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St. Lucia

St. Lucia

Carib Painting

200 – 1500

  • (200AD) Island first settled by Arawak Indians
  • (800AD) Caribs took over; named island “Iouanalao”, meaning “Island of the Iguanas”
  • (1501) St. Lucia sighted by Christopher Columbus
  • (1550s) First European settlement established by buccaneer Francios le Clerc (aka Jambe de Bois or Wooden Leg)


  • (1600s) Dutch arrived, established fortified base at Vieux Fort
  • (1605) Resident Caribs forced English colonists to flee
  • (1635) French established colony on St. Lucia
  • (1639) Resident Caribs forced English colonists to flee again
  • (1660) French signed treaty with indigenous Carib people

1700s – 1800s

  • (1780) Twelve settlements, large number of sugar plantations established by French
  • (1814) After series of battles, island was ceded to Britain under Treaty of Paris; Britain proclaimed island a crown colony, brought in African slaves to work on sugarcane plantations
  • (1834) Slavery abolished
  • (1871-1956) St. Lucia became member of Leeward Islands Federation


  • (1924) St. Lucia granted representative government
  • (1936) St. Lucia given constitution, provided for majority of elected representatives in legislative council
  • (1951) St. Lucia granted universal adult suffrage
  • (1958-62) St. Lucia became member of Federation of the West Indies
  • (1964) St. Lucia ceased sugar cane production
  • (1967) Self-government with associated state status achieved
  • (1979) St. Lucia became part of Commonwealth; Allan Louisy became prime minister
  • (1981) Louisy resigned after split with SLP party; replaced by Winston Cenac, attorney general
  • (1982) John Compton returned to power after UWP party won elections
  • (1987) UWP won narrow victory in general elections
  • (1992) UWP won another election
  • (1993) Unrest, strikes by farmers, agricultural workers due to fall in banana prices
  • (1996) John Compton resigned, succeeded by Vaughan Lewis as prime minister
  • (1997) SLP Kenny Anthony became prime minister


  • (2002) Tropical Storm Lili destroyed half the banana crop
  • (2003) Parliament amended constitution to replace oath of allegiance to British monarch with pledge of loyalty to St. Lucians; new criminal code passed
  • (2004) Pitons volcanic twin peaks declared UNESCO World Heritage site
  • (2006) John Compton’s UWP party won general elections
  • (2007) Prime Minister John Compton died, replaced by Stephenson King as prime minister
  • (2009) Two women selected to Parliament; China lashed out at St. Lucia due to its restoration of diplomatic relations with Taiwan; Hurricane Dean struck St. Lucia, caused widespread damage
  • (2010) Gunman entered Prime Minister King’s home-district office, killed man waiting to see PM; Hurricane Tomas struck

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