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Guadeloupe

Overseas department of Guadelope
Département d’Outre-Mer de la Guadeloupe  (French)
Guadeloupe in France 2016.svg
Location of Guadeloupe
Country France
PrefectureBasse-Terre
Departments1
Government
 • President of the Regional CouncilAry Chalus
Area
 • Total1,628 km2 (629 sq mi)
Area rank16th region
Population
 (2016)[1]
 • Total395,700[1]
Demonym(s)Guadeloupean
Time zoneUTC-04:00 (AST)
ISO 3166 code
GDP (2014)[1]Ranked 25th
Total€8.1 billion (US$10.3 bn)
Per capita€19,810 (US$25,479)
NUTS RegionFRA
Websitewww.guadeloupe.gouv.fr

Guadeloupe (/ˌɡw

Guadeloupe (/ˌɡwɑːdəˈlp/, French: [ɡwad(ə)lup] (About this soundlisten); Antillean Creole: Gwadloup) is an archipelago forming an overseas region of France in the Caribbean.[2] It consists of six inhabited islands — Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the two inhabited Îles des Saintes — as well as many uninhabited islands and outcroppings.[3] It is south of Antigua and Barbuda and Montserrat, and north of Dominica. The region's capital city is Basse-Terre, located on the southern west coast of Basse-Terre Island; however, the most populous city is Les Abymes and the main center of business is neighbouring Pointe-à-Pitre, both located on Grande-Terre Island.[2]

Like the other overseas departments, it is an integral part of France. As a constituent territory of the European Union and the Eurozone, the euro is its official currency and any European Union citizen is free to settle and work there indefinitely. As an overseas department, however, it is not part of the Schengen Area. The region formerly included Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, which were detached from Guadeloupe in 2007 following a 2003 referendum.

Navigator Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Guadeloupe, where he landed in 1493, and gave the island its name. The official language is French; Antillean Creole is also spoken.[2][3]

Etymology

Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, after whom the island gets its name

The archipelago was called Karukera (or "The Island of Beautiful Waters") by the native Arawak people.[2]

Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Our Lady of Guadalupe, a shrine to the Virgin Mary venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, Extremadura.[2] Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and Like the other overseas departments, it is an integral part of France. As a constituent territory of the European Union and the Eurozone, the euro is its official currency and any European Union citizen is free to settle and work there indefinitely. As an overseas department, however, it is not part of the Schengen Area. The region formerly included Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, which were detached from Guadeloupe in 2007 following a 2003 referendum.

Navigator Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Guadeloupe, where he landed in 1493, and gave the island its name. The official language is French; Antillean Creole is also spoken.[2][3]

The archipelago was called Karukera (or "The Island of Beautiful Waters") by the native Arawak people.[2]

Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Our Lady of Guadalupe, a shrine to the Virgin Mary venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, Extremadura.[2] Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and phonology. The islands are locally known as Gwada.[4]

History

Pre-colonial era

Ancient petroglyph in Baillif

The islands were first populated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, possibly as far back as 3000 BC.[5][6][7] The Arawak people are the first identifiable group; however, they were later displaced circa 1400 AD by Kalina-Carib peoples.[2]

15th-17th centuries

Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Guadeloupe, landing in November 1493 and giving it its current name.[2] Several attempts at colonisation by the Spanish in the 16th century failed due to attacks from the native peoples.[2] In 1626 the French under Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc began to take an interest in Guadeloupe, expelling Spanish settlers.[2] The Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, under the direction of Charles Liénard de L'Olive and Jean du Plessis d'Ossonville; they formally took possession of the island for France and brought in French farmers to colonise the land. This led to the death of many indigenous people by disease and violence.[8] By 1640, however, the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique had gone bankrupt, and they thus sold Guadeloupe to Charles Houël du Petit Pré who began plantation agriculture, with the first African slaves arriving in 1650.[9]&#

Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Our Lady of Guadalupe, a shrine to the Virgin Mary venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, Extremadura.[2] Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and phonology. The islands are locally known as Gwada.[4]

The islands were first populated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, possibly as far back as 3000 BC.[5][6][7] The Arawak people are the first identifiable group; however, they were later displaced circa 1400 AD by Kalina-Carib peoples.[2]

15th-17th centuries

Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Guadeloupe, landing in November 1493 and giving it its current name.[2] Several attempts at colonisation by the Spanish in the 16th century failed due to attacks from the native peoples.[2] In 1626 the French under Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc began to take an interest in Guadeloupe, expelling Spanish settlers.[2] The Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, under the direction of

Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Guadeloupe, landing in November 1493 and giving it its current name.[2] Several attempts at colonisation by the Spanish in the 16th century failed due to attacks from the native peoples.[2] In 1626 the French under Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc began to take an interest in Guadeloupe, expelling Spanish settlers.[2] The Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, under the direction of Charles Liénard de L'Olive and Jean du Plessis d'Ossonville; they formally took possession of the island for France and brought in French farmers to colonise the land. This led to the death of many indigenous people by disease and violence.[8] By 1640, however, the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique had gone bankrupt, and they thus sold Guadeloupe to Charles Houël du Petit Pré who began plantation agriculture, with the first African slaves arriving in 1650.[9][10] Slave resistance was immediately widespread, with an open uprising in 1656 lasting several weeks and a simultaneous spate of mass desertions that lasted at least two years until the French compelled indigenous peoples to stop assisting them.[11] Ownership of the island passed to the French West India Company before it was annexed to France in 1674 under the tutelage of their Martinique colony.[2] Institutionalised slavery, enforced by the Code Noir from 1685, led to a booming sugar plantation economy.[12]

18th-19th centuries

During the Seven Years' War the British occupied Guadeloupe from the time of 1759 British Invasion of Guadeloupe until the 1763 Treaty of Paris.[2] During this time Pointe-à-Pitre became a major harbour, and markets in Britain's North American colonies were opened to Guadeloupean sugar which was traded for cheap food and timber. The economy expanded quickly, creating vast wealth for the European colonists.[13] During this time about 18,000 slaves were imported to Guadeloupe.[9] So prosperous was Guadeloupe at the time that under the 1763 Treaty of Paris France forfeited its Canadian colonies in exchange for Guadeloupe.[14] Coffee planting began in the late 1720s,[15] also worked by slaves, and by 1775 cocoa had also become a major export product.[9]

The 1789 French Revolution brought chaos to Guadeloupe. Under new revolutionary law free people of colour were entitled to equal rights. Taking advantage of the anarchic political situation, Britain invaded Guadeloupe in 1794, to which the French responded by sending in soldiers led by Victor Hugues, who retook the lands and abolished slavery.[2] In the Reign of Terror that followed more than 1,000 colonists were killed.[13]

Bust of Louis Delgrès, leader of the 1802 slave rebellion

In 1802 the First French Empire

In 1802 the First French Empire reinstated the pre-revolutionary government and slavery, prompting a slave rebellion led by Louis Delgrès.[2] The French authorities responded quickly, culminating in the Battle of Matouba on 28 May 1802. Realising they had no chance of success, Delgrès and his followers committed mass suicide by deliberately exploding their gunpowder stores.[16][17] In 1810 the British again seized the island, handing it over to Sweden in 1813.[18]

In the Treaty of Paris of 1814, Sweden ceded Guadeloupe to France, giving rise to the Guadeloupe Fund. In 1815 the Treaty of Vienna definitively acknowledged French control of Guadeloupe.[2][9]

Slavery was abolished in the French Empire in 1848.[2] From 1854 indentured labourers from the French colony of Treaty of Paris of 1814, Sweden ceded Guadeloupe to France, giving rise to the Guadeloupe Fund. In 1815 the Treaty of Vienna definitively acknowledged French control of Guadeloupe.[2][9]

Slavery was abolished in the French Empire in 1848.[2] From 1854 indentured labourers from the French colony of Pondicherry in India were brought in.[citation needed] Emancipated slaves had the vote from 1849, but French nationality and the vote was not granted to Indian citizens until 1923, thanks largely to the efforts of Henry Sidambarom.[19]

In 1936 Félix Éboué became the first black governor of Guadeloupe.[20] During the Second World War Guadeloupe initially came under the control of the Vichy government, later joining Free France in 1943.[2] In 1946, the colony of Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France.[2]

Tensions arose in the post-war era over the social structure of Guadeloupe and its relationship with mainland France. The 'Massacre of St Valentine' occurred in 1952, when striking factory workers in Le Moule were shot at by the Le Moule were shot at by the Compagnies républicaines de sécurité, resulting in four deaths.[21][22][23] In May 1967 racial tensions exploded into rioting following a racist attack on a black Guadeloupean, resulting in eight deaths.[24][25][26]

An independence movement grew in the 1970s, prompting France to declare Guadeloupe a French region in 1974.[2] The Union populaire pour la libération de la Guadeloupe (UPLG) campaigned for complete independence, and by the 1980s the situation had turned violent with the actions of groups such as Groupe de libération armée (GLA) and Alliance révolutionnaire caraïbe (ARC).

