms. He resigned in August 2016 to launch a bid in the 2017 presidential election. After being a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009, Macron ran in the election under the banner of a centrist political movement he founded in April 2016, En Marche!.
He won the election on 7 May 2017 with 66.1% of the vote in the second round. At age 39, Macron became the youngest President of France in history and appointed Édouard Philippe to be Prime Minister. In the June 2017 legislative elections, Macron's party, renamed "La République en marche", together with its ally the Democratic Movement, secured a majority in the National Assembly. Born in Amiens, Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is the son of Françoise, a physician, Jean-Michel Macron, professor of neurology at the University of Picardy; the couple were divorced in 2010. Macron has two siblings, born in 1979 and Estelle, born in 1982. Françoise and Jean-Michel's first child was born stillborn. Raised in a non-religious family, he was baptized a Roman Catholic at his own request at age 12, although he is agnostic today; the Macron family legacy is traced back to the village of Authie in Hauts-de-France. One of Macron's paternal great-grandfathers, George William Robertson, was English, was born in Bristol, United Kingdom.
His maternal grandparents and Germaine Noguès, are from the Pyrenean town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Gascony. Macron visited Bagnères-de-Bigorre to visit his grandmother Germaine, whom he called "Manette". Macron associates his enjoyment of reading and his left-ward political leanings to Germaine, after coming from a modest upbringing of a stationmaster father and a housekeeping mother, became a teacher a principal, died in 2013. Macron was educated at the Jesuit Lycée la Providence in Amiens before his parents sent him to finish his last year of school at the elite Lycée Henri-IV in Paris, where he completed the high school curriculum and the undergraduate program with a "Bac S, Mention Très bien". At the same time he was nominated for the "Concours Général" in French literature and received his diploma for his piano studies at Amiens Conservatory, his parents sent him off to Paris due to their alarm at the bond he had formed with Brigitte Auzière, a married teacher with three children at Jésuites de la Providence, who became his wife.
In Paris, he failed to gain entry to the École normale supérieure twice. He instead studied Philosophy at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, obtaining a DEA degree. Around 1999 Macron worked as an editorial assistant to Paul Ricoeur, the French Protestant philosopher, writing his last major work, La Mémoire, l'Histoire, l'Oubli. Macron worked on the notes and bibliography. Macron became a member of the editorial board of the literary magazine Esprit. Macron did not perform national service. Born in December 1977, he belonged to the last year. Macron obtained a master's degree in public affairs at the Sciences Po, majoring in "Public Guidance and Economy" before training for a senior civil service career at the selective École nationale d'administration, training at an embassy in Nigeria and in an office in Oise before graduating in 2004. After graduating from ENA in 2004, Macron became an Inspector in the Inspection générale des finances, a branch of the Finance Ministry. Macron was mentored by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the then-head of the IGF.
During his time as an Inspector of Finances, Macron gave lectures during the summer at the "prep'ENA" at IPESUP, an elite private school specializing in preparation for the entrance examinations of the Grandes écoles, such as HEC or Sciences Po. In 2006, Laurence Parisot offered him the job of managing director for Mouvement des Entreprises de France, the largest employer federation in France, but he declined. In August 2007, Macron was appointed deputy rapporteur for Jacques Attali's "Commission to Unleash French Growth". In 2008, Macron paid €50,000 to buy himself out of his government contract, he became an investment banker in a highly-paid position at Rothschild & Cie Banque. In March 2010, he was appointed to the Attali Commission as a member. In September 2008, Macron left his job as an Inspector of Finances and took a position at Rothschild & Cie Banque. Macron was inspired to leave the government due to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency, he was offered the job by François Henrot.
His first responsibility at Rothschild & Cie Banque was assisting with the acquisition of Cofidis by Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe. Macron formed a relationship with a businessman on the supervisory board of Le Monde. In 2010, Macron
The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019; the euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents; the currency is used by the institutions of the European Union, by four European microstates that are not EU members, as well as unilaterally by Montenegro and Kosovo. Outside Europe, a number of special territories of EU members use the euro as their currency. Additionally, 240 million people worldwide as of 2018 use currencies pegged to the euro; the euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar. As of August 2018, with more than €1.2 trillion in circulation, the euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.
