SINT MAARTEN (Dutch pronunciation: ) is an island country in the
Caribbean . It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands . With a population of 33,609 on an area of 34 km2 (13 sq
mi), it encompasses the southern 40% of the divided island of Saint
Martin , while the northern 60% of the island constitutes the French
overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin . Its capital is Philipsburg .
Before 10 October 2010,
Sint Maarten was known as the Island
Sint Maarten (Dutch : Eilandgebied Sint Maarten), and was
one of five island territories (eilandgebieden) that constituted the
Netherlands Antilles .
* 1 History
* 1.1 20th century
* 1.2 21st century
* 2 Government and politics
* 2.1 Current composition of the
Estates of Sint Maarten
* 2.2 Corruption
* 3 Demographics
* 3.1 Settlements
* 3.2 Religion
* 3.3 Languages
* 4 Culture
* 4.1 Sport and recreation
* 4.2 Popular culture
* 5 Education
* 6 Transportation and economy
* 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 9 References
* 10 External links
See also: History of
In 1493, during
Christopher Columbus ' second voyage to the West
Indies , upon first sighting the island he named it Isla de San
Saint Martin of Tours because it was 11 November, St.
Martin\'s Day . However, though he claimed it as a Spanish territory,
Columbus never landed there, and
Spain made the settlement of the
island a low priority.
The French and Dutch , on the other hand, both coveted the island.
While the French wanted to colonize the islands between
Bermuda , the Dutch found San Martín a convenient halfway point
between their colonies in
New Amsterdam (present day New York ) and
Brazil . With few people inhabiting the island, the Dutch easily
founded a settlement there in 1631, erecting Fort Amsterdam as
protection from invaders. Jan Claeszen Van Campen became its first
governor , and soon thereafter the
Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company began its
salt mining operations. French and British settlements sprang up on
the island as well. Taking note of these successful colonies and
wanting to maintain their control of the salt trade, the Spanish now
found St. Martin much more appealing. The Eighty Years\' War which had
been raging between
Spain and the
Netherlands provided further
incentive to attack.
Spanish forces captured
Saint Martin from the Dutch in 1633, seizing
control and driving most or all of the colonists off the island. At
Point Blanche, they built what is now Old Spanish Fort to secure the
territory. Although the Dutch retaliated in several attempts to win
back St. Martin, they failed. Fifteen years after the Spanish
conquered the island, the
Eighty Years' War
Eighty Years' War ended. Since they no
longer needed a base in the
Caribbean and St. Martin barely turned a
profit, the Spanish lost their inclination to continue defending it.
In 1648, they deserted the island.
With St. Martin free again, both the Dutch and the French jumped at
the chance to re-establish their settlements. Dutch colonists came
from St. Eustatius , while the French came from
St. Kitts . After some
initial conflict, both sides realized that neither would yield easily.
Preferring to avoid an all-out war, they signed the Treaty of
Concordia in 1648, which divided the island in two. During the
treaty's negotiation, the French had a fleet of naval ships off shore,
which they used as a threat to bargain more land for themselves. In
spite of the treaty, relations between the two sides were not always
cordial. Between 1648 and 1816, conflicts changed the border sixteen
times. The entire island came under effective French control from 1795
Netherlands became a puppet state under the French Empire until
1815. In the end, the French came out ahead with 53 km2 (20 sq mi;
61%) against 34 km2 (13 sq mi; 39%) on the Dutch side.
With the new cultivation of cotton , tobacco , and sugar , the French
and the Dutch imported a massive number of slaves to work on the
plantations . The slave population quickly grew larger than that of
the land owners. Subjected to cruel treatment, slaves staged
rebellions, and their overwhelming numbers made it impossible to
ignore their concerns. In 1848, the French abolished slavery in their
colonies including the French side of St. Martin. Slaves on the Dutch
side of the island protested and threatened to flee to the French side
to seek asylum. The local Dutch authorities relented and emancipated
the colonies' slaves. While this decree was respected locally, it was
not until 1863 when the Dutch abolished slavery in all of their island
colonies that the slaves became legally free.
After abolition of slavery, plantation culture declined and the
island's economy suffered. In 1939, St. Martin received a major boost
when it was declared a duty-free port. In 1941, the island was shelled
by a German
World War II
World War II . The Dutch side began focusing
on tourism in the 1950s, with the French side following suit two
decades later. Because of being split up into a Dutch and a French
part, the tourist boom was heavier on
Sint Maarten than on the
surrounding islands. Its
Princess Juliana International Airport became
one of the busiest in the Eastern Caribbean. For much of this period,
Sint Maarten was governed by business tycoon
Claude Wathey of the
Democratic Party .
