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History of Guadeloupe: Map

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Changes in Europe

From 1759 through 1763, as a part of the Seven Years' War, the British took control of the island and the main city Pointe-à-Pitremarker was established during these years. Proof of the island's importance came in 1763 when in the Treaty of Paris the French traded their territory in Canada to Britain in return for control of Guadeloupe. Many in Britain had wanted to annexe the island, as a reward for Britain's success in the war.

The French Revolution also caused political turmoil, and control of Guadeloupe changed hands a couple of times including 1789 and 1792. Slavery was abolished during this tumultuous time and within the year Britain had again occupied the island. Guadeloupe experienced the effects of the Reign of Terror from 1794 to 1798.

Meanwhile Louis Delgrès, a mulatto officer, led an uprising in 1652. He and 800 rebels chose to die rather than submit to the French army. Napoleon reinstated slavery when the French retook the island.

The British again held the island for three years beginning in 1810. It was ceded to Swedenmarker in 1813 after the Napoleonic Wars. However, the Treaty of Paris in 1814 left the island to France again, though the British and Swedish did not fully acknowledge the secession. French control of the island was recognized in the Treaty of Vienna in 1815.
Guadeloupe in 1865


Modern times

Though Guadeloupe has been relatively peaceful, political changes have not always been easy. A compulsory work program was instituted by the Vichy government under Governor Sorin between 1940 and 1943.

In 1946, after another change of political power, Guadeloupe became an overseas Department of France. Other French Caribbean islands were added to this Department and in 1995 Guadeloupe became an observer in the Association of Caribbean States.

In early 2009, Guadeloupe experienced widespread public unrest as part of the 2009 French Caribbean general strikes, with protests focusing on low wages, high costs of living and social inequality.


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