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there is some doubt, Grenada likely obtained its name from Spanish sailors who named
the island after the city of Granada, Spain.
The island of Grenada is a somewhat mountainous island,
but with regular rains these mountains provide steady streams and hence a great
water supply, making life on the island quite suitable. The soil is also somewhat
fertile and the seas provide other food sources as well. This makes the coasts of
the islands fairly livable, but in the highlands the population declines dramatically.
The indigenous people, the Caribs, survived the attacks from the
Europeans for a great number of years, but eventually the
French defeated the Caribs through wars and diseases. Most of those
who remained became enslaved and with this much of the historic Carib culture died
in Grenada. There are however some Caribs that have survived
this past, but today the most noticeable remaining trait is their language.
Grenada's flag is quite colorful;
the yellow represents the sun and warmth of the people, the green symbolizes the
vegetation and agriculture, while the red represents harmony, unity, and courage.
The seven stars on the flag represent the administrative districts of the country,
the center star for the capital of St. George. The odd yellow and red object in
the green triangle is a nutmeg pod, perhaps the country's most important crop.
Independence: February 7, 1974
Capital: Saint George's
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Population: 109,590 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: African, mixed, & others
The French needed more slaves to work the fields in Grenada so began bringing in slaves from
Africa. This changed the culture and expanded the agricultural economy,
both of which exist today. Farming is today focused on coffee and cocoa (although
when the first slaves were brought it, it was focused on sugarcane and indigo) and
a large percentage of the people continue to work in these fields. The slave population
also dramatically changed the culture and today the people are primarily of African
Later, the British took the islands and many of
the more visible aspects of the way of life result from this time. English is the
most commonly spoken language in the country, but French patois is common and Catholicism
remains from the time of French rule.
The British landowners fought slave uprisings
and, after the slaves were freed, continued to hold power over the majority. This
has slowly changed as the majority, who is descended of the African
slaves, has taken political power in Grenada today. Despite
these changes, the life in the country remains tied to the land as agriculture is
the dominant form of work and the people tend to live in the coastal regions.
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