The island's demographics changed dramatically during this period as
well. The island's population increased from a mere 5,000 people to
around 60,000 people in the mid-1990s. Immigration from the
neighbouring Lesser Antilles,
Haiti , the Dominican
Republic , the
United States ,
Europe , and
Asia turned the native
population into a minority.
Sint Maarten became an "island territory" (eilandgebied in Dutch ) of
Netherlands Antilles in 1983. Before that date,
Sint Maarten was
part of the island territory of the Windward Islands, together with
Sint Eustatius . The status of an island territory entails
considerable autonomy summed up in the Island Regulation of the
Netherlands Antilles . The island territory of
Sint Maarten was ruled
by an island council, an executive council, and a Lieutenant Governor
(Dutch : gezaghebber) appointed by the Dutch Crown.
On 5 September 1995,
Hurricane Luis hammered the islands causing
extensive damage 35 years to the day after
Hurricane Donna .
In 1994, the
Kingdom of the Netherlands and
France signed the
Franco-Dutch treaty on
Saint Martin border controls , which allows for
joint Franco-Dutch border controls on so-called "risk flights". After
some delay, the treaty was ratified in November 2006 in the
Netherlands, and subsequently entered into force on 1 August 2007.
Though the treaty is now in force, its provisions are not yet
implemented as the working group specified in the treaty is not yet
On 10 October 2010,
Sint Maarten became a constituent country (Dutch
: Land Sint Maarten) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, making it
a constitutional equal partner with
Curaçao , and the
Sint Maarten has been assigned the ISO 3166-1
alpha-2 country codes of SXM and SX, and the
.sx Internet ccTLD
became available to register on the 15th of November 2012.
The combined population of the two territories has continued to grow,
albeit at a slower rate, and is now (2013) around 75,000.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Map of the European Union in the world with overseas countries
and territories and outermost regions Main article: Politics of Sint
Maarten The Courthouse in Philipsburg is one of the symbols of
Sint Maarten. An elevation map of the island of Saint Martin.
Map showing the French Saint-Martin (north) and Dutch Sint
Constitution of Sint Maarten was unanimously adopted by the
island council of
Sint Maarten on 21 July 2010. Elections for a new
island council were held on 17 September 2010 , since the number of
seats was increased from 11 to 15. The newly elected island council
Estates of Sint Maarten on 10 October.
Eugene Holiday was appointed as the first Governor of Sint Maarten
(Dutch : gouverneur) by the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands in September 2010. He also assumed office on 10 October
CURRENT COMPOSITION OF THE ESTATES OF SINT MAARTEN
e • d SUMMARY OF THE SINT MAARTEN GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS, 2014
United People\'s Party (UPP)
National Alliance (NA)
Democratic Party (DP)
United St. Maarten Party (USP)
One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP)
Social Reform Party (SRP)
Source: Government of Sint Maarten
In 1978, the government of the
Netherlands Antilles installed a
Research Committee on the
Windward Islands (Dutch : Commissie van
Onderzoek Bovenwindse Eilanden) to investigate claims of corruption in
the island government. Even though the report issued by this
commission was damaging for the island's government, measures were not
put into place to curb corruption, arguably because the government of
Netherlands Antilles depended on the support of Wathey's
Democratic Party in the Estates of the
Netherlands Antilles . In
August 1990, the public prosecutor of the
Netherlands Antilles started
an investigation into the alleged ties between the island government
Sint Maarten and the
Sicilian Mafia , and in 1991 the Court of
Audit of the
Netherlands Antilles issued a report which concluded that
the island government of
Sint Maarten was ailing.
In the government and parliament of the Netherlands, the call for
measures became louder and louder. With Dutch pressure, the government
Netherlands Antilles installed the Pourier Commission tasked
with investigating the state of affairs of the island government of
Sint Maarten in December 1991. Its report concluded that the island
was in a severe financial crisis, that rules of democratic
decision-making were continuously broken, and that the island
government constituted an oligarchy . In short, the island government
failed completely according to the report. After long negotiations,
the Kingdom government enacted a General Measure of Kingdom
Administration (Dutch : Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur) in early
Sint Maarten under direct supervision of the Kingdom.
Although originally meant for one year, the Order-in-Council for the
Kingdom was eventually extended until 1 March 1996.
