St Vincent and the Grenadines profile - Timeline

  • Published

A chronology of key events:

1300 - Carib Indians of South America conquer the indigenous Arawak Indians.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
St Vincent's Arnos Vale cricket ground

1498 - Christopher Columbus visits the main island on St Vincent's Day.

1627 - St Vincent granted to Britain's Lord Carlisle.

1783 - Treaty of Paris recognises St Vincent as a British colony.

1795-97 - Britain, with French support, deports 5,000 caribs to Belize following an uprising.

1812 - First recorded eruption of La Soufriere volcano which resulted in many casualties.

1834 - Slavery abolished, forcing plantation owners to free more than 18,000 slaves; foreign labourers indentured.

1902 - Second eruption of La Soufriere volcano results in the death of 2,000 inhabitants.

1951 - St Vincent granted universal adult suffrage.

1958-62 - St Vincent a member of the British-sponsored West Indies Federation.


1969 - St Vincent granted internal self-government, with Britain retaining responsibility for foreign and defence affairs.

1979 October - St Vincent and the Grenadines become independent with Milton Cato of the centre-left St Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) as prime minister.

1979 December - Revolt on Union Island by a group that wanted more power in the country's new government put down.

1981 - Workers stage a general strike in protest at new industrial relations legislation against the background of an economic recession.

Mitchell elected

Image source, VISNEWS
Image caption,
Former PM James Mitchell won four general elections

1984 - James Mitchell becomes prime minister after his centre-right New Democratic Party (NDP) wins a surprising victory in the general election.

1989 - Mitchell returned to office after his NDP won all parliamentary seats.

1994 - Mitchell and the NDP returned to office once again, but with a reduced majority.

1998 - Mitchell and the NDP scrape a fourth term.

2000 - Mitchell resigns and is succeeded by his finance minister, Arniham Eustace.

2000 - Anti-government protests and industrial action are sparked by a proposal to increase pensions for parliamentarians.

Labour government

2001 March - Opposition leader Ralph Gonsalves becomes prime minister in elections brought forward from 2003 because of anti-government protests in 2000.

2003 February - St Vincent and the Grenadines is admitted to the Non-Aligned Movement of developing nations.

2003 June - The country is removed from a list of nations deemed uncooperative in the fight against money-laundering.

2005 December - Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party win a second term in general elections.

"No" to republic

2009 November - Voters reject the proposal to replace the monarchy with a republic in a constitutional referendum.

2011 January - Main opposition New Democratic Party denies allegations by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves it was involved in a plot to assassinate him.