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Saint Martin

Saint Martin History Timeline


800s
  • (800s) Settled by Arawak Indians who arrived from South America; Carib Indians followed, gave the island the name Soualiga, or Land of Salt
1400s - 1600s
  • (1493) Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain, named the island Isla de San Martin
  • (1624) French cultivated tobacco in French Quarter
  • (1631) Dutch established small colony on "Great Bay" to collect salt
  • (1633-1648) Spanish navy captured Saint Martin from the Dutch until the peace of Westhpalia; Spanish army from Puerto Rico built the first military fort
  • (1638) Spain attacked and took over all Dutch settlements; Spain controlled and built the Old Spanish Fort
  • (1648) Spain abandoned the island; French and Dutch both claimed it; Treaty of Concordia established Sint Maarten (Dutch) and Saint Martin (French) to be split and governed by the Netherlands and France
  • (1679-1689) French occupied entire island
  • (1689-1792) Dutch established zone under Dutch West India Company administration
  • (1690-1699) English occupied entire island
  • (1699-1702) French occupied entire island
1700s - 1800s
  • (1703-1717) Dutch occupied entire island
  • (1779-1781) French occupied entire island
  • (1781) British occupied entire island
  • (1793-1794) Dutch administered entire island
  • (1795-1801) French occupied entire island
  • (1801-1802) British occupied entire island
  • (1810-1816) British occupied entire island
  • (1816) French and Dutch zones restored
  • (1848) French abolished slavery on their side
1900s
  • (1919) Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarteen united as Netherlands Windward Islands
  • (1936) Dutch side officially adopted the Dutch spelling Sint Maarten
  • (1939) Island declared a duty-free port
  • (1954) Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten united with Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao as the Netherlands Antilles, separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • (1960) Hurricane Donna caused considerable damage on the island
  • (1994) Kingdom of the Netherlands and France signed the French-Dutch Treaty on St. Martin border controls
  • (1995) Hurricane Luis caused extensive damage to the island
  • (1999) Hurricane Lenny devastated the island, claimed three lives
2000s
  • (2000) Referendum on Sint Maarten to obtain a "status aparte" within the Kingdom of the Netherlands received 68.9% support
  • (2003) French part of the island voted in favor of secession from Guadeloupe to form a separate overseas collectivity (COM) of France
  • (2006) Sint Maarten and Curacao signed agreement with the Netherlands on "status aparte"
  • (2007) French side became a separate overseas collectivity (COM)
  • (2010) The Netherlands Antilles dissolved; Sint Maarten became an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Eugene Holiday appointed first governor (Dutch governor) of Sint Maartin by the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Saint Martin Photographs

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Photos used are from public domain sources and en.wikipedia.org