Greneda Government - History

Greneda Government - History

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Grenada is governed under a parliamentary system based on the British model. Grenada has a governor general, a prime minister and a cabinet, and a bicameral Parliament with an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate.
Country name: conventional long form: none conv
Governor GeneralWilliams, Daniel
Prime MinisterMitchell, Keith
Min. of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, & FisheriesCharles, Claris
Min. of Carriacou & Petit Martinique AffairsNimrod, Elvin
Min. of CommunicationsBowen, Gregory
Min. of Works, Public Utilities, & TransportBowen, Gregory
Min. of EducationJohn, Augustine
Min. of Finance, Trade, & PlanningBoatswain, Anthony
Min. of Foreign AffairsNimrod, Elvin
Min. of Health & EnvironmentModeste-Curwen, Clarice
Min. of Housing, Social Services, Culture, & CooperativesMcQueen, Brian
Min. of ImplementationWhiteman, Joslyn
Min. of InformationMitchell, Keith
Min. of International TradeNimrod, Elvin
Min. of LaborNimrod, Elvin
Min. of Labor & Local AffairsJoseph, Lawrence
Min. of Legal AffairsNimrod, Elvin
Min. of Local Government (Carriacou & Petite MartiniqueNimrod, Elvin
Min. of National Security, Mobilisation & InformationMitchell, Keith
Min. of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Women's Affairs, Social Security, & CultureHood, Brenda
Min. of Youth, Sports, & Community DevelopmentMitchell, Adrian
Attorney GeneralAnthony, Raymond
Permanent Representative to the UN, New YorkStanislaus, Lamuel
entional short form: Grenada

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Saint George's

Administrative divisions: 6 parishes and 1 dependency*; Carriacou and Petit Martinique*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick

Independence: 7 February 1974 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 February (1974)

Constitution: 19 December 1973

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Daniel WILLIAMS (since 9 August 1996) head of government: Prime Minister Keith MITCHELL (since 22 June 1995) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; prime minister appointed by the governor general from among the members of the House of Assembly

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a 13-member body, 10 appointed by the government and three by the leader of the opposition) and the House of Representatives (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held on 18 January 1999 (next to be held by NA October 2004) election results: House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NNP 15

Judicial branch: West Indies Associate States Supreme Court (an associate judge resides in Grenada)

Political parties and leaders: National Democratic Congress or NDC [George BRIZAN]; Grenada United Labor Party or GULP [Herbert PREUDHOMME]; The National Party or TNP [Ben JONES]; New National Party or NNP [Keith MITCHELL]; Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement or MBPM [Terrence MARRYSHOW]; The Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Francis ALEXIS]

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Denis G. ANTOINE chancery: 1701 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009 telephone: [1] (202) 265-2561 consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: the ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Grenada embassy: Point Salines, Saint George's mailing address: P. O. Box 54, Saint George's, Grenada, West Indies telephone: [1] (473) 444-1173 through 1176 FAX: [1] (473) 444-4820

Grenada Government, History, Population & Geography

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada

Population: 96,217 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 21,077 female 20,378)
15-64 years: 52% (male 26,959 female 23,403)
65 years and over: 5% (male 2,061 female 2,339) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.77% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 28.1 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.33 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -15.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 11.37 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.36 years
male: 68.77 years
female: 74 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.64 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Grenadian(s)
adjective: Grenadian

Religions: Roman Catholic 53%, Anglican 13.8%, other Protestant sects 33.2%

Languages: English (official), French patois

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1970 est.)