Greater autonomy was granted to Guadeloupe in 2000.[2] Through a referendum in 2003, Saint-Martin and Saint Barthélemy voted to separate from the administrative jurisdiction of Guadeloupe, this being fully enacted by 2007.[2]

In January 2009, labour unions and others known as the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon went on strike for more pay.[27] Strikers were angry with low wages, the high cost of living, high levels of poverty relative to mainland France and levels of unemployment that are amongst the worst in the European Union.[28] The situation quickly escalated, exacerbated by what was seen as an ineffectual response by the French government, turning violent and prompting the deployment of extra police after a union leader (Jacques Bino) was shot and killed.[29] The strike lasted 44 days and had also inspired similar actions on nearby Martinique. President Nicolas Sarkozy later visited the island, promising reform.[30] Tourism suffered greatly during this time and affected the 2010 tourist season as well.

Guadeloupe is an archipelago of more than 12 islands, as well as islets and rocks situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean.[2] It is located in the Leeward Islands in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, a partly volcanic island arc. To the north lies Antigua and Barbuda and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat, with Dominica lying to the south.

The main two islands are Basse-Terre (west) and Grande-Terre (east), which form a butterfly shape as viewed from above, the two 'wings' of which are separated by the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin, Rivière Salée and Petit Cul-de-Sac Marin. More than half of Guadeloupe's land surface consists of the 847.8 km2 Basse-Terre.[31] The island is mountainous, containing such peaks as Mount Sans Toucher (4,442 feet; 1,354 metres) and Grande Découverte (4,143 feet; 1,263 metres), culminating in the active volcano La Grande Soufrière, the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles with an elevation of 1,467 metres (4,813 ft).[2][3] In contrast Grande-Terre is mostly

The main two islands are Basse-Terre (west) and Grande-Terre (east), which form a butterfly shape as viewed from above, the two 'wings' of which are separated by the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin, Rivière Salée and Petit Cul-de-Sac Marin. More than half of Guadeloupe's land surface consists of the 847.8 km2 Basse-Terre.[31] The island is mountainous, containing such peaks as Mount Sans Toucher (4,442 feet; 1,354 metres) and Grande Découverte (4,143 feet; 1,263 metres), culminating in the active volcano La Grande Soufrière, the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles with an elevation of 1,467 metres (4,813 ft).[2][3] In contrast Grande-Terre is mostly flat, with rocky coasts to the north, irregular hills at the centre, mangrove at the southwest, and white sand beaches sheltered by coral reefs along the southern shore.[3] This is where the main tourist resorts are found.[32]

Marie-Galante is the third-largest island, followed by La Désirade, a north-east slanted limestone plateau, the highest point of which is 275 metres (902 ft). To the south lies the Îles de Petite-Terre, which are two islands (Terre de Haut and Terre de Bas) totalling 2 km2.[32]

Les Saintes is an archipelago of eight islands of which two, Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut are inhabited. The landscape is similar to that of Basse-Terre, with volcanic hills and irregular shoreline with deep bays.

There are numerous other smaller islands, most notably Tête à l'Anglais, Îlet à Kahouanne, Îlet à Fajou, Îlet Macou, Îlet aux Foux, Îlets de Carénage, La Biche, Îlet Crabière, Îlets à Goyaves, Îlet à Cochons, Îlet à Boissard, Îlet à Chasse and Îlet du Gosier.

Basse-Terre is a volcanic island.[33] The Lesser Antilles are at the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate, and Guadeloupe is part of the outer arc of the Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc. Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the Atlantic Plate under the Caribbean Plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. This process is ongoing and is responsible for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. Guadeloupe was formed from multiple volcanoes, of which only la Soufriere is not extinct.[34] Its last eruption was in 1976, and led to the evacuation of the southern part of Basse-Terre. 73,600 people were displaced over a course of three and a half months following the eruption.

