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Flag of Grenada Coat of arms of Grenada
Flag Coat of arms
Motto“Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People”[1]
AnthemHail Grenada
Royal anthemGod Save the Queen
(and largest city)
St. George’s
12°3′N 61°45′W / <span class="geo-dec geo" title="Maps, aerial photos, and other data for Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Expression error: Unexpected < operator.">Expression error: Unexpected < operator., Expression error: Unexpected < operator.</span>
Official languages English
Demonym Grenadian
Government Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
 -  Queen w:Queen Elizabeth II
 -  Governor General Sir Daniel Williams
 -  Prime Minister Tillman Thomas
Independence from the w:United Kingdom
 -  Date February 7 1974 
 -  Total 344 km² (203rd)
132.8 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.6
 -  July 12 2005 estimate 110,000 (185th)
 -  Density 259.5/km² (45th)
672.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate
 -  Total $1.127 billion[2] 
 -  Per capita $10,632[2] 
GDP (nominal) 2007 estimate
 -  Total $605 million[2] 
 -  Per capita $5,708[2] 
HDI (2007) 0.777 (medium) (82nd)
Currency w:East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Time zone (UTC-4)
 -  Summer (DST)  (UTC-4)
Internet TLD .gd
Calling code 1 473
a 2002 estimate.

Grenada (pronounced /grɪˈneɪdə/) is an Island nation that includes the southern Grenadines in the southeastern RTENOTITLE. Grenada is located north of RTENOTITLE and RTENOTITLE, and south of RTENOTITLE. The national bird of Grenada is the Critically endangered Grenada Dove.


Main article: History of Grenada

1498-1958: Colonization

The recorded history of Grenada begins in 1498, when Christopher Columbus first sighted the island and gave it the name Conception Island, and later called it Granada. At the time the Island Caribs (Kalinago) lived there and called it Camerhogue. The Spaniards did not permanently settle on Camerhogue. Later the w:English failed their first settlement attempts, but the w:French fought and conquered Grenada from the Caribs circa 1650. The French conquest resulted in the genocide of 17th century Caribs from present-day Grenada. Warfare also existed between the Caribs of present day RTENOTITLE and RTENOTITLE with the French invaders. The French took control of Camerhogue and named the new w:French colony La Grenade. La Grenade prospered as a wealthy French colony; its main export was sugar. The French established a capital known as Fort Royal in 1650 as ordered by RTENOTITLE. To wait out harsh hurricanes, the French navy would shelter in the capital's natural harbour. No other French colony had a natural harbour to even compare with that of Fort Royal (later renamed St. George's). The colony was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1763 by the w:Treaty of Paris. A century later, in 1877 Grenada was made a RTENOTITLE.

1958-1984: Independence and Revolution

The island was a province of the short-lived RTENOTITLE from 1958 to 1962. In 1967, Grenada attained the status of “Associated State of the United Kingdom”, which meant that Grenada was now responsible for her own internal affairs, and the UK was responsible for her defence and foreign affairs. Independence was granted in 1974 under the leadership of the then Premier, Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, who became the first Prime Minister of Grenada.

Civil conflict gradually broke out between Eric Gairy’s government and some opposition parties including the New Jewel Movement (NJM). Gairy’s party won elections in 1976 but the opposition did not accept the result, accusing it of fraudulence. In 1979, the New Jewel Movement under Maurice Bishop launched a paramilitary attack on the government resulting in its overthrow. The constitution was suspended and Bishop's government ruled subsequently by decree. Cuban presence was heavily invested in civic assistance (doctors and school teachers mainly) during the subsequent Revolutionary redistribution of homes and other private property and goods for the people of Grenada.

A dispute later developed between Bishop and certain high-ranking members of the NJM. Party members including Bernard Coard demanded that Bishop either step down or enter into a power sharing arrangement. The dispute eventually led to Bishop being deposed in 1983 and placed under House arrest. These actions led to street demonstrations in various parts of the island. Bishop, who had massive support of the population, was eventually freed by a large demonstration in the capital. Soon after, he was captured and executed by soldiers along with seven others including cabinet ministers of the government.

After the execution of Bishop, the People's Revolutionary Army formed a military government with General Hudson Austin as chairman. The army declared a four-day total curfew during which it said that anyone leaving their home without approval would be shot on sight. This marks the celebration of Thanksgiving on Granada, which is celebrated with a large feast much like other Thanksgivings in The United States and Canada. It is also an homage to the ancient Granadian God of Mulztec, who in legend unified the islands.

