Guadeloupe is an insular region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Administratively, it is an overseas region consisting of a single overseas department. With a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and an estimated population of 400,132 as of January 2015, it is the largest and most populous European Union territory in North America. Guadeloupe's main islands are Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, the Îles des Saintes. Guadeloupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France; as a constituent territory of the European Union and the Eurozone, the euro is its official currency and any European Union citizen is free to settle and work there indefinitely. As an overseas department, however, it is not part of the Schengen Area; the official language is French, but Antillean Creole is spoken by the entire population except recent arrivals from metropolitan France. The island is called "Gwadada" by the locals.
The island was called "Karukera" by the Arawak people, who settled on there in the year 300. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe. Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and phonology. Archaeological evidence indicates that between 800 and 1000 AD drought led to a period with no habitation. Gradual resettlement occurred after 1000 AD. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493. During the 17th century, the Caribs repelled Spanish settlers; the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique delegated Charles Liènard de l'Olive and Jean du Plessis d'Ossonville to colonize one or any of the region's islands, Martinique, or Dominica. They settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, took possession of the island, wiped out many of the natives crushing them in 1641. Tobacco cultivation in the early 1600s was sustained by European laborers. In 1654 80% of the population of Guadeloupe was of European origin.
In the 1600s African slaves were brought in, by 1671 13%. Of the population was of European origin. Guadeloupe produced more sugar than all the British islands combined, worth about £6 million a year; the British captured Guadeloupe in 1759. Britain had seized Canada in the war, debate took place in both Britain and France as to, more valuable, Canada or Guadeloupe. Britain decided Canada, although expensive to maintain, was of greater strategic value and returned Guadeloupe to France in the Treaty of Paris. In 1790, following the French Revolution, monarchists refused to obey the new laws of equal rights for the free people of color and declared independence in 1791. In 1793, a slave rebellion broke out, which made the upper classes turn to the British and ask them to occupy the island. Britain seized Guadeloupe in April 1794. In December 1794, republican governor Victor Hugues used military force, helped by the slave population, to force the British to surrender. Hugues ended slavery, but in 1802, Napoleon I of France restored it, sending a force to recapture the island.
In 1810 the British again seized the island. In the Treaty of Paris of 1814, Sweden ceded Guadeloupe to France, giving rise to the Guadeloupe Fund; the Treaty of Vienna definitively acknowledged French control of Guadeloupe. In 1848, slavery was abolished. Slaves were replaced by indentured servants imported from India to work in the sugar fields. An earthquake in 1843 caused the La Soufrière volcano to erupt. Guadeloupe lost 12,000 of its 150,000 residents in the cholera epidemic of 1865–66. In 1925, after the trial of Henry Sidambarom French nationality and the vote was granted to Indian citizens. In 1946, the colony of Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France. In 2007 the island communes of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy were detached from Guadeloupe and became two separate French overseas collectivities with their own local administration. In January 2009, labour unions and others known as the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon went on strike for more pay; the strike lasted 44 days. Tourism suffered during this time and affected the 2010 tourist season as well.
The 2009 French Caribbean general strikes exposed deep ethnic and class tensions and disparities within Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe is an archipelago of more than 12 islands, as well as islets and rocks situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean, it is in the Leeward Islands, in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, an island arc a volcanic arc. Most of the inhabitants live on a pair of islands, Basse-Terre Island and Grande-Terre, which form a butterfly shape, viewed from above, the two wings of which are separated by a narrow sea channel, the Salée River. More than half of Guadeloupe's land surface is on Basse-Terre. Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains. La Grande Soufrière is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, with an elevation of 1,467 metres; the adjacent islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante are under jurisdiction of Guadeloupe. The Lesser Antilles are at the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate.
Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the Atlantic Plate under the Caribbean Plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. This process is responsible for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. Guadeloupe was formed from multiple volcanoes. There is an act
Damoiseau is a rum distilled in Guadeloupe. It is one of four types of rhum agricole produced in the region at family-owned distilleries, it has roots back to the 19th century and was founded as an agricultural estate. Damoiseau was founded as a sugar plantation by a certain Rimbaud at the end of the 19th century; the estate was purchased by Roger Damoiseau in 1942 and transformed into a distillery for producing only agricultural rum. Damoiseau is produced from sugar-cane, harvested and crushed on the same day before fermenting for 24-36 hours, it is distilled and aged for more than four years in charred bourbon barrels. Damoiseau Rum official website
French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas, still part of a European country. With a land area of 83,534 km2, French Guiana is the second-largest region of France and the largest outermost region within the European Union, it has a low population density, with only 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre. Half of its 296,711 inhabitants in 2019 lived in the metropolitan area of its capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of, primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, the largest national park in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory. Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity.
