Saint Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity of France in the Caribbean. The island was named by Christopher Columbus for his younger brother Bartholomew Columbus in 1493. It is the only Caribbean island that was a Swedish colony for any significant length of time. In 2003 the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collective of France.
About Saint Barthélemy in brief
Saint Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity of France in the Caribbean. The island was named by Christopher Columbus for his younger brother Bartholomew Columbus in 1493. It is the only Caribbean island that was a Swedish colony for any significant length of time. It remained so for nearly a century before it returned to French rule after a referendum. In 2003 the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collective of France. The language, cuisine, and culture of the island are distinctly French. The collectivity is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean that comprise the French West Indies, along with Saint Martin, Guadelupe southeast, and Martinique. The volcanic island has an area of 25 square kilometres and a population of about 10,000. Its capital is Gustavia, which also contains the main harbour. It was once owned by the Swedish, who traded the island to France in 1784 in return for trading privileges in Gothenburg. In 1877, Sweden gave the island back to France, after which it was administered as part of Guadel Noupe. In 1946, the island became the full citizens of the French island of St. Thomas. The last legally freed slaves in the island were granted their freedom on October 9, 1847. Since then the island has become a popular tourist destination during the winter holiday season, geared towards the high-end, luxury tourist market.
The population of Saint Thomas has grown from about 2,000 to about 6,000 in the past 50 years. The French island is now home to about 10 million people. The number of people living in the French territory of Saint-BarthéleMY has increased from 1,500 to more than 2,500. The majority of people live in the capital Gustavia and the majority of the population lives in the town of Saint Thomas, which is located about 35 kilometres south-east of the main island of Saint Martin. The capital of Gustavia is known as the ‘capital of the Caribbean’ and is located on the island’s main island, Gustavia. It has been the site of numerous pirate attacks, including in 1744, 1744 and 1755. The islands were once a plantation area for slaves, who were freed on October 1847, but the island was not a free plantation area until after the Second World War. The economy suffered after a devastating hurricane hit the island in 1852, and many men from the island took jobs on Saint Thomas to support their families. In 1960, the tourism industry began to support the families on Saint Barths and in 1963, hotels began to open on the islands. The current French collectivity was established in 1946, after the French people became full citizens with full rights to live and work on the French islands of St Thomas and Saint Bart. The name St. Barthélémy was adopted by the French government in the 1950s.