Invasion of Grenada by the U.S. and OECS military

Main article: Invasion of Grenada
Eastern Caribbean Defense Force.jpg
On October 19, 1983, Bernard Coard, a hard-line communist, led a coup against the government of Maurice Bishop. Though Bishop was cooperating with Cuba & Russia on various trade and foreign policy issues, Bishop sought to maintain a "non-aligned" status, and so was deemed insufficiently revolutionary by Marxists in his government. A few days later Bishop and several of his followers were executed by the Coard regime, which then put the island under martial law. For four days no one was allowed to leave their homes, under threat of summary execution, and over 1000 American medical students became de facto hostages of the regime. On October 25, Grenada was liberated by combined forces from the United States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Jamaica, and Barbados. The U.S. stated this was done at the behest of Dame Eugenia Charles, of Dominica. Five other Caribbean nations participated with Dominica and the USA in the campaign against the Cuban and Grenadan forces, called Operation Urgent Fury. While the Governor-General, Sir Paul Scoon, later stated that he had also requested the invasion, it was highly criticised by the governments of the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. The United Nations General Assembly condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law"[3] by a vote of 108 in favor to 9, with 27 abstentions.[4]

After the invasion of the island nation, the pre-revolutionary Grenadan constitution was resumed. Eighteen members of the PRG and the PRA (army) were arrested after the invasion on charges related to the murder of Maurice Bishop and seven others. The eighteen included the top political leadership of Grenada at the time of the execution as well as the entire military chain of command directly responsible for the operation that led to the executions. Fourteen were sentenced to death, one was found not guilty and three were sentenced to forty-five years in prison. The death sentences were eventually commuted to terms of imprisonment. Those in prison have become known as the Grenada 17.

Twenty-first century history

In 2000-2002, much of the controversy of the late 1970s and early 1980s was once again brought into the public consciousness with the opening of the truth and reconciliation commission. The commission was chaired by a Roman Catholic priest, Father Mark Haynes, and was tasked with uncovering injustices arising from the PRA, Bishop’s regime, and before. It held a number of hearings around the country. Brother Robert Fanovich, head of Presentation Brothers’ College (PBC) in St. George’s tasked some of his senior students with conducting a research project into the era and specifically into the fact that Maurice Bishop’s body was never discovered. Their project attracted a great deal of attention, including from the Miami Herald and the final report was published in a book written by the students called Big Sky, Little Bullet. It also uncovered that there was still a lot of resentment in Grenadian society resulting from the era, and a feeling that there were many injustices still unaddressed

In 2004, after being hurricane free for forty-nine years, the island was directly hit by Hurricane Ivan (September 7). Ivan struck as a Category 3 hurricane and caused 90 percent of the homes to be damaged or destroyed. The following year, 2005, Hurricane Emily (July 14) a Category 1 hurricane at the time struck the northern part of the island with 80 kt winds, causing an estimated USD $110 million (EC$ 297 million) worth of damage. This was much less damage than Ivan had caused.[citations needed]

Grenada has recovered with remarkable speed, due to both domestic labour and financing from the world at large. By December 2005, 96% of all hotel rooms were to be open for business and to have been upgraded in facilities and strengthened to an improved Building code. The agricultural industry and in particular the Nutmeg industry suffered serious losses, but that event has begun changes in crop management and it is hoped that as new nutmeg trees gradually mature, the industry will return to its pre-Ivan position as a major supplier in the Western world.[citations needed]

In April 2007, Grenada jointly hosted (along with several other Caribbean nations) the 2007 Cricket World Cup. After Hurricane Ivan, the Chinese government paid for the new $40 million national stadium, along with the aid of over 300 Chinese labourers to build and repair it.[5] During the opening ceremony the Taiwanese anthem was accidentally played, leading to the firing of top officials. [1][2]


Main article: Geography of Grenada
Map of Grenada
Carriacou Scene.jpg
The island Grenada itself is the largest island; smaller Grenadines are Carriacou, Petit Martinique, Ronde Island, Caille Island, Diamond Island, Large Island, Saline Island and Frigate Island. Most of the population lives on Grenada itself, and major towns there include the capital, St. George’s, Grenville and Gouyave. The largest settlement on the other islands is Hillsborough on Carriacou.

