According to Countryaah data, the Caribbean inhabited the island of Grenada until 1498, when Columbus arrived and named it “Concepción”. The arrival of the Europeans did not immediately disturb the peace, but two centuries later the governor of the nearby French colony of Martinique, Du Parquet, decided to occupy the island. By 1674, the French had brought the island under control despite fierce resistance from the Caribbean.
By 1753, the French colonists from Martinique already had 100 sugar mills and 12,000 black slaves. The original native population was already extinct then.
In the late 18th century, Britain conquered the island and introduced the production of cocoa, cotton and nutmeg – based on the use of slave labor. The number had increased to 24,000 in 1788, and it remained at this level until the abolition of slavery in 1838.
100 years after the release of the slaves, the working conditions of the land workers had by no means been improved, and this was in the 1930’s the background of the formation of the country’s first trade union: the Grenada Manual and Metal Workers Union. In 1951, the first strike broke out in the country and the workers achieved significant wage increases. Young adventurer Eric Matthew Gairy, who had spent most of his life outside the island, took advantage of the radicalized situation and founded the country’s first political party, the Grenada United Labor Party (GULP), which raised the demand for independence. The same year, the party won the election to the Legislative Council and Gairy became cabinet chief.
- Visit abbreviationfinder.org for business, geography, history, politics, and society of Grenada. Also find most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms about this country.
In 1958 Grenada joined the British West Indies Federation, which in 1962 was again dissolved without much regret. In 1967, the country became part of the State Association of the British Antilles. That same year, Gairy became prime minister when he won the election in August. His main goal was total detachment from Britain.
According to thesciencetutor, GULP quickly succeeded in gaining some form of semi-autonomy from the London Colony Administration, which was slowly leading to independence. During the same period, a left wing had emerged in Grenada in the form of the New Jewel Movement (NJM). “Jewel” stood for: Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation. Paradoxically, the NJM went against a premature interruption of relations with the colonial power. Many Grenadines therefore believed that the left was personally governed by Gairy, who would thus manipulate a population whose political insights were still limited.