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Guadeloupe History Timeline

Guadeloupe's Information

Flag of Guadeloupe
Total Area 1,628km2
Currency Euro (EUR)
Largest Cities

1400s - 1600s

  • (1493) Christopher Columbus discovered Guadeloupe during second expedition
  • (1635) French colonists established a settlement on the island
  • (1644) Sugar cane planted on Guadeloupe
  • (1650) First African slaves arrived
  • (1674) Guadeloupe became a possession of the French crown, a dependency of Martinique
1700s
  • (1703) English captured Fort St. Charles and Basse-Terre, disease and starvation forced withdrawal
  • (1759-1763) During the Seven Years War, British invaded Guadeloupe, plantations devastated; Guadeloupe surrendered to the British; British constructed a port at Pointe-a–Pitre, developed sugar plantations and imported about 18,000 slaves
  • (1762) Basse-Terre became seat of government and home of court of appeals
  • (1763) Treaty of Paris ended Seven Years War, Guadeloupe restored to French sovereignty
  • (1770) Coffee planting began, accelerated growth of slavery
  • (1775) Guadeloupe separated from Martinique, still under governor of the French Windward Islands; Guadeloupe became major exporter of cocoa
  • (1784) Trade permitted between Guadeloupe and citizens of the United States
  • (1787) Guadeloupe granted Colonial Assembly with taxation powers
  • (1794) French Convention abolished slavery
  • (1795) Guadeloupe became a French department
  • (1799) Constitution of Year VIII enacted, decreed that French colonies would be governed by special laws, Guadeloupe reverted to status of colony, lost representation in General Assembly
1800s
  • (1801) Decree of the Consuls stipulated that Guadeloupe would be governed by three magistrates: captain general, prefect and civil commissioner
  • (1802) French retook island, Napoleon reinstated slavery
  • (1809) British captured Basse-Terre
  • (1810) British occupied Guadeloupe
  • (1813) Guadeloupe ceded to Sweden, British occupation continued; Sweden outlawed slave trade
  • (1814) Treaty of Paris restored Guadeloupe to French sovereignty
  • (1815) British occupied Guadeloupe
  • (1816) Treaty of Vienna gave total control over Guadeloupe to French
  • (1825) Hurricane destroyed Basse-Terre
  • (1843) Pointe-a-Pitre virtually destroyed by earthquake, fire destroyed anything remaining; thousands killed
  • (1848) Slavery abolished
  • (1849) Emancipated slaves voted in elections for first time
  • (1854) First indentured servants arrived
  • (1871) Third Republic established, Guadeloupe granted elected representation in the National Assembly
  • (1897) Earthquake caused serious damage, economic crisis
1900s
  • (1904) Crisis in sugar market caused political and economic problems
  • (1921) East Indians granted right to vote
  • (1923) Guadeloupe exported its first bananas
  • (1925) Six workers killed during strike against sugar cane planters
  • (1928) Hurricane struck Pointe-a-Pitre, 2,000 people killed, 90% of homes were destroyed
  • (1940) U.S. imposed blockage on Guadeloupe's shipping routes, supplies could no longer reach the colony
  • (1941) "Fight against vagabondage" launched, all Guadeloupeans required to carry labor passbooks
  • (1940-43) Compulsory work program instituted by the Vichy government under Governor Sorin
  • (1946) Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France
  • (1958) Guadeloupe citizens choose to stay under France's wings
  • (1976) Volcano La Soufriere, erupted and caused considerable destruction, 70,000 people evacuated from capital city, Basse-Terre
  • (1995) Guadeloupe an observer in the Association of Caribbean States
2000s
  • (2001-2002) Guadeloupe experienced heavy drought
  • (2003) Voters in Guadeloupe and Martinique rejected reforms to the legislatures
  • (2004) Guadeloupe's leader conceded defeat in regional elections, conservative party out of power for first time in 12 years
  • (2005) Youths set up flaming tire barricades, threw rocks at policy in clashes caused by motorcycle crash at a police checkpoint
  • (2009) General strikes focused on low wages, high costs of living and social inequality, France bowed to demands for wage increases; police detained about 50 people who threw stones as police tried to remove barricades; rioters manning barricades killed Jacques Bino, a tax agent and union member
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

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