S. dollar. The name euro was adopted on 16 December 1995 in Madrid; the euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency on 1 January 1999, replacing the former European Currency Unit at a ratio of 1:1. Physical euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation on 1 January 2002, making it the day-to-day operating currency of its original members, by March 2002 it had replaced the former currencies. While the euro dropped subsequently to US$0.83 within two years, it has traded above the U. S. dollar since the end of 2002, peaking at US$1.60 on 18 July 2008. In late 2009, the euro became immersed in the European sovereign-debt crisis, which led to the creation of the European Financial Stability Facility as well as other reforms aimed at stabilising and strengthening the currency; the euro is managed and administered by the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank and the Eurosystem. As an independent central bank, the ECB has sole authority to set monetary policy; the Eurosystem participates in the printing and distribution of notes and coins in all member states, the operation of the eurozone payment systems.
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty obliges most EU member states to adopt the euro upon meeting certain monetary and budgetary convergence criteria, although not all states have done so. The United Kingdom and Denmark negotiated exemptions, while Sweden turned down the euro in a 2003 referendum, has circumvented the obligation to adopt the euro by not meeting the monetary and budgetary requirements. All nations that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course. Since 1 January 2002, the national central banks and the ECB have issued euro banknotes on a joint basis. Euro banknotes do not show. Eurosystem NCBs are required to accept euro banknotes put into circulation by other Eurosystem members and these banknotes are not repatriated; the ECB issues 8% of the total value of banknotes issued by the Eurosystem. In practice, the ECB's banknotes are put into circulation by the NCBs, thereby incurring matching liabilities vis-à-vis the ECB; these liabilities carry interest at the main refinancing rate of the ECB.
The other 92% of euro banknotes are issued by the NCBs in proportion to their respective shares of the ECB capital key, calculated using national share of European Union population and national share of EU GDP weighted. The euro is divided into 100 cents. In Community legislative acts the plural forms of euro and cent are spelled without the s, notwithstanding normal English usage. Otherwise, normal English plurals are sometimes used, with many local variations such as centime in France. All circulating coins have a common side showing the denomination or value, a map in the background. Due to the linguistic plurality in the European Union, the Latin alphabet version of euro is used and Arabic numerals. For the denominations except the 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, the map only showed the 15 member states which were members when the euro was introduced. Beginning in 2007 or 2008 the old map is being replaced by a map of Europe showing countries outside the Union like Norway, Belarus, Russia or Turkey.
The 1-, 2- and 5-cent coins, keep their old design, showing a geographical map of Europe with the 15 member states of 2002 raised somewhat above the rest of the map. All common sides were designed by Luc Luycx; the coins have a national side showing an image chosen by the country that issued the coin. Euro coins from any member state may be used in any nation that has adopted the euro; the coins are issued in denominations of €2, €1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, 1c. To avoid the use of the two smallest coins, some cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents in the Netherlands and Ireland and in Finland; this practice is discouraged by the Commission, as is the practice of certain shops of refusing to accept high-value euro notes. Commemorative coins with €2 face value have been issued with changes to the design of the national side of the coin; these include both issued coins, such as the €2 commemorative coin for the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, nationally i
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands known as the Netherlands, is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with the large majority of its territory in Western Europe and with several small island territories in the Caribbean Sea, in the West Indies islands. The four parts of the kingdom—the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten—are constituent countries and participate on a basis of equality as partners in the kingdom. In practice, most of the kingdom's affairs are administered by the Netherlands—which comprises 98% of the kingdom's land area and population—on behalf of the entire kingdom; the Caribbean Sea islands countries of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten are dependent on the Netherlands for matters like foreign policy and defence, although they are autonomous to a certain degree, with their own parliaments. The vast majority in land area of the constituent country of the Netherlands is located in Europe, with the exception of the Caribbean Netherlands: its three special municipalities are located in the Caribbean Sea like the other three constituent countries.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands originated in the aftermath of French Emperor Napoleon I's defeat in 1815. In the year 1815, the Netherlands regained its independence from France under its First French Empire, which had annexed its northern neighbor in 1810, as the Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands; the great powers of Europe, united against Napoleonic France, had decided in the secret treaty of the London Protocol to establish a single state in the territories that were the Dutch Republic/Batavian Republic/Kingdom of Holland, the Austrian Netherlands and the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, awarding rule over this to William, Prince of Orange and Nassau, although the southern territories remained under Prussian rule until Napoleon's return from his first exile on Elba. In March 1815, amidst the turmoil of the Hundred Days, the Sovereign Prince William of Orange and Nassau adopted the style of "King of the Netherlands". Following Napoleon's second defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the Vienna Congress supplied international recognition of William's unilateral move.