Though much has changed since, allegations of criminal activities
continue to plague Sint Maarten. In 2004, the Minister of Justice of
Netherlands Antilles asked the Scientific Research and
Documentation Centre (Dutch : Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en
Documentatiecentrum (WODC)) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice to
conduct research into organized crime in Sint Maarten. The report
concluded that money laundering and cocaine trade are widespread on
Sint Maarten. It also alleged that money from the island was used to
Hamas , its associate
Holy Land Foundation , and the
In April 2009, former Commissioner Louie Laveist was convicted, and
sentenced to an 18-month prison sentence, by the Sint Maarten
Court-of-First-Instance, on account of forgery, fraud, and bribery.
He was later acquitted of forgery and of fraud by the Common Court of
Justice of the
Netherlands Antilles and
Aruba , but not of bribery.
In the 2011
Netherlands Antilles census, the population of the island
territory was 33,609.
BIRTHS AND DEATHS
CRUDE BIRTH RATE
CRUDE DEATH RATE
RATE OF NATURAL INCREASE
Airbus A330-200 on short final
Maho Beach .
* Philipsburg (1,327 inhabitants).
* Lower Prince\'s Quarter (8,143 inhabitants).
* Cul de Sac (7,593 inhabitants).
* Cole Bay (5,594 inhabitants).
* Upper Prince's Quarter (3,139 inhabitants).
* Little Bay (Fort Amsterdam) (3,093 inhabitants).
* Simpson Bay (596 inhabitants).
* Lowlands (348 inhabitants).
RELIGIONS OF SINT MAARTEN
Buddhist , Sikh ,
LANGUAGES OF SINT MAARTEN
See also: Culture of
Sint Maarten Courthouse.
The official languages are Dutch and English . A local English-based
creole known as
Saint Martin English is also spoken. An annual regatta
is also held over 3 days culminating in the first weekend in March.
Among the leading cultural artists of the island are Isidore "Mighty
Dow" York, kaisonian , panman; Roland Richardson, Impressionist
painter; Nicole de Weever, dancer, broadway star; Susha Hien,
Lasana M. Sekou , poet, author, independence advocate;
Clara Reyes, choreographer; Tanny and The Boys, string band music
group. The annual Saint Maarten Carnival starts in April and ends in
May. The Grand Carnival parade takes place on the Dutch side and is
dedicated to the Queen of the Netherlands. The annual St. Martin Book
Fair takes place during the first weekend of June, featuring emerging
and famous authors from the island, the
Caribbean region, and from
around the world.
SPORT AND RECREATION
Popular team sports in
Sint Maarten include baseball , cricket , and
Recreational fishing , golf , and water sports (including
diving , kayaking , snorkelling , and yachting ) are popular amongst
Soccer Association was founded in 1986. The
organisation is not a member of
FIFA , but became an associate member
CONCACAF in 2002, and a full member in 2013. The national football
team debuted in 1989, and plays its home games at the Raoul Illidge
Sports Complex , which has a 3,000-spectator capacity. After an
initial period of popularity during the 1990s, including an appearance
at the 1993
Caribbean Cup , interest in football declined, with the
national team playing its last official match in 2000 (against
Dominica ). However,
Sint Maarten is scheduled to return to
international competition in March 2016, in the 2017
Cricket Association is a member of the Leeward
Cricket Association (LICA), which is in turn a member of the
Cricket Board (WICB). With rare exceptions (for instance,
Stanford 20/20 ), the national cricket team plays only against
other LICA members, though Sint Maarteners may go on to play for the
Leeward Islands team at regional level and for the
West Indies team
internationally. The primary venue for cricket is the Charles Vlaun
Cricket Field .
Colin Hamer was the first Sint Maartener to play
first-class cricket , while
Keacy Carty was the first islander to
play at international level (for the
West Indies under-19s ). Carty
was the man of the final at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup , and was
later described by the prime minister ,
William Marlin , as having
"brought the name of St Maarten to international acclaim".
Prior to cricket becoming popular, baseball was preferred. No
national team existed, although Sint Maarteners were eligible to play
Netherlands Antilles baseball team before its dissolution.
Several Sint Maarteners have passed through the American baseball
system , playing at college level or in the minor leagues . Allen
Halley played college baseball for the
South Alabama Jaguars and was
drafted by the
Chicago White Sox in the 30th round of the 1995 draft ,
Class A-Advanced in the minor leagues. Three others, Rene
Leveret, Marc Ramirez, and Rafael Skeete, were signed as free agents
by major league teams during their careers, but played only in the
The island is famous for its runway at Princess Juliana International
Airport , in which landing aircraft pass within less than 35 meters of
Maho Beach below, due to the close proximity of the runway to the
ocean. The planes appear to land dangerously close to beach goers.
