Posted by Carib Autos on May 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM
The history of any Caribbean Island is one of mystery, that tells us of ancient people and the meeting between the old and the new world. Grenada is no exception. In order for it to become the peaceful Island Nation that it is today, thousands of generations from a multitude of people had to place their feet on its soil. We would never suggest visiting our beautiful island without actually telling you how any place worth visiting came to be, so here is a quick history of Grenada.
The exact time at which Grenada was first occupied by a human being is a subject of debate, with some evidence pointing (rather unsafely) to around 3760-3525 BC. This estimation was taken by measuring an increase of charcoal particulates in the soil, accompanied by a decrease in tree pollen at the same time.
Normally, this measuring would indicate the building of bonfires, but since Grenada is a Volcanic Island it becomes much more inconclusive. Scientists have only been able to safely date the human occupation of Grenada back to the early ceramic age thanks to the artifacts found in Beausejour (260-410 AD) and Pearls (370-645 AD).
There are 87 verified pre-Columbian sites in Grenada Isle, supposedly inhabited once by indigenous members of Arawak Culture, who used the language of “Cariban” as a trading dialect.
Europe came into contact with Grenada Island in much the same way the rest of the Caribbean did, an intrepid explorer by the name of Christopher Columbus. Columbus had allegedly sighted the Island during his third voyage in 1948 deciding not to land due to native resistance. Around the 1520s, it was named “la Granada” by the Spanish in honor of the recently conquered Moor fortress in their homeland.
The Colonial Era
The colonization of La Granada was a slow process, largely due to the unwillingness of the natives to allow European settlement. A first attempt at settling the Island was made by the British in June 1609, with the arrival of the three ships Diana, Penelope, and Endeavor.
Unfortunately, this first enterprise met a tragic fate when the settlement was destroyed by the native islanders, and its inhabitants tortured and killed. In 1649, the French sent to Grenada an expedition force of 203 men led by Jacques Dyel du Parquet which arriving at St Georges harbor, built a fortified settlement called “Fort Annunciation”. Du Parquet managed to arrange a treaty with the indigenous Chief Kairouane which partitioned the Island peacefully between the two communities. Soon after Du Parquet left Grenada, leaving his cousin Jean Le Comte this frail established peace broke into five years of bloody conflict which ended in a full french conquest in 1654. Unwilling to accept surrender, Chief Kairouane and his supporters threw themselves off a cliff.
On March the 4th 1762, Grenada was captured by the British and officially ceded to Britain during the treaty of Paris in 1763 and remained a colony of their empire until 1974.
The Road to Independence
In 1917, the Representative Government Association (RGA) was founded by Theophilus A. Marryshow to lobby for a more representative constitutional dispensation for the people of Grenada. This association greatly contributed to Grenada to undergo a constitutional reform and create a “modified” Crown Colony government. In practical terms, this meant the wealthy 4% of Grenadians from 1925 gained the right to elect five of the 15 seats in the legislative council. During the 1950s, this number was increased from 5 to 8. Just around the same time, a general strike led by the Grenada United Labor Party ignited an enormous revolt that set ablaze the buildings of Grenada St George in what became known as the “Red Sky Days”.
A general election was held in 1951 under the principle of “universal adult suffrage”, which earned GULP six of the eight seats.
In 1962, when the federation of the West Indies collapsed, the British Government and islanders developed the concept of “associated statehood”, which led to Grenada gaining full autonomy in 1967.
Finally, in 1974, Independence was granted to Grenada under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became its first prime minister.
The history of Grenada Island before, during, and after colonization is one of struggle and conflict, the marks of which dot it to this day. Someone with an inclination for history may find great joy in visiting these marks in the many forts, museums, and historical buildings.
If this particular vacation plan suits your fancy, you’ll want to be able to reach historical sites fast to make the most out of your trip. So why not rent a car at Caribautos!
Here you can find lots of information on the island of Grenada! Whether it be the top things to do in Grenada, the best beaches of Grenada or the best time of year to visit to make the most of the Grenada weather, we talk about it all!