K–Ar dating indicates that the three northern massifs on Basse-Terre Island are 2.79 million years

K–Ar dating indicates that the three northern massifs on Basse-Terre Island are 2.79 million years old. Sections of volcanoes collapsed and eroded within the last 650,000 years, after which the Sans Toucher volcano grew in the collapsed area. Volcanoes in the north of Basse-Terre Island mainly produced andesite and basaltic andesite.[35] There are several beaches of dark or "black" sand.[32]

La Désirade, east of the main islands has a basement from the Mesozoic, overlaid with thick limestones from the Pliocene to Quaternary periods.[36]

Grande-Terre and Marie-Galante have basements probably composed of volcanic units of Eocene to Oligocene, but there are no visible outcrops. On Grande-Terre, the overlying carbonate platform is 120 metres thick.[36]

The islands are part of the Leeward Islands, so called because they are downwind of the prevailing trade winds, which blow out of the northeast.[2][3] This was significant in the days of sailing ships. Grande-Terre is so named because it is on the eastern, or windward side, exposed to the Atlantic winds. Basse-Terre is so named because it is on the leeward south-west side and sheltered from the winds. Guadeloupe has a tropical climate tempered by maritime influences and the Trade Winds. There are two seasons, the dry season called "Lent" from January to June, and the wet season called "winter", from July to December.[2]

The island is vulnerable to hurricanes - among the storms to make landfall on the islands are:[31] Hurricane Cleo in 1964, Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and Hurricane Maria in 2017.[37][38][39]

Climate data for Guadeloupe
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) [31] Hurricane Cleo in 1964, Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and Hurricane Maria in 2017.[37][38][39]

With fertile volcanic soils, heavy rainfall and a warm climate, vegetation on Basse-Terre is lush.[31] Most of the islands' forests are on Basse-Terre, containing such species as mahogany, ironwood and chestnut trees.[2] Mangrove swamps line the Salée River.[2] Much of the forest on Grande-Terre has been cleared, with only a few small patches remaining.[2]

Few terrestial mammals, aside from bats and raccoons, are native to the islands. The introduced Javan mongoose is also present on Guadeloupe.[2] Bird species include the endemic purple-throated carib, Guadeloupe woodpecker and the extinct Guadeloupe parakeet.[2] The waters of the islands support a rich variety of marine life.[2]

Demographics

Guadeloupe's population, 1961-2003

Guadeloupe recorded a population of 402,119 in the 2013 census.[41] The population is mainly of Afro-Caribbean or mixed Creole, white European, Indian (Tamil, Telugu, and other South Indians), Lebanese, Syrians, and Chinese. There is also a substantial population of Haitians in Guadeloupe who work mainly in construction and as street vendors.[42] Basse-Terre is the political capital; however, the largest city and economic hub is Pointe-à-Pitre.[2]

The population of Guadeloupe has been stable recently, with a net increase of only 335 people between the 2008 and 2013 censuses.[43] In 2012 the average population density in Guadeloupe was 247.7 inhabitants for every square kilometre, which is very high in comparison to the whole France's 116.5 inhabitants for every square kilometre.[citation needed] One third of the land is devoted to agriculture and all mountains are uninhabitable; this lack of space and shelter makes the population density even higher.

Major urban areas

Rank Urban Area Pop. (08) Pop. (99) Δ Pop Activities Island
1 Pointe-à-Pitre 132,884 132,751 Increase +0.10% economic center Grande-Terre and
Basse-Terre
2 Basse-Terre 37,455 36,126 Increase +3.68% administrative center Basse-Terre
3 Sainte-Anne 23,457 20,410 Increase +14.9% tourism Grande-Terre
4 Petit-Bourg 22,171 20,528 Increase +8.00% <

Few terrestial mammals, aside from bats and raccoons, are native to the islands. The introduced Javan mongoose is also present on Guadeloupe.[2] Bird species include the endemic purple-throated carib, Guadeloupe woodpecker and the extinct Guadeloupe parakeet.[2] The waters of the islands support a rich variety of marine life.[2]

Guadeloupe recorded a population of 402,119 in the 2013 census.[41] The population is mainly of Afro-Caribbean or mixed Creole, white European, Indian (Tamil, Telugu, and other South Indians), Lebanese, Syrians, and Chinese. There is also a substantial population of Haitians in Guadeloupe who work mainly in construction and as street vendors.[42] Basse-Terre is the political capital; however, the largest city and economic hub is Pointe-à-Pitre.[2]

The population of Guadeloupe has been stable recently, with a net increase of only 335 people between the 2008 and 2013 censuses.[43] In 2012 the average population density in Guadeloupe was 247.7 inhabitants for every square kilometre, which is very high in comparison to the whole France's 116.5 inhabitants for every square kilometre.[citation needed] One third of the land is devoted to agriculture and all mountains are uninhabitable; this lack of space and shelter makes the population density even higher.