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Grenada

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Saint George's

Administrative divisions: 6 parishes and 1 dependency* Carriacou and Petit Martinique*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick

Independence: 7 February 1974 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 February (1974)

Constitution: 19 December 1973

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: 18 years of age universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Daniel WILLIAMS (since 9 August 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Keith MITCHELL (since 22 June 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none the queen is a hereditary monarch governor general appointed by the queen prime minister appointed by the governor general from among the members of the House of Assembly

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a 13-member body, 10 appointed by the government and three by the leader of the opposition) and the House of Representatives (15 seats members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 20 June 1995 (next to be held by NA October 2000)
election results: House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA seats by party - NNP 8, NDC 5, GULP 2

Judicial branch: West Indies Associate States Supreme Court, an associate judge resides in Grenada

Political parties and leaders: National Democratic Congress or NDC [George BRIZAN] Grenada United Labor Party or GULP [Jerry SEALES] The National Party or TNP [Ben JONES] New National Party or NNP [Keith MITCHELL] Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement or MBPM [Terrence MARRYSHOW] The Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Francis ALEXIS]

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Denis G. ANTOINE
chancery: 1701 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2561

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: the ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Grenada
embassy: Point Salines, Saint George's
mailing address: P. O. Box 54, Saint George's, Grenada, West Indies
telephone: [1] (473) 444-1173 through 1178
FAX: [1] (473) 444-4820

Flag description: a rectangle divided diagonally into yellow triangles (top and bottom) and green triangles (hoist side and outer side) with a red border around the flag there are seven yellow five-pointed stars with three centered in the top red border, three centered in the bottom red border, and one on a red disk superimposed at the center of the flag there is also a symbolic nutmeg pod on the hoist-side triangle (Grenada is the world's second-largest producer of nutmeg, after Indonesia) the seven stars represent the seven administrative divisions

Economy—overview: The agriculturally based economy was hurt in 1996 by the emergence of the pink mealy bug, which destroyed much of the cocoa harvest. Bananas, a major foreign exchange earner, also suffered due to falling prices, low production, and poor quality. Tourism, the leading foreign exchange earner, continued to do well, as did manufacturing. Construction boomed in 1996 due to concessions for low and middle income mortgages. The government introduced a 5% tax on electricity and telephones and doubled the general consumption tax, which caused a small rise in the inflation rate. The tourist industry faces stiff competition over the next few years.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$300 million (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.1% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,200 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 40.3%
services: 49.5% (1994 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.2% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 36,000
by occupation: services 31%, agriculture 24%, construction 8%, manufacturing 5%, other 32% (1985)

Unemployment rate: 20% (1 October 1996)

revenues: $75.7 million (1996 est.)
expenditures: $126.7 million, including capital expenditures of $51 million (1996 est.)

Industries: food and beverages, textiles, light assembly operations, tourism, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 1.8% (1992 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 9,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 70 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 741 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, citrus, avocados, root crops, sugarcane, corn, vegetables

total value: $24 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, fruit and vegetables, clothing, mace
partners: Caricom 32.3%, UK 20%, US 13%, Netherlands 8.8% (1991)

total value: $128 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: food 25%, manufactured goods 22%, machinery 20%, chemicals 10%, fuel 6% (1989)
partners: US 31.2%, Caricom 23.6%, UK 13.8%, Japan 7.1% (1991)

Debt—external: $97 million (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1ר.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Telephones: 5,650 (1988 est.)

Telephone system: automatic, islandwide telephone system
domestic: interisland VHF and UHF radiotelephone links
international: new SHF radiotelephone links to Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Vincent VHF and UHF radio links to Trinidad

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 80,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (1988 est.)

Televisions: 30,000 (1993 est.)

total: 1,040 km
paved: 638 km
unpaved: 402 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Grenville, Saint George's

Merchant marine: none

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Military branches: Royal Grenada Police Force, Coast Guard

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Disputes—international: none

Illicit drugs: small-scale cannabis cultivation lesser transshipment point for marijuana and cocaine to US

Greneda Government - History

Grenada has been an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations since 1974 (see Appendix B). This status has been one of the few constants during Grenada's somewhat turbulent history since that date. Although the 1979-83 tenure of the PRG led by Bishop produced marked changes in the governmental system, the PRG chose not to break its formal ties with the Commonwealth.