The islands are of RTENOTITLE origin with extremely rich soil. Grenada’s interior is very mountainous with Mount St. Catherine being the highest at 2,756 feet (840 m). Several small Rivers with beautiful waterfalls flow into the sea from these mountains. The Climate is tropical: hot and humid in the rainy season and cooled by the Trade winds in the Dry season. Grenada, being on the southern edge of the hurricane belt, has suffered only three hurricanes in fifty years. Hurricane Janet passed over Grenada on 23 September 1955 with winds of 115 mph, causing severe damage. The most recent storms to hit have been Hurricane Ivan on September 7, 2004 causing severe damage and thirty-nine deaths and Hurricane Emily on July 14, 2005, causing serious damage in Carriacou and in the north of Grenada which had been relatively lightly affected by hurricane Ivan.


Main article: Parishes of Grenada
Grenada parishes named.png
Grenada is divided into 6 parishes:
  1. Saint Andrew
  2. Saint David
  3. Saint George
  4. Saint John
  5. Saint Mark
  6. Saint Patrick

Carriacou and Petite Martinique, two of the Grenadines, have the status of dependency.


Main article: Politics of Grenada
As a Commonwealth realm, Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Grenada and Head of State. The Crown is represented by a Governor-General, who is currently Sir Daniel Williams. Day-to-day executive power lies with the Head of Government, the Prime Minister. Although appointed by the Governor-General, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the Parliament.

The Parliament consists of a Senate (thirteen members) and a House of Representatives (fifteen members). The senators are appointed by the government and the opposition, while the representatives are elected by the population for five-year terms. With 51% of the votes and eleven seats in the 2008 election, the National Democratic Congress won the July 8, 2008 election. The opposition New National Party won the remaining four seats.

Grenada is a full and participating member of both the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Economy and tourism

Main article: Economy of Grenada
Economic progress in fiscal reforms and prudent Macroeconomic management have boosted annual growth to 5%-6% in 1998-99; the increase in economic activity has been led by construction and trade. Tourist facilities are being expanded; Tourism is the leading foreign exchange earner. Major short-term concerns are the rising fiscal deficit and the deterioration in the external account balance. Grenada shares a common Central bank and a common Currency (the East Caribbean dollar) with seven other members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Grenada is called The Spice Isle because it is a leading producer of several different spices. Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, mace, allspice, orange/citrus peels, wild coffee used by the locals, and especially Nutmeg, providing 20% of the world supply, are all important exports. The nutmeg on the nation's flag represents the economic crop of Grenada; the nation is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg (after Indonesia).
Grenada ivan.jpg
Tourism is Grenada’s main economic force. Conventional beach and water-sports tourism is largely focused in the southwest region around St Georges, the airport and the coastal strip; however, Ecotourism is growing in significance. Most of these small ecofriendly guesthouses are located in the Saint David and Saint John parishes. The tourism industry is increasing dramatically with the construction of a large cruise ship pier and esplanade. Up to 4 cruise ships per day were visiting St. Georges in 2007-8 during the cruise ship season.

The island has also pioneered the cultivation of organic cocoa which is also processed into finished bars by The Grenada Chocolate Company.

Tourism is concentrated in the southwest of the island, around St. Georges, Grand Anse, Lance Aux Epines, and Point Salines. Grenada has many idyllic beaches around its coastline including the 3 km long Grand Anse Beach in St George's which is considered to be one of the finest beaches in the world, and often appears in countdowns of the worlds top 10 beaches.[6]

Grenada is linked to the world through the Point Salines International Airport and the St. George’s harbour. International flights connect with the Caribbean, America, and Europe. There is also a daily fast ferry service between St. George’s and Hillsborough.


A majority of the citizens are descendants of the African slaves brought by the Europeans; few of the indigenous Carib and Arawak population survived the French purge at Sauteurs. A small percentage of descendants of East Indian indentured servants were brought to Grenada mainly from the North Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh between May 1,1857-January 10,1885. There is also a small community of French and English descendants. The rest of the population is of mixed descent.
SchoolOnBeach Grenada1965.jpg
Grenada, like many of the Caribbean islands is subject to a large amount of migration, with a large number of young people wanting to leave the island to seek life elsewhere. With just over 100,000 people living in Grenada, estimates and census data suggest that there are at least that number of Grenadian-born people in other parts of the Caribbean (such as Barbados and Trinidad) and at least that number again in First World countries. Popular migration points for Grenadians further north include New York City, Toronto, the United Kingdom (London and Yorkshire predominantly - see Grenadians in the UK) and sometimes Montreal, or as far south as Australia. This means that probably around a third of those born in Grenada still live there.

