Central America


Excavations in 2012 in the central parts of the island revealed settlements after a people who lived on the island 4500 – 6000 years ago.

Monserrat’s story is very similar to the other small antlers. The island was originally inhabited by carib, eradicated with colonialization. An extensive “import” of African slaves took place on the sugar plantations, and there were long-standing battles between the British and the French over ownership of the island, which also served as a hangout for pirates. According to Countryaah, Montserrat is a country located in Caribbean part of Central America.

But unlike the situation on the other islands, it was the Irish who colonized Montserrat after being thrown out of the nearby island of St. Kitts. The island was not very fertile and was therefore not very sought after by the European colonial powers. Apart from sugar cane and cotton, almost no other crops were grown on the island. By the mid-19th century, it had a population of just over 10,000, of which 9,000 were slaves.

Montserrat was a member of the West Indian Association until it collapsed in 1962. Since 1960, the country has had a colonial structure that gives it extensive self-government. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) founded by William Bramble and since led by his son Austin Bramble refused to change that status when the other islands in the area in 1967 established the Caribbean Association as the first step on the path to full independence.

But despite its isolation – there is only a weekly flight to the neighboring island of Antigua – the country has never been able to escape the wave of colonization. Bramble’s party lost all its seats in the November 1973 election after the Popular Liberation Movement (PLM) was formed shortly before. In 1979, the new Prime Minister, John Osborne, declared that the country from 1982 would become fully independent – but this has not yet succeeded.

Below a quarter of the island is cultivated and the population density in these areas is very high. About half of the island is suitable for cattle farming, which for many years provides the basis for significant exports. Tourism has been increasing since 1979 – mainly due to the immigration of North Americans. The country has the world’s largest density of swimming pools – two per. resident. Today, this “permanent tourism” represents one fifth of the country’s GDP. The country’s radio stations Radio Antilles and Voice of Germany are another source of economic activity.

Osborne ran for electoral elections 11 months ahead of schedule – in August 1987 – and PLM got 4 of the 7 seats on the ballot, while the National Development Party got 2 and the Democratic Progressive Party 1.

The income from tourism and the money that the country’s residents send from abroad are not sufficient to cover the huge current account deficit. It is covered by the UK instead. This is the main argument for the sectors that go against independence.

However, the relationship between the local government and the UK is not very good. Montserrat is famous for laying ground on a large number of offshore banks – 347 in early 1989 – making huge profits to the directors and middlemen, while the government receives only a 5% tax on the sale of licenses to the banks. The lack of control over the banking system has led to charges of being involved in fraud deals and money laundering from the drug trade. Since 1990, the island’s governor, David Pendleton, has worked to implement a policy to regulate the offshore business.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo Montserrat ravaged. The British crown allocated $ 35 million to rebuild the island, which made it possible to reactivate the economy. The tourism industry was one of the growing sectors.

In 1991, new legislation was passed enabling the offshore financial center to be re-established. But in 1992, Britain conducted a survey of the business that forced 90% of offshore banks to close. They were involved in illegal transactions and money laundering from the drug trade. In February 1993, Frank Savage was named the country’s governor.

From 1995 and throughout 1996, the eruption of the Chances Peak volcano caused a severe deterioration of the economy due to the constant outflow of ash and glow. In August 1997, Prime Minister Bertrand Osborne was forced to withdraw from the post following public protests against his handling of the situation and the evacuation of the population.

In mid-1997, the volcano Soufriere burst into the air. It cost hundreds of people lives, made most of the island uninhabitable, and led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents to the northern part of the island, Britain and other parts of the Caribbean. It was expected that once the lava flows in the first half of 2000 stabilized and when the ashes were washed out of the atmosphere, more parts of the disaster area could be resettled.

In presenting the Finance Act for 2001, John Osborne, the head of government, presented a number of the root causes of the country’s economic crisis: insufficient ability to generate income, slow implementation of public sector projects, and a private business that sabotages government work.

At the beginning of 2002, a British bill was finally ratified in the Upper House. It granted British citizenship to all the residents of the British colonies, which opens the possibility of emigration to the residents from, among other things, Montserrat, which means that the considerations of independence go even further in the future.

In July 2003, Deborah Barnes Jones was appointed by the British Crown to take over the Governor’s post in April 2004.

In July 2004, British scientists created a gene bank for species threatened with extinction. The project was called the “Frozen Sheet”. One of the frozen gene samples is the so-called “mountain hen”, which is in fact a toad (Leptodactylus fallax) living in Montserrat and Dominica.

In 2004, the United States revoked the status of “temporary protectorate” granted to it in 1995.

In July 2005, the new Gerald airport was inaugurated. It replaced Bramble, which had been destroyed during the Soufriere outbreak in 1997.

The May 2006 election was won by the Movement for Change and Welfare, which got 47% of the seats in parliament. Its program included protecting the population against natural disasters and education for all. In June, Lowell Lewis could take over as new head of government.

In August, Montserrat, together with the other members of Caricom, began to devise a strategy for drawing up a free trade agreement with Panama.

Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) won the parliamentary elections in September 2009 and its barrister, Reuben Meade, was deployed as head of government.

Volcanic activity began again in late 2009. Pyroclastic winds increased, and on February 11, 2010, this development culminated as the existing volcanic crater collapsed. Northeast of the volcano is made of dust from the pyroclastic winds 15 m thick and has extended the coastline by 650 m.

A plane crashed in October 2012, killing the pilot and 2 passengers.

Donaldson Romeo was elected prime minister in September 2014. In 2006, he had been a candidate for the MDP election. In 2009, he stood alone and was elected. In 2011 he became leader of the opposition. In April 2014 he formed the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and it was as chairman of this he won the election in September. The PDM got 7 of the Parliament’s 9 seats.

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