The PRG did revoke the independence Constitution of 1973, preferring to rule by revolutionary decree (or "people's laws"). This action produced some legal complications, particularly in the case of the judiciary. After the United States-Caribbean military intervention of October 1983 that deposed the short-lived Revolutionary Military Council established by Bernard Coard and General Hudson Austin of the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA), the Constitution of 1973 was brought back into force by Governor General Paul Scoon (see Current Strategic Considerations, ch. 7). Some judicial provisions established under the PRG were retained, however, for the sake of continuity and for the facilitation of the transition to a more representative government.

The 1973 Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government on the Westminster model. The theoretical head of state is the British monarch, whose authority is represented on the island by a governor general. When an elected Parliament is in place, the governor general has little real authority and limited official duties (a role similar to that of the monarch in the British government). The governor general is not altogether a figurehead, however, as demonstrated by the events of the 1983-84 period. Scoon assumed constitutional authority in October 1983 he subsequently appointed the Advisory Council (also known as the Interim Government) led by Nicholas Braithwaite, which guided Grenada until parliamentary elections could be held in December 1984.

Even when an elected Parliament is in place, the governor general retains a degree of latent constitutional authority. For example, it is the governor general who must dismiss members of Parliament (for nonattendance or criminal conviction, among other reasons), even though in practice this action is taken only at the urging of the prime minister or the leader of the opposition. The governor general also has the power to declare a state of emergency, a declaration that has the effect of dissolving Parliament.

Parliament is the major governmental institution in Grenada. It is a bicameral legislature, with a lower house referred to as the House of Representatives and an upper house known as the Senate. Representation in the House of Representatives is apportioned according to population. The leader of the party securing the majority of seats in Parliament is named prime minister by the governor general. The leader of the party winning the next largest bloc of seats is named leader of the opposition.

The position of senator is nonelective. The prime minister has the authority to recommend the appointment of seven senators of his own choosing, plus an additional three senators who are to be selected in consultation with "the organizations or interests which the Prime Minister considers the Senators should be elected to represent." These "organizations and interests," although not enumerated in the Constitution, traditionally encompass agricultural and business groups as well as trade unions. In addition to the ten senators nominated by the prime minister, the leader of the opposition is entitled to three nominations of his own. Thus, total membership of the Senate is thirteen.

According to the 1973 Constitution, Parliament "may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Grenada." Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution by a two-thirds vote of both houses. The Constitution also makes provision for amendment by referendum. The House of Representatives wields the power of the purse so-called money bills (bills dealing with taxation, public debt, or grants of public funds) may only be introduced in that chamber. Nonmoney bills may be introduced in either chamber. Sessions of Parliament must be held at least once each year, with intervals of no more than six months between the end of the last sitting of one session and the beginning of the next.

The parliamentary system gives a great deal of power to the prime minister, who can control the workings of government through the authority granted the prime minister to call and dissolve sessions of Parliament. One complaint lodged against Prime Minister Blaize in the Grenadian press since 1985 has concerned his failure to call frequent parliamentary sessions. This tactic allows important governmental matters, e.g., the formulation of the budget, to be handled exclusively by the cabinet, thus limiting the input and oversight of Parliament.

The power of the prime minister rests further in the authority to name a cabinet of ministers who assume responsibility for the administration of the government in such areas as the prime minister may designate. The prime minister frequently assumes direct control over key portfolios or over ministries of particular personal or political interest. For example, after his party's electoral victory in December 1984, Prime Minister Blaize took charge of the ministries of home affairs, security, information, Carriacou affairs (Blaize is a native of the island of Carriacou), finance and trade, and industrial development and planning.

The Grenadian judiciary has been the branch of government most affected by the political events of the post-1979 period. Prior to the advent of the PRG, Grenada participated in the Eastern Caribbean States Supreme Court along with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as provided for by the West Indies Act of 1967. The Bishop government severed this association and set up the Grenada Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Magistrate's courts were retained by the PRG to administer summary jurisdiction.

