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Country Fast Facts: St. Vincent

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on St. Vincent until 1719.

Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783.

Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies.

Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.

Natural disasters have featured in the country's history. In 1902, La Soufrière volcano erupted, killing 2,000 people. Much farmland was damaged, and the economy deteriorated.

In April 1979, La Soufrière erupted again. Although no one was killed, thousands had to be evacuated, and there was extensive agricultural damage.

In 1980 and 1987, hurricanes compromised banana and coconut plantations; 1998 and 1999 also saw very active hurricane seasons, with Hurricane Lenny in 1999 causing extensive damage to the west coast of the island.

Source: CIA World Fact Book

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