St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Country history and economic development

1498. Saint Vincent sighted by Columbus on his third voyage of discovery.

1627-73. Islands claimed but not settled by Great Britain.

1673-1762. Jointly administered by Great Britain and France as neutral territory.

1763. Saint Vincent ceded to British after conflict with France.

1779-83. Islands occupied by French forces.

1796. Suppression and mass deportation of the Black Caribs by General Abercrombie.

1833-1960. Islands are part of the British Windward Islands colony.

1950s. First banana exports to United Kingdom.

1979. Islands declare independence from United Kingdom and become part of the British Commonwealth.

1984. James Mitchell of the conservative New Democratic Party becomes prime minister and dominates politics until 2000.

1987. Hurricane Emily destroys 70 percent of banana crop.

2000. Mitchell resigns amidst political controversy; Ralph Gonsalves, head of the United Labour Party, is elected in 2001.

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