This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly, has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of departmental government, its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. Before European contact, the territory was inhabited by Native Americans, most speaking the Arawak language, of the Arawakan language family; the people identified as Lokono. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded Cayenne in 1643. Guiana was developed as a slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved laborers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. Slavery was abolished in the colonies at the time of the French Revolution. Guiana was designated as a French department in 1797. But, after France gave up its territory in North America in 1803, it developed Guiana as a penal colony, establishing a network of camps and penitentiaries along the coast where prisoners from metropolitan France were sentenced to forced labor.
During World War II and the fall of France to German forces, Félix Éboué was one of the first to support General Charles de Gaulle of Free France, as early as June 18, 1940. Guiana rallied Free France in 1943, it abandoned its status as a colony and once again became a French department in 1946. After De Gaulle was elected as president of France, he established the Guiana Space Centre in 1965, it is now operated by Arianespace and the European Space Agency. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several hundred Hmong refugees from Laos immigrated to French Guiana, fleeing displacement after United States involvement in the Vietnam War. In the late 1980s, more than 10,000 Surinamese refugees Maroons, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Civil War. More French Guiana has received large numbers of Brazilian and Haitian economic migrants. Illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining by Brazilian garimpeiros is a chronic issue in the remote interior rain forest of French Guiana. Integrated in the French central state in the 21st century, Guiana is a part of the European Union, its official currency is the euro.
The region has the highest nominal GDP per capita in South America. A large part of Guiana's economy derives from jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator; as elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which French Guianese Creole, a French-based creole language, is the most spoken. The region still faces such problems as poor infrastructure, high costs of living, high levels of crime and common social unrest. Guiana is derived from an Amerindian language and means "land of many waters"; the addition of the adjective "French" in most languages other than French is rooted in colonial times, when five such colonies had been named along the coast, subject to differing powers. French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west and Suriname, are still collectively referred to as "the Guianas" and constitute one large landmass known as the Guiana Shield.
French Guiana was inhabited by indigenous people: Kalina, Emerillon, Palikur and Wayana. The French attempted to create a colony there in the 18th century in conjunction with its settlement of some Caribbean islands, such as Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue. Bill Marshall, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Stirling wrote of French Guiana's origins: The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly, as settlers were subject to high mortality given the numerous tropical diseases and harsh climate: all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers died. During operations as a penal colony beginning in the mid-19th century, France transported 56,000 prisoners to Devil's Island. Fewer than 10% survived their sentence. Île du Diable was the site of a small prison facility, part of a larger penal system by the same name, which consisted of prisons on
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
Martinique is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres and a population of 376,480 inhabitants as of January 2016. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Greater Antilles, northwest of Barbados, south of Dominica; as with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the eighteen regions of France and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, its currency is the euro; the official language is French, the entire population speaks Antillean Creole. Christopher Columbus landed on 15 June 1502, after a 21-day trade wind passage, his fastest ocean voyage, he spent three days there refilling his water casks and washing laundry. The island was called "Jouanacaëra-Matinino", which came from a mythical island described by the Taínos of Hispaniola.
According to historian Sydney Daney, the island was called "Jouanacaëra" by the Caribs, which means "the island of iguanas". When Columbus landed on the island in 1502, he christened the island as Martinica; the island is called "Madinina" by the locals. The island was occupied first by Arawaks by Caribs; the Carib people had migrated from the mainland to the islands about 1201 CE, according to carbon dating of artifacts. They were displaced and assimilated by the Taino, who were resident on the island in the 1490s. Martinique was charted by Columbus in 1493. On 15 September 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc, French governor of the island of St. Kitts, landed in the harbor of St. Pierre with 150 French settlers after being driven off St. Kitts by the English. D'Esnambuc claimed Martinique for the French King Louis XIII and the French "Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique", established the first European settlement at Fort Saint-Pierre. D'Esnambuc died in 1636, leaving the company and Martinique in the hands of his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, who in 1637, became governor of the island.
