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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Brief History of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. It was originally settled by the Native American Caribs, however it also became a place for runaway African slaves. The slaves married some of the Caribs and the natives soon became known as the Black Caribs.
Although the local Caribs fought off the European settlers for some time, in 1729 the French began to settle the island. The French grew coffee, tobacco, sugarcane, and cotton on plantations that were worked by African slaves. After the Treaty of Versailles in 1783, the Saint Vincent became a British colony. It wasn't until 1979 that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were granted full independence.
The country has suffered from natural disasters in the 20th century. The first was the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in 1902, which damaged much of the islands farmland. The volcano erupted again in 1979, again damaging the countries important crops. The 1980's and 1990's have seen a number of hurricanes hit the area, too.
The Geography of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Total Size: 389 square km
Size Comparison: twice the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 13 15 N, 61 12 W
World Region or Continent: Central America
General Terrain: volcanic, mountainous
Geographical Low Point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: La Soufriere 1,234 m
Climate: tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
Major cities: KINGSTOWN (capital) 28,000 (2009)
The People of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Type of Government: parliamentary democracy
Languages Spoken: English, French patois
Independence: 27 October 1979 (from UK)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
Nationality: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
Religions: Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant
National Anthem or Song: St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!
Economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Major Industries: food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
Agricultural Products: bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish
Natural Resources: hydropower, cropland
Major Exports: bananas 39%, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets
Major Imports: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
National GDP: $1,264,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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