The new King of the Netherlands was made Grand Duke of Luxembourg, a part of the Kingdom that was, at the same time, a member state of the German Confederation. In 1830, Belgium seceded from the Kingdom, a step, recognised by the Netherlands only in 1839. At that point, Luxembourg became a independent country in a personal union with the Netherlands. Luxembourg lost more than half of its territory to Belgium. To compensate the German Confederation for that loss, the remainder of the Dutch province of Limburg received the same status that Luxembourg had enjoyed before, as a Dutch province that at the same time formed a Duchy of the German Confederation; that status was reversed when the German Confederation ceased to exist in 1867, replaced by the Prussian-led North German Confederation until the proclamation of a unified German Empire in 1871. The origin of the administrative reform of 1954 was the 1931 Statute of Westminster and the 1941 Atlantic Charter, signed by the Netherlands on 1 January 1942.
Changes were proposed in the 7 December 1942 radio speech by Queen Wilhelmina. In this speech, the Queen, on behalf of the Dutch government in exile in London, expressed a desire to review the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies after the end of the war. After liberation, the government would call a conference to agree on a settlement in which the overseas territories could participate in the administration of the Kingdom on the basis of equality; this speech had propaganda purposes. After Indonesia became independent, a federal construction was considered too heavy, as the economies of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles were insignificant compared to that of the Netherlands. By the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as enacted in 1954, a composite state was created known as the "Tripartite Kingdom of the Netherlands", consisting of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles. Under the provisions of the Charter, both former colonies were granted internal autonomy.
Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles each got a Minister Plenipotentiary based in the Netherlands, who had the right to participate in Dutch cabinet meetings when it discussed affairs that applied to the Kingdom as a whole, when these affairs pertained directly to Suriname or the Netherlands Antilles. Delegates of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles could participate in sessions of the First and Second Chamber of the States General. An overseas member could be added to the Council of State when appropriate. According to the Charter and the Netherlands Antilles were allowed to alter their "Basic Law"s; the right of the two autonomous countries to leave the Kingdom, was not recognised. Before the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was proclaimed in 1954, Netherlands New Guinea, the Netherlands Antilles "Colony of Curaçao and subordinates" (Kolonie Cu
An islet is a small island. As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability. Cay or Key – an islet formed by the accumulation of fine sand deposits atop a reef. Motu – A reef islet formed by broken coral and sand, surrounding an atoll. River island – A small islet within the current of a river. Rock – A "rock", in the sense of a type of islet, is an uninhabited landform composed of rock, lying offshore, having at most minimal vegetation. Sandbar – An exposed sandbar is another type of islet. Sea stack – A thin, vertical landform jutting out of a body of water. Skerry – A small rocky island defined to be too small for habitation. Subsidiary islets – A more technical application is to small land features, isolated by water, lying off the shore of a larger island. Any emergent land in an atoll is called an islet. Tidal island – Often small islands which lie off the mainland of an area, being connected to it in low tide and isolated in high tide.
In the Caribbean and West Atlantic, islets are called cays or keys. Rum Cay in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys off Florida are examples of islets. In Normandy and the Channel Islands, they are identified by the French suffix -hou from the Scandinavian -holm. In Scotland and Ireland, they are called inches, from the Gaelic innis, which meant island, but has been supplanted to refer to smaller islands. In Ireland they are termed skerries. In and around Polynesia, islets are known by the term motu, from the term for the coral-rubble islets common to the region. In and around the River Thames in England, small islands are known as eyots. Whether an islet is considered a rock or not can have significant economic consequences under Article 121 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which stipulates that "Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf." One long-term dispute over the status of such an islet was that of Snake Island.