Therefore, this beach and airport has become a popular place for
people to view airplane landings.
Caribbean International Academy founded in 2003 is now the only
top preparatory private boarding and day school on the island of St.
Maarten. Catering to children from Kindergarten to Grade 12, CIA is
also the only school offering Canadian/Ontario High School Diploma
(OSSD) and 90% of their graduates go on to attend universities in
Canada and the United States.
The American University of the
Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC),
founded in 1978, was previously located on
Montserrat . Because of the
eruption of the
Soufrière Hills volcano in 1995, AUC moved its campus
to St. Maarten later that year. A permanent campus was completed in
1998 in Cupecoy .
University of St. Martin (USM) is located in Philipsburg .
The University of
Sint Eustatius School of Medicine , founded in
1999, was previously located on
Sint Eustatius . In September 2013,
the University of
Sint Eustatius moved its campus to Cole Bay, St.
TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMY
Air transportation to
Sint Maarten and the whole island is served by
Princess Juliana International Airport , which is well known for its
very low final approach landings close to a popular beach at the end
of the runway. Winair (
Windward Islands Airways ) has its
headquarters on the grounds of the airport.
There are no railroads on the island.
St. Maarten's economy is mostly based on tourism, either from
tourists staying on the island or day tourists from the many cruise
lines that dock in the Philipsburg Harbour.
In 2014, St. Maarten had more gaming machines per resident than any
other country in the world.
* Geography portal
North America portal
List of divided islands
List of Designated Monuments in Sint Maarten
* ^ A B According to Art. 1 para 2.
Constitution of Sint Maarten :
"The official languages are Dutch and English"
Sint Maarten joined the
North American Numbering Plan on 30
September 2011; it previously shared the country code +599 with
Curaçao and the
Caribbean Netherlands."PL-423: Updated Information -
Introduction of NPA 721 (Sint Maarten)" (PDF). North American
Numbering Plan Administration. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
Permissive dialing, allowing the use of +599, will be in place until
30 September 2012.
* ^ "Registering .CW Domains". University of Curaçao. Archived
from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
* ^ Lampe, Armando (2001). Mission Or Submission?: Moravian and
Catholic Missionaries in the Dutch
Caribbean During the 19th Century.
Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 154. ISBN 9783525559635 .
* ^ A B NRC.nl -
Sint Maarten bloeit, politici leven in luxe
* ^ Oostindie 1998:126-127
* ^ "ISO 3166-1 decoding table". International Organization for
Standardization. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
* ^ 123-reg Blog - Let\'s talk about .SX!
* ^ RNW.nl - Eilandsraad
Sint Maarten unaniem achter staatsregeling
* ^ Oostindie and Klinkers 2001:188-189
* ^ Oostindie and Klinkers 2001:189-191
* ^ NRC.nl -
Sint Maarten vrijhaven voor criminele gelden
* ^ NRC.nl - Gedeputeerde
Sint Maarten veroordeeld voor corruptie
* ^ The Daily Herald - Louie Laveist partially vindicated on appeal
* ^ "GeoHive - St. Maarten population". geohive.com. Retrieved
* ^ A B "Central America and
Caribbean ::SINT MAARTEN". CIA The
* ^ The St. Martin Book Fair – House of Nehesi Publishers.
Retrieved 14 August 2016.
* ^ ST. MARTIN AND ST. MAARTEN SPORTS & ACTIVITIES – Fodor's
Travel. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
* ^ April 21, 2002: The national associations of Saint-Martin and
Sint Maarten were welcomed as the newest (associate) members to the
Confederation during the
CONCACAF Ordinary Congress in Miami Beach,
Florida (USA) "This Week in
CONCACAF History: April 17–23".
CONCACAF.com (2011). Archived from the original on 30 August 2011.
Retrieved 22 February 2016.
* ^ (Dutch)
Sint Maarten - List of International Matches –
Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
* ^ "St. Maarten draws US Virgin Islands,
Grenada in first round
Caribbean Cup". The Daily Herald (Sint-Maarten). 17 January 2016.
Carib Lumber Ball Park – CricketArchive. Retrieved 22
Colin Hamer – Biggin’ Up We Island. Retrieved 22 February
* ^ (21 December 2015). "Carty on WI U19 team for Youth World Cup"
– 721 News. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
* ^ (19 February 2016). "
Keacy Carty gets a fitting hero’s
welcome" – Today (Sint Maarten). Retrieved 22 February 2016.
* ^ (5 September 2009).
Netherlands Antilles reveal final Baseball
World Cup Roster – Mister Baseball. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
* ^ St. Maarten,
Netherlands – The