After the events of October 1983, the status of the courts set up by the PRG came into question. The legality of their continued operation was challenged specifically by defense attorneys for Coard, Austin, and other defendants who were to stand trial for the October 19, 1983, murder of Bishop and others in Fort Rupert (the name given to Fort George between 1979 and 1983 in honor of Bishop's father) in St. George's. The Grenada Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal considered several such challenges under its civil jurisdiction, but it rejected them under the doctrine of "state necessity," thus permitting both the court and the trial to continue. Meanwhile, the Blaize government formally applied in July 1986 for readmission to the Eastern Caribbean States Supreme Court. Upon acceptance into this court system, the Grenada Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be abolished because cases involving both original jurisdiction and appeal can be submitted to the regional court.

The civil service (or public service, as it is known in Grenada) is professional and generally apolitical, although there have been instances in Grenada's colonial history when an entrenched bureaucracy has acted to frustrate the ambitions of a ruler, e.g., Eric Gairy's conflicts with the bureaucracy during his brief tenure as the island's chief minister in 1961-62. The civil service still owes much to its British colonial origins. Its relative autonomy, once a product of isolation from the mother country, was legally reinforced by the Constitution of 1973. During the period of the Constitution's suspension by the PRG, the civil service was politicized to some degree as the ruling NJM sought to solidify its control over all aspects of Grenadian life. During the time the PRG was in power, the civil service lost a great many experienced employees to emigration. The loss reflected to some extent the traditionally high levels of outmigration in the case of civil servants, however, the motivation was in many cases more political than economic, expressing the employees' unwillingness to cooperate or collaborate with the workings of the "revo." The basic unit of the electoral system is the constituency. For the elections of 1984, the country was divided into several constituencies (some constituencies are grouped into parishes, a traditional designation deriving from the discontinued local government organization). In the December 1984 elections, fifty-two candidates competed for the fifteen seats in the House of Representatives. The total number of registered voters was 48,152 of these, 41,041 (or 85.2 percent) went to the polls, a reflection of the general enthusiasm for the return of electoral politics.

Political Dynamics

Politics in Grenada traditionally has been more concerned with personalities and class interests than with ideology. Political parties, even those that grow out of labor union movements, are usually dominated by charismatic leaders who can motivate their followers through strong emotional (or, in the case of Gairy, even mystical) appeal. The aspect of class interest has tended to devolve into lower versus middle-class aspirations, there being no political party or parties commonly identified with the interests of the upper class.

In this respect, as in many others, the PRG represented an aberration in Grenadian history. The "vanguard" of the revolution-- the NJM--was a party whose membership was drawn from the urban middle class (mainly young professionals who saw their opportunities limited under the corrupt Gairy government). When the PRG assumed power in March 1979, it presented the novel impression of a middle-class junta that sought, at least rhetorically, to reach out to the poor (the workers and peasantry). This initial promise never bore fruit, however, as the PRG was unable to make lasting economic gains and eventually fell victim to ideological infighting between Leninists and pragmatists, an internal conflict that paved the way for external intervention.

The New National Party (NNP) scored a resounding electoral victory in December 1984, winning fourteen of the fifteen seats in the House of Representatives. The NNP was neither an established party nor a homogeneous one, but rather an amalgamation of three separate parties that, with some outside encouragement, ultimately joined forces to ward off the potential restoration to power of Gairy.

The senior partner in the NNP was Blaize's Grenada National Party (GNP). Established in 1956, the GNP has traditionally represented the interests of the urban middle class, drawing the majority of its support from St. George's. The GNP led the government in Grenada during the periods 1957-61 and 1962-67. These two periods of GNP government represented the only interruptions in the domination of Grenadian politics by Gairy and GULP between 1951 and 1979. In 1976 the GNP joined an opposition coalition that included Bishop's NJM, but it played no part in the PRG after the 1979 coup.

Another member of the NNP was the National Democratic Party (NDP), established in February 1984 and led by George Brizan. Formerly a member of the NJM, Brizan dissociated himself from the group after it came to be dominated by Bishop, Coard, and others who envisioned it as a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party. Brizan's political leanings were said to be social democratic.

