Grenada: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
Christopher Columbus sailed past Grenada in 1498, but the native Carib Indians successfully repelled Spanish, French and English colonizers. A French colony was established in the 17th century, but eventually the island was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Versailles in 1783.
The British imported African slaves and established sugar plantations, which were staffed by indentured Indian immigrants after the abolition of slavery.
In 1877 Grenada became a Crown Colony, and in 1967 it became an associate state within the British Commonwealth before gaining independence in 1974.
Despite its British history, the island retains many French cultural influences.
The population of 109,590 (est July 2013) is around 82% black, 13% mixed black and European, and 5% European and East Indian. Religious denominations are: Roman Catholic 53%, Anglican 13.8%, other Protestant 33.2%.
English is the official language; a French patois is also spoken.
In 1979, an attempt was made to set up a socialist/communist state in Grenada. Four years later, at the request of the Governor General, the United States, Jamaica, and the Eastern Caribbean States intervened militarily to restore democracy.
Launching their now famous "rescue mission," the allied forces restored order, and in December of 1984 a general election re-established democratic government.
The tourist industry has developed rapidly; but the island has taken care to preserve its beautiful scenery, including some rain forest and its coral reefs.