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Dominica officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an Island country in the West Indies. It is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island is located near Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. The Commonwealth of Dominica is one of the Caribbean's few republics.
The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago and later colonised by Europeans, predominantly by the French from the 1690s to 1763. Columbus is said to have passed the island on Sunday 3 November 1493, and the island's name is derived from the Latin for Sunday. Great Britain took possession in 1763 after the Seven Years' War, and it gradually established English as its official language. The island republic gained independence in 1978.
Dominique is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, and in fact it is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world's second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests, and it is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species. There are xeric areas in some of the western coastal regions, but heavy rainfall occurs inland. The Sisserou parrot, also known as the imperial amazon and found only on Dominica, is the island's national bird and featured on the national flag, which is the only national flag in the world containing the color purple.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1493 - Christopher Columbus, sailing for Spain, named the island as Dominica, after the Latin term dies Dominica for Sunday
1690 - The French established their first permanent settlements, and they gradually became permanent settlers
1727 - Dominique formally became a colony of France
1761 - 1763 During the Seven Years' War in Europe, a British expedition against Dominica conquered the island, along with several other Caribbean islands. In 1763, France had lost the war and ceded the island to Great Britain under the Treaty of Paris
1778 - The French, with the active co-operation of the population, began the Invasion of Dominica. This was ended by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which returned the island to British control
1871 - Dominica became part of the British Leeward Islands
1924 - Dominica was transferred from the Leeward Island Administration. Thousands of Free French refugees from Martinique and Guadeloupe escaped to Dominica from the Vichy-controlled French islands
1958 - 1962 Caribbean islands sought independence and Dominica became a province of the short-lived West Indies Federation until 1967