The third constituent of the NNP was the Grenada Democratic Movement (GDM), founded in Barbados by Francis Alexis. The NNP had originally included the Christian Democratic Labour Party (CDLP) among its ranks, but the CDLP dropped out shortly after the establishment of the NNP over what appeared to be a personal dispute between Blaize and CDLP leader Winston Whyte.

The evolution of the NNP was neither easy nor smooth. The first step in the process was the April 1984 formation of the Team for National Togetherness (TNT). This initial umbrella group was to have brought the GNP, NDP, and GDM under one political banner however, its establishment was announced publicly before the private process of negotiating party organization could get fully underway. These talks eventually bogged down over the issue of how many candidates from each of the constituent parties would be allowed to contest the parliamentary elections. Frustrated with the haggling, Brizan withdrew the NDP from the TNT in August. The GNP/GDM grouping was then renamed the Team for National Unity.

In addition to the specific dispute over candidacies, the TNT leaders also differed over broader issues of ideology and political protocol, according to some sources. These divergences seem to have pitted Blaize, the conservative elder statesman, against Brizan, the young progressive. Blaize is reported to have felt that the GNP deserved primacy within the coalition by virtue of its longer history as an established party he is said to have demanded veto power over all proposed candidates. There may also have been disputes over specific issues, such as the presence of United States and Caribbean military forces on Grenada and the continuation of certain social programs begun under the PRG.

The seeming inability of the moderate Grenadian parties to unite was viewed with concern by the leaders of neighboring countries. Having supported military action to rid the country of a seemingly unstable Marxist-Leninist regime, these leaders did not wish to see Grenada returned to the control of Gairy, whom they viewed as the most likely beneficiary of a divided electorate. If nothing else, Gairy's return to power would have represented a public relations embarrassment of the first order. Therefore, acting in a tradition of regional consultation stretching back at least as far as the West Indies Federation of 1958-62, prime ministers Tom Adams of Barbados, James Mitchell of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and John G.M. Compton of St. Lucia volunteered their services as mediators in the negotiating process. Most reports concur that the session that finally produced the NNP was held in August 1984 on Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The neighboring prime ministers were present at the August 26 public ceremony in Grenada at which the formation of the new coalition was announced.

Reports of friction among the NNP membership began to circulate soon after the December 1984 elections. Factionalism within the party stemmed from the nature of its founding, the uneasiness that prevailed among the leaders of the constituent parties, and the autocratic control exercised by Blaize over party affairs. Early reports hinted at rivalry between Alexis and Brizan for the right to succeed Blaize as party leader. This notion was reinforced by the competition between the two for the post of deputy political leader, a position to which Alexis was elected at the party convention of December 1985. Subsequent events tended to draw Alexis and Brizan closer together, however. At the 1986 party convention, Blaize's associate Ben Jones replaced Alexis as deputy political leader, cementing further the dominance of Blaize's GNP faction within the NNP.

The first public demonstrations of the NNP's internal tensions were provided by the defections of two members of Parliament--Kenny Lalsingh and Phinsley St. Louis--each of whom left the party in August 1986 and formed separate political organizations. In February 1987, observers reported that Brizan, Alexis, and Tillman Thomas, the junior minister for legal affairs, had refused to sign a declaration of party unity. In April this simmering dispute boiled over when the three resigned from the government, citing their disagreement with Blaize over what had come to be known as the "retrenchment," the proposed release of 1,500-1,800 civil servants. Although they did not announce their withdrawal from the NNP at that time, Alexis and Brizan technically became part of the parliamentary opposition, reducing Blaize's majority, once fourteen to one, to nine to six.

In October 1987, the opposition coalesced under the banner of yet another political party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Brizan was elected as leader of the NDC, which also included Alexis, Lalsingh, Thomas, and St. Louis among its ranks. Although its level of popular support was difficult to gauge, the NDC appeared to generate some enthusiasm among those Grenadians looking for an alternative to the established political organizations headed by Blaize and Gairy.

