DID YOU KNOW?

Compiled by Anselma Aimable

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Did you know when St. Lucia was brought back under French control in 1744, agricultural activities soared?

Cotton and coffee plantations were established or expanded.

In 1730, only 463 people lived on the island, of these 175 of them were slaves of African or Creole descent.

By 1745, the population had increased to 3,455, including 2,573 slaves.

The militia was used for coastal defense as well as for protection against ‘the threat within’: the slaves.

Militiamen were deployed to suppress slave uprisings, to track down and return runaway slaves.

Just as a mixed set of planters had emerged in the 1730s as a stake-holder vis à vis the French and British authorities, so did the African and island-born slaves surfaced as a distinct stake holding group in the 1940s.

As the population grew and the economy expanded, a new social order emerged – and a contentious one at that.

Under Govern ors-General Marquis de Caylus, André Martin (1744 -1745) and de Longueville (1745-1748), St. Lucia remained French for four years, but by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), it was declared neutral once again.

De facto, however, France retained possession and de Longueville remained in charge until February 1762.

The year 1756 saw the commencement of the Seven-Year-War – between France and England, and hostilities spilled over into the Caribbean.  England conquered Martinique in 1762 and then waltzed into St. Lucia without a fight.

It was a significant sign that the planters never considered defending St. Lucia by force, evidently fearing loss of property more than British rule.

Instead they surrendered and negotiated a favorable capitulation prize.  As it was they chose well, as British rule was short-lived and in 1763, the Treaty of Paris ceded St. Lucia back to France.

Source: A History of St. Lucia by Harmsen, Ellis & Devaux – 2012

This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is compiled by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]

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7 comments

  1. Brutes has a nicer ring

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  2. I am with you brother , all the English did was rape out woman and leave us broke took all out natural resources . Not even bananas we can sell to them now !

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    • If you knew any history you'd know that French were just as brutal. UK was first nation to abolish slavery. If you read A History Of St Lucia, you would know that UK freed European slave ships destined for Brazil and other places after UK was first to abolish it.

      On the Bananas it was UK who had preferential treatment in buying them but was stopped by USA and the WTO. Try and get your facts right - doesn't excuse their earlier brutality though.

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      • You are having a laugh mate. The UK were the first ones to enslave black folks in the Caribbean. They were brutal, extremely ruthless and cruel. The British had no respect for Black people in Africa or the Caribbean. They only abolished slavery because it was no longer economically viable to do so - not because they cared or were compassionate towards black people-- far from it. The British may have freed slave ships like you said but it was because they wanted to be seen to be doing something and also they did not want the portuguese to have an advantage over them.
        The British do not care about anyone but themselves. That is also debatable them stopping ships heading towards Brazil.

        At Least after slavery the French allowed the islands of the Caribbean to be French with rights of abode in France..The Dutch did the same.. But the stingy and remorseless British did not. When blacks first started migrating to the UK in large numbers they brought about the immigration act of 1962 which prohibited Caribbeans and africans from settling in the UK under primary purpose rule.

        So"little Englander" get your facts straight. The Brits do not give a toss about us in the Caribbean and beyond. They are responsible for some of the most atrocious acts committed during slavery. Have you forgotten about the Middle passage. I will say no more- Go do some reading on this. It was a holocast. And you know they have not even said sorry for it... and they never will these cocky and arrogant Brits.

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        • Dangerous talk there from an ill educated man. READ SOME BOOKS. UK was last to the slave trade, but did it voraciously. In 1807 they outlawed it first and actively pursued other nations who continued it. St Lucia actually got off relatively lightly compared to say Jamaica as far as numbers went. My family came from the Caribbean after the war, many more hve come since to the present day. America was still segregating o buses when England invited commonwealth in. Bare examples of that.

          Go and do some reading and check yourself. I don't care what they do, but facts are facts.

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  3. wish we stayed french dem bloody english did nothing to enhance our country or lives they cause more confusion.

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    • I agree with you 100% sir. You are so right on that. St Lucia would have been better off under the French.

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