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Definition: Saint Lucia from Collins English Dictionary

n usually abbreviated to: St Lucia

1 an island state in the Caribbean, in the Windward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles: a volcanic island; gained self-government in 1967 as a British Associated State; attained full independence within the Commonwealth in 1979. Official language: English. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: E Caribbean dollar. Capital: Castries. Pop: 162 781 (2013 est). Area: 616 sq km (238 sq miles)


Summary Article: Saint Lucia from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(sānt lu'shə, –sēə), island nation (2005 est. pop. 166,000), 238 sq mi (616 sq km), West Indies, one of the Windward Islands. The capital is Castries. Morne Gimie (3,145 ft/959 m high) and the twin pyramidal cones known as the Pitons are the most imposing landmarks. The country is subject hurricanes; it suffered significant destruction in 1980, 1994, and 2007. The population is largely of African descent and Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion, although there is a large Protestant minority. English is the official language, but Kwéyòl, a French creole, is also widely spoken, and many St. Lucians also speak French or Spanish.

History

Columbus may have sighted the island on his 1502 voyage. The British failed in their first attempts at colonization in the early 17th cent. The island was later settled by the French, who signed a treaty with the local Caribs in 1660. Thereafter Saint Lucia was much contested by the two European powers until the British secured it in 1814. It was part of the British Windward Islands colony, and joined the West Indies Federation (1958–62) when the colony was dissolved. In 1967, Saint Lucia became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States, with internal self-government, and in 1979 it gained full independence under Sir John Compton. Compton, of the conservative United Workers party (UWP), was again prime minister from 1982 to 1996, when he was succeeded by Vaughn Lewis. Kenny Anthony of the Labor party was prime minister from 1997 to 2006, when the UWP, again led by Compton, won control of parliament. In May, 2007, after Compton suffered a series of ministrokes, Finance and External Affairs Minister Stephenson King became acting prime minister and then, after Compton died in Sept., 2007, prime minister. The Nov., 2011, elections brought Anthony and Labor back into office.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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