Aside from the NNP, the only major political party in Grenada in the mid-1980s was GULP, which dated back to 1951 and was led by Gairy. Once the dominant political force on the island, Gairy and his party gradually lost the confidence of most Grenadians through corruption and repression. This erosion of public support was demonstrated by the generally positive reaction to the 1979 seizure of power by Maurice Bishop and the NJM. In the post-Bishop period, GULP clearly suffered from Gairy's enforced exile, his diminished personal popularity, and the low level of party institutionalization. GULP's disarray could be read in the party's reaction to the December 1984 elections. Immediately after the balloting, GULP appeared to represent the official parliamentary opposition to the NNP. Its one victorious member, Marcel Peters, defected after a dispute with party leader Gairy over political tactics, however. Gairy had decried the elections as fraudulent and ordered Peters to refuse his seat in the House. Peters refused, withdrew from GULP, declared his own political organization (apparently standard procedure for Grenadian politicians), and assumed the post of leader of the opposition, a position he eventually yielded to NNP defector St. Louis.

The history of GULP is the history of its leader, Eric Gairy. Gairy began his political life as a labor leader, establishing the Grenada Mental and Manual Workers Union (GMMWU) in 1950. The GMMWU was a rural workers' union that concentrated its organizing efforts within the Grenadian sugar industry. Like many young Grenadians, Gairy left the island in search of work. After a short stint as a construction worker in Trinidad and Tobago, Gairy moved on to the oil refineries of Aruba. It was there that he began his labor organizing activities, somewhat to the consternation of Dutch authorities, who reportedly deported him in 1949. After asserting his credentials as a populist leader through the vehicle of the GMMWU, Gairy successfully entered the electoral arena in 1951 under the banner of the newly formed GULP, which took 64 percent of that year's ballots (the first held under the Universal Suffrage Law of 1950). Gairy and GULP lost only two of the six general elections held from 1951 until 1979, when the party was overthrown by the NJM. The party drew heavily on the organization and resources of the GMMWU, and the membership of the two groups remained fluid throughout Gairy's years in power.

Gairy returned to Grenada in January 1984 after another involuntary exile, this one lasting almost five years. Although Gairy appeared to have retained some support among the rural population, most Grenadians seemed to have rejected him as a result of his past history of strongman rule, corruption, and harassment of political opponents.

After the electoral defeat of 1984, Gairy seemed to be making plans to broaden the appeal of GULP. In April 1985, he claimed that the party's leadership would be purged, that attempts would be made to expand its low level of support among Grenadian youth, and that all future GULP candidates for office would be drawn directly from the ranks of the party and not recruited for only one campaign. This last promise suggested an effort to institutionalize what had long been a highly personalistic political organization. GULP support appeared to be dwindling by 1987, however, as new party leaders failed to emerge, other political leaders continued to attract support among Gairy's former rural constituency, and the party restricted its activities as a result of lack of funds.

Although GULP appeared largely ineffective as a political vehicle, Gairy continued to enjoy some measure of influence on the labor front. His longtime union organization, the GMMWU, was renamed the Grenada Manual Maritime and Intellectual Workers Union (GMMIWU). Its membership base still lay among rural agricultural workers. The economic disarray left in the wake of the PRG and the void in agricultural labor organization after the demise of the Bishop regime left the GMMIWU in a good position to recruit new members and exert influence on both the government and private producers, although it, like GULP, suffered from underfunding and possible defection of its members to other organizations.

The left, consisting of the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM) and the persistent remnants of the NJM, was an insignificant political force in the late 1980s. The MBPM was founded in 1984 by Kendrick Radix, an original NJM member and PRG cabinet minister who played no part in the short-lived Revolutionary Military Council. The MBPM began as the Maurice Bishop and the 19th October Martyrs Foundation, a group dedicated to raising funds for scholarships for Grenadian students (presumably for study in "progressive" or socialist countries) and to erecting a monument to Bishop and other fallen comrades. Although successful in its monument campaign, the MBPM failed to have the Point Salines International Airport named after Bishop. The transformation of the MBPM from foundation to political party occurred in August 1984 Radix claimed that only his movement could prevent Gairy's return to power. During the election campaign, he promised that an MBPM government would confiscate supposedly idle farmland that had been previously held by the PRG but had since reverted to its previous owners because of a lack of proper compensation. The movement failed to attract a popular following in the 1984 elections, however, capturing only 5 percent of the vote and no seats in Parliament.