The International Court of Justice jurisprudence however sometimes ignores islets, regardless of inhabitation status, in deciding territorial disputes. There are thousands of islets on Earth: 24,000 islands and islets in the Stockholm archipelago alone; the following is a list of example islets from around the world. Clive Schofield. "Islands or Rocks, Is that the Real Question? The Treatment of Islands in the Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries". In Myron H. Nordquist, John Norton Moore, Alfred H. A. Soons, Hak-So Kim; the Law of the Sea Convention: US Accession and Globalization. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Pp. 322–340. ISBN 978-90-04-20136-1. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter
Saint Barthélemy the Territorial collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy, called Ouanalao by the indigenous people, is an overseas collectivity of France in the West Indies. Abbreviated to St-Barth in French, St. Barths or St. Barts in English, the island lies about 35 kilometres southeast of St. Martin and north of St. Kitts. Puerto Rico is 240 kilometres to the west in the Greater Antilles. Saint Barthélemy was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupe, an overseas region and department of France. In 2003, the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity of France; the collectivity is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean that comprise the French West Indies, along with Saint Martin and Martinique. Saint Barthélemy, a volcanic island encircled by shallow reefs, has an area of 25 square kilometres and a population of 9,625, its capital is Gustavia, which contains the main harbour to the island.
It is the only Caribbean island, a Swedish colony for any significant length of time. Symbolism from the Swedish national arms, the Three Crowns, still appears in the island's coat of arms; the language and culture, are distinctly French. The island is a popular tourist destination during the winter holiday season for the rich and famous during the Christmas and New Year period. Before European contact the island was frequented by Eastern Caribbean Taíno people. Christopher Columbus was the first European to encounter the island in 1493, he named it after his brother Bartolomeo. Sporadic visits continued for the next hundred years. By 1648, the island was settled from St. Christopher, but the settlement was attacked and destroyed by Caribs six years later; these first French settlers had been encouraged by Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy, the lieutenant-governor of the French West India Company and comprised about 50 to 60 settlers. Led by Jacques Gentes, the new arrivals began cultivating cacao, until the Carib attack forced them to retreat.
De Poincy was a member of the Order of Saint John. He facilitated the transfer of ownership from the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique to the Order, he continued to rule the island until his death in 1660. Five years it was bought by the French West India Company along with the Order's other possessions in the Caribbean. By 1674, the company was dissolved and the islands became part of the French Kingdom. There was a brief takeover by the British in 1758; the island was given to Sweden in 1784 in exchange for trade rights in Gothenburg. It was only after 1784, when King Louis XVI traded the island to Sweden, that the island's fortunes changed for the better; this change of control saw progress and prosperity as the Swedes declared Gustavia a free port, convenient for trading by the Europeans for goods, including contraband material. Slavery was practiced in St. Barthélemy under the "Ordinance concerning the Police of Slaves and free Coloured People" of 1787; the last legally-owned slaves in the Swedish colony of St. Barthélemy were granted their freedom by the state on 9 October 1847.
Since the island was not a plantation area, the freed slaves suffered economic hardships due to lack of opportunities for employment. In 1852, a devastating hurricane hit this was followed by a fire. Following a referendum in 1877, Sweden gave the island back to France in 1878, after which it was administered as part of Guadeloupe. On 19 March 1946, the people of the island became French citizens with full rights. Many men from St. Barthélemy took jobs on Saint Thomas to support their families; the island received electricity circa 1961. Organised tourism and hotels began in earnest the 1960s and developed in the 1970s onwards after the building of the island's landing strip that can accommodate mid-sized aircraft; the coves and beach-side hotels attract catered and self-catered honeymooners. The capital attracts cruise liners. Saint Barthélemy was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupe, an overseas region and department of France. Through a referendum in 2003, island residents sought separation from the administrative jurisdiction of Guadeloupe, it was accomplished in 2007.
The island of Saint Barthélemy became an Overseas Collectivity. A governing territorial council was elected for its administration, which has provided the island with a certain degree of autonomy; the Hotel de Ville, the town hall, is now the Hotel de la Collectivité. A senator represents the island in Paris. St. Barthélemy has retained its free port status. Saint Barthélemy ceased being an outermost region and left the EU, to become an OCT, on 1 January 2012; the island sustained damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017 but by March 2018, the airport was handling daily flights and the ferry between St. Martin and St. Barts was operating. Electricity and water had been restored; some hotels were not yet open but most were expected to be operating by the fall of the year. The cruise ship port in Gustavia was operational. Located 250 kilometres east of Puerto Rico and the nearer Virgin Islands, St. Barthélemy lies sou