Major urban areas

The population of Guadeloupe has been stable recently, with a net increase of only 335 people between the 2008 and 2013 censuses.[43] In 2012 the average population density in Guadeloupe was 247.7 inhabitants for every square kilometre, which is very high in comparison to the whole France's 116.5 inhabitants for every square kilometre.[citation needed] One third of the land is devoted to agriculture and all mountains are uninhabitable; this lack of space and shelter makes the population density even higher.

In 2011, life expectancy at birth was recorded at 77.0 years for males and 83.5 for females.[44]

Medical centers in Guadeloupe include: University Hospital Center (CHU) in Pointe-à-Pitre, Regional Hospital Center (CHR) in Basse-Terre, and four hospitals located in Capesterre-Belle-Eau, Pointe-Noire, Bouillante and Saint-Claude.[circular reference]

The Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe, is located in Pointe-à-Pitre and is responsible for researching environmental hygiene, vaccinations, and the spread of tuberculosis and mycobacteria[45]

Governance

Together with Martinique, La Réunion, Mayotte and French Guiana, Guadeloupe is one of the overseas departments, being both a region and a department combined into one entity.[2] It is also an outermost region of the European Union. The inhabitants of Guadeloupe are French citizens with full political and legal rights.

Legislative powers are centred on the separate departmental and regional councils.[2] The elected president of the Departmental Council of Guadeloupe is currently Josette Borel-Lincertin; its main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school (collège) buildings and technical staff, and local roads and school and rural buses. The Regional Council of Guadeloupe is a body, elected every six years, consisting of a president (currently Ary Chalus) and eight vice-presidents. The regional council oversees secondary education, regional transportation, econom

Medical centers in Guadeloupe include: University Hospital Center (CHU) in Pointe-à-Pitre, Regional Hospital Center (CHR) in Basse-Terre, and four hospitals located in Capesterre-Belle-Eau, Pointe-Noire, Bouillante and Saint-Claude.[circular reference]

The Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe, is located in Pointe-à-Pitre and is responsible for researching environmental hygiene, vaccinations, and the spread of tuberculosis and mycobacteria[45]

Together with Martinique, La Réunion, Mayotte and French Guiana, Guadeloupe is one of the overseas departments, being both a region and a department combined into one entity.[2] It is also an outermost region of the European Union. The inhabitants of Guadeloupe are French citizens with full political and legal rights.

Legislative powers are centred on the separate departmental and regional councils.[2] The elected president of the Departmental Council of Guadeloupe is currently Josette Borel-Lincertin; its main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school (collège) buildings and technical staff, and local roads and school and rural buses. The Regional Council of Guadeloupe is a body, elected every six years, consisting of a president (currently Ary Chalus) and eight vice-presidents. The regional council oversees secondary education, regional transportation, economic development, the environment, and some infrastructure, among other things.

Guadeloupe elects one deputy from one of each of the first, second, third, and fourth constituencies to the National Assembly of France. Three senators are chosen for the Senate of France by indirect election.[2] F

Guadeloupe elects one deputy from one of each of the first, second, third, and fourth constituencies to the National Assembly of France. Three senators are chosen for the Senate of France by indirect election.[2] For electoral purposes, Guadeloupe is divided into two arrondissements (Basse-Terre and Pointe-à-Pitre), and 21 cantons.

Most of the French political parties are active in Guadeloupe. In addition there are also regional parties such as the Guadeloupe Communist Party, the Progressive Democratic Party of Guadeloupe, the Guadeloupean Objective, the Pluralist Left, and United Guadaloupe, Socialism and Realities.

The prefecture (regional capital) of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government.[2]

For the purposes of local government, Guadeloupe is divided into 32 communes.[2] Each commune has a municipal council and a mayor. Revenues for the communes come from transfers from the French government, and local taxes. Administrative responsibilities at this level include water management, acts of birth, marriage, etc., and municipal police.

As a part of France, Guadeloupe uses the French tricolour as its flag and La Marseillaise as its anthem.[46] However, a variety of other flags are also used in an unofficial or informal context, most notably the sun-based flag. Independentists also have their own flag.