The group still laying claim to the title of NJM represented the hard core of the organization, the remaining "Coardites" who supported the establishment of an orthodox Marxist-Leninist state but who had not involved themselves directly in the putsch of October 19, 1983. The NJM declined to participate in the elections of 1984, probably knowing that it would have drawn even less support than Radix's MBPM (with which it continued to feud rhetorically). The continued existence of this organization despite a good deal of public antipathy was one measure of the openness of the Grenadian system.

Other small political parties continued to function in Grenada in the mid-1980s. Whyte's CDLP contested the elections but attracted only 0.26 percent of the total vote. The Grenada Federated Labour Party, an organization that first contested elections in 1957 but that subsequently lay dormant, drew only 0.02 percent of the 1984 vote.

For more recent information about the government, see Facts about Grenada.

The Invasion

On the morning of October 25, 1983, the United States, supported by the Caribbean Defense Force, invaded Grenada. The U.S. contingent totaled 7,600 troops from the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force.

President Reagan's Remarks on the Grenada Rescue Mission followed by Remarks by Prime Minister Eugenia Charles of Dominica in the Press Room on October 25, 1983. Courtesy Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The allied invading force was opposed by about 1,500 Grenadian troops and 700 armed Cuban military engineers working on the expansion of the Point Salines Airport. Despite having a clear advantage in manpower and equipment, the U.S.-led forces were hindered by a lack of intelligence on the capabilities of the Cuban troops and the geographical layout of the island, often forced to depend on outdated tourist maps.

The primary objectives of Operation Urgent Fury were to capture the island’s two airports, the disputed Point Salines Airport and the smaller Pearls Airport, and to rescue the American medical students trapped at St. George’s University.

By the end of the invasion’s first day, U.S. Army Rangers had secured both the Point Salines and Pearls airports, and rescued 140 American students from St. George’s University True Blue campus. The Rangers also learned that another 223 students were being held at the university’s Grand Anse campus. These students were rescued over the next two days.

By October 29, military resistance to the invasion had ended. The U.S. Army and Marines proceeded to scour the island, arresting officers of the Grenadian military and seizing or destroying its weapons and equipment.


Pre-Umayyad history Edit

The region surrounding what today is Granada has been populated since at least 5500 BC and experienced Roman and Visigothic influences. The most ancient ruins found in the city belong to an Iberian oppidum called Ilturir, in the region known as Bastetania. This oppidum eventually changed its name to Iliberri, and after the Roman conquest of Iberia, to Municipium Florentinum Iliberitanum. [6]

Founding and early history Edit

The Umayyad conquest of Hispania, starting in AD 711, brought large parts of the Iberian Peninsula under Moorish control and established al-Andalus. Granada's historical name in the Arabic language was غرناطة (Ġarnāṭah). [6] [7] [8] [9] The word Gárnata (or Karnatah) possibly means "hill of strangers". Because the city was situated on a low plain and, as a result, difficult to protect from attacks, the ruler decided to transfer his residence to the higher situated area of Gárnata. According to Arabic sources Ilbira (Elvira) was razed during Fitna of al-Andalus, afterwards it was not restored at its previous place and instead Garnata, which was a Jewish ghetto before, replaced it as the main city. In a short time this town was transformed into one of the most important cities of al-Andalus. [6] [8]

In the early 11th century, after the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Berber Zawi ben Ziri established an independent kingdom for himself, the Taifa of Granada. His surviving memoirs – the only ones for the Spanish "Middle Ages" [10] – provide considerable detail for this brief period. The Zirid Taifa of Granada was a Jewish state in all but name the Muslim king is looked upon as a mainly symbolic figurehead. It was the center of Jewish Sephardi culture and scholarship.