In 1636, the indigenous Caribs rose against the settlers to drive them off the island in the first of many skirmishes. The French repelled the natives and forced them to retreat to the eastern part of the island, on the Caravelle Peninsula in the region known as the Capesterre; when the Carib revolted against French rule in 1658, the Governor Charles Houël du Petit Pré retaliated with war against them. Many were killed; some Carib had fled to St. Vincent, where the French agreed to leave them at peace; because there were few Catholic priests in the French Antilles, many of the earliest French settlers were Huguenots who sought greater religious freedom than what they could experience in mainland France. They became quite prosperous. Although edicts from King Louis XIV's court came to the islands to suppress the Protestant "heretics", these were ignored by island authorities until Louis XIV's Edict of Revocation in 1685. From September 1686 to early 1688, the French crown used Martinique as a threat and a dumping ground for mainland Huguenots who refused to reconvert to Catholicism.
Over 1,000 Huguenots were transported to Martinique during this period under miserable and crowded ship conditions that caused many of them to die en route. Those that survived the trip were distributed to the island planters as Engagés under the system of serf peonage that prevailed in the French Antilles at the time; as many of the planters on Martinique were themselves Huguenot, who were sharing in the suffering under the harsh strictures of the Revocation, they began plotting to emigrate from Martinique with many of their arrived brethren. Many of them were encouraged by their Catholic brethren who looked forward to the departure of the heretics and seizing their property for themselves. By 1688, nearly all of Martinique's French Protestant population had escaped to the British American colonies or Protestant countries back home; the policy decimated the population of Martinique and the rest of the French Antilles and set back their colonization by decades, causing the French king to relax his policies in the islands yet leaving the islands susceptible to British occupation over the next century.
Under Governor of the Antilles Charles de Courbon, comte de Blénac, Martinique served as a home port for French pirates including Captain Crapeau, Etienne de Montauban, Mathurin Desmarestz. In years pirate Bartholomew Roberts styled his jolly roger as a black flag depicting a pirate standing on two skulls labeled "ABH" and "AMH" for "A Barbadian's Head" and "A Martinican's Head", after Governors of those two islands sent warships to capture Roberts. Martinique was occupied several times by the British including once during the Seven Years' War and twice during the Napoleonic Wars. Excepting a period from 1802–1809 following signing of the Treaty of Amiens, Britain controlled the island for most of the time from 1794–1815, when it was traded back to France at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. Martinique has remained a French possession since then; as sugar prices declined in the early 1800s, the planter class lost political influence. In 1848, Victor Schoelcher persuaded the French government to end slavery in the French W
Réunion is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506; the island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848, when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies; however on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946; as in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.
Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin; the island is featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island might have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar; the first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509. By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia untouched.
The island was occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar; the convicts were returned to France several years and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665. "Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon".
When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved; the colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers; the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route. During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard. Réunion became a département d'outre-mer of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which became overseas regions.
Over about two decades in the late 20th century, 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006; the neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year.
A few cases appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mo
The Distillerie Dillon is in Fort de France in Martinique. It distills many types of rum from the locally grown sugar cane, it is powered by a Corliss steam engine, built in 1922. The site of the distillery was settled by sugar farmers in 1690; the name stems from Arthur Dillon a soldier with Lafayette's troops in the American War of Independence. Serving with Dillon's Regiment, of the Irish Brigade, he had been created a colonel at the age of 16. On returning to his home from the war, he married a rich widow, named Louise, they bought the estate, flourishing with sugar cane, had a daughter Fanny. Dillon became a deputy, his daughter was presented by her cousin Josephine to Napoleon, she married General Bertrand, they both accompanied Napoleon into exile on Elba and St Helena. On returning to the Dillon Plantation, she campaigned against slavery. There are ten varieties of sugar cane used by Dillon; the cane is grown for two years and when harvested the sugar is extracted over a period of 2 to 3 days.
Speed is essential. The saying goes "the cane should have its feet in the earth and its head in the mill" The cane is crushed three times to release the juice by a steam engine driven mill. Water is added and the juice is allowed to ferment- it is again milled to crush the sugar, fermentation starts; the residue cane is used to fire the boilers. The distillation is a slow process, in columns heated to 65 °C, producing an alcohol of 65%, it rests for five months is reduced and bottled at 50% to 55%. List of French rums List of rum producers Official website