The Official language, English, is used in the government, but Grenadian Creole is considered the Lingua franca of the island. French Patois (Antillean Creole) is still spoken by about 10%-20% the population. Some Hindi/Bhojpuri terms are still spoken amongst the Indian descendants, mostly those pertaining to the kitchen; such as aloo, geera, karela, seim, chownkay, and baylay. The term bhai, which means 'brother' or 'partner' in Hindi, is a common form of greeting amongst Indo-Grenadian males of equal status. Aside from a marginal community of Rastafarians living in Grenada, nearly all are mainstream Christians[citation needed], about half of them Roman Catholics; Anglicanism is the largest Protestant denomination with Presbyterian and Seventh Day Adventist taking up the remainder. Most Churches have denomination-based schools but are open to all. There is a small Muslim population mostly from Gujarati Indian immigrants who came many years ago and set up some merchant shops.


See also: Cricket in the West Indies
Although French influence on Grenadian culture is much less visible than on other Caribbean islands, surnames and place names in French remain, and the every day language is laced with French words and the local dialect or Patois. Stronger French influence is found in the well seasoned spicy food and styles of cooking similar to those found in New Orleans and some French architecture has survived from the 1700s. Island culture is heavily influenced by the African roots of most of the Grenadians but Indian influence is also seen with dhal puri, rotis, Indian sweets, and curries in the cuisine.

The "oildown" is considered to be the national dish. The phrase "oil-down" refers to a dish cooked in coconut milk until all the milk is absorbed, leaving a bit of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot. Early recipes call for a mixture of salted pigtail, pigs feet (trotters), salt beef and chicken, dumplings made from flour, provision: Breadfruit, green banana,yam and potatoes. Callaloo leaves are some times used to retain the steam and for extra flavour.

This dish is a common tradition at family and other gatherings at the beach, There is a modest debate in the West Indies about the origin of this dish, with some experts attributing it to other islands like Barbados or Trinidad & Tobago.[citation needed]

Foods aren’t the only important aspect of Grenadian culture. Music, dance, and festivals are also extremely important. Soca, calypso, and Reggae set the mood for Grenada's annual Carnival activities. Zouk is also being slowly introduced onto the island. The islanders’ African heritage plays an influential role in many aspects of Grenada’s culture.

As with other islands from the Caribbean Cricket is the national and most popular sport and is an intrinsic part of Grenadian culture.

An important aspect of Grenadian culture is the tradition of story telling, with Folk tales bearing both African and French influences. The character, Anancy, a spider god who is a Trickster, originated in West Africa and is prevalent on other Caribbean islands as well. French influence can be seen in La Diablesse, a well-dressed she-Devil, and Ligaroo (from Loup Garoux), a Werewolf.

See also


  • Adkin, Mark. 1989. Urgent Fury: The Battle for Grenada: The Truth Behind the Largest U.S. Military Operation Since Vietnam. Trans-Atlantic Publications. ISBN 0-85052-023-1
  • Beck, Robert J. 1993. The Grenada Invasion: Politics, Law, and Foreign Policy Decisionmaking. Boulder: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-8709-4
  • Brizan, George 1984. Grenada Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People’s Revolution 1498-1979. London, Zed Books Ltd., publisher; Copyright, George Brizan, 1984.
  • Martin, John Angus. 2007. A-Z of Grenada Heritage. Macmillan Caribbean. [3]
  • Sinclair, Norma. 2003. Grenada: Isle of Spice (Caribbean Guides). Interlink Publishing Group; 3rd edition. ISBN 0-333-96806-9
  • Stark, James H. 1897. Stark’s Guide-Book and History of Trinidad including Tobago, Grenada, and St. Vincent; also a trip up the Orinoco and a description of the great Venezuelan Pitch Lake. Boston, James H. Stark, publisher; London, Sampson Low, Marston & Company.
  • Steele, Beverley A. 2003. Grenada: A History of Its People (Island Histories). MacMillan Caribbean. ISBN 0-333-93053-3


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  1. "Government of Grenada Website". Retrieved on 2007-11-01.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Grenada". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved on 2008-10-09.
  3. "United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/7". United Nations.
  4. "Assembly calls for cessation of "armed intervention" in Grenada".
  5. Template:Cite newsfckLR
  6. Template:Cite webfckLR

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