Pre-European Settlement

1300 -        Carib Indians of South America conquer the indigenous Arawak Indians.


1498 -        Christopher Columbus visits the main island on St Vincent's Day.


1627 -        St Vincent granted to Britain's Lord Carlisle-Island inhabited by (Yellow) Caribs and (Black) Caribs-Garifuna.



Period of European Invasion and Colonial Occupation


1772-73     First Carib-Garifuna/British war. First Indigenous Caribbean people to force the British to sign a treaty

1783 -        Treaty of Versailles recognizes St Vincent as a British colony.


1795 –96   Second Carib-Garifuna/British war in response to British failure to honor treaties.

                  On March 14, 1795, Garifuna paramount chief Joseph Chatoyer is killed in battle.

1797 -        Britain, with French support, deports 5,000 Garifuna to Belize following an uprising.


1812 -        First recorded eruption of La Soufriere volcano which resulted in many casualties.


1834 -        Slavery abolished, forcing plantations to free more than 18,000 slaves; foreign laborers indentured.


1902 -        Second eruption of La Soufriere volcano results in the death of 2,000 inhabitants.


1935 -        October 21, 1935 saw the a series of working people protests which the British colonial authorities tried to characterize as riots.

The protests were led by a number of working women, including a Black Carib woman named Bertha Mutt.

Also involved was George McIntosh, who later founded the St. Vincent Workingmen’s Association.


1951 -        St Vincent granted universal adult suffrage. First Chief Minister, Ebenezer Joshua elected.


1958-62     St Vincent a member of the British-sponsored West Indies Federation.


Independence Period


1969 -        St Vincent granted internal self-government under Chief Minister Milton Cato, with Britain retaining responsibility for foreign and defense affairs.


1979          October - St Vincent and the Grenadines become independent with Milton Cato of the center-left St Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) as Prime Minister.


1979 -        Uprising called the “December Revolt” on Union Island by a group that wanted more power in the country's new government.


1979 -        Third major eruption of La Soufriere volcano.


1981 -        Workers stage a general strike in protest at new industrial relations legislation against the background of an economic recession.


1984 -        James Mitchell becomes Prime Minister after his center-right New Democratic Party (NDP) wins a surprising victory in the general election.


 1989 -       Mitchell returned to office after his NDP won all parliamentary seats.


1994 -        Mitchell and the NDP returned to office once again, but with a reduced majority.


1998 -        Mitchell and the NDP scrape a fourth term. Labor unions and opposition parties launch recall initiative.


2000 -        Mitchell resigns and is succeeded by his finance minister, Arniham Eustace.


2000 -        Ralph Gonsalves of the opposition coalition, elected Prime Minister




Population (1991): 115,500

Capital: Kingstown

Major languages: English

Major religion: Christianity

Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 74 years (women)

Monetary unit: 1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents

Main exports: Bananas, arrowroot (starch), nutmeg, mace, coconuts

Average annual income: US $2,640