Early Arabic writers repeatedly called it "Garnata al-Yahud" (Granada of the Jews). Granada was in the eleventh century the center of Sephardic civilization at its peak, and from 1027 until 1066 Granada was a powerful Jewish state. Jews did not hold the foreigner (dhimmi) status typical of Islamic rule. Samuel ibn Nagrilla, recognized by Sephardic Jews everywhere as the quasi-political ha-Nagid ('The Prince'), was king in all but name. As vizier he made policy and—much more unusual—led the army. It is said that Samuel's strengthening and fortification of Granada was what permitted it, later, to survive as the last Islamic state in the Iberian peninsula.

All of the greatest figures of eleventh-century Hispano-Jewish culture are associated with Granada. Moses Ibn Ezra was from Granada on his invitation Judah ha-Levi spent several years there as his guest. Ibn Gabirol’s patrons and hosts were the Jewish viziers of Granada, Samuel ha-Nagid and his son Joseph. [11]

When Joseph took over after his father's death, he proved to lack his father's diplomacy, bringing on the 1066 Granada massacre, which ended the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain.

By the end of the 11th century, the city had spread across the Darro to reach the hill of the future Alhambra, and included the Albaicín neighborhood (now a World Heritage site). [12] The Almoravids ruled Granada from 1090 and the Almohad dynasty from 1166. [13]

Nasrid dynasty—Emirate of Granada Edit

In 1228, with the departure of the Almohad prince Idris al-Ma'mun, who left Iberia to take the Almohad leadership, the ambitious Ibn al-Ahmar established the last and longest reigning Muslim dynasty in the Iberian peninsula, the Nasrids.

With the Reconquista in full swing after the conquest of Córdoba in 1236, the Nasrids aligned themselves with Fernando III of Castile, officially becoming the Emirate of Granada in 1238. [13] Most historians agree that Granada became a tributary state to the Kingdom of Castile from that year, although this was often interrupted by wars between the two states. [14] Integrated within the European mercantile network, the ports of the kingdom fostered intense trading relations with the Genoese, but also with the Catalans, and to a lesser extent, with the Venetians, the Florentines, and the Portuguese. [15] It provided connections with Muslim and Arab trade centers, particularly for gold from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb, and exported silk and dried fruits produced in the area. [16] The Nasrids also supplied troops from the Emirate and mercenaries from North Africa for service to Castile.

Ibn Battuta, a famous traveller and an authentic historian, visited the Kingdom of Granada in 1350. He described it as a powerful and self-sufficient kingdom in its own right, although frequently embroiled in skirmishes with the Kingdom of Castile. In his journal, Ibn Battuta called Granada the "metropolis of Andalusia and the bride of its cities." [17]

During the Moor rule, Granada was a city with adherents to many religions who lived in separate quarters. During this Nasrid period there were 137 Muslim mosques in the Medina (city) of Granada.

Modern history Edit

On 2 January 1492, the last Muslim ruler in Iberia, Emir Muhammad XII, known as "Boabdil" to the Spanish, surrendered complete control of the Emirate of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile), after the last episode of the Granada War.

The 1492 capitulation of the Kingdom of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs is one of the most significant events in Granada's history. It brought the demise of the last Muslim-controlled polity in the Iberian Peninsula. The terms of the surrender, expressed in the Alhambra Decree treaty, explicitly allowed the Muslim inhabitants, known as mudéjares, to continue unmolested in the practice of their faith and customs. By 1499, however, Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros grew frustrated with the slow pace of the efforts of the first archbishop of Granada, Hernando de Talavera, to convert non-Christians and undertook a program of forced baptisms, creating the converso (convert) class for Muslims and Jews. Cisneros's new strategy, which was a direct violation of the terms of the treaty, provoked the Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1499–1501) centered in the rural Alpujarras region southeast of the city.

The rebellion lasted Until 1500, 9 years after the conquest, the city did not formally establish its own town council, instead, merging the "Old Christians", and the converted morisco elites, a decision that resulted in strong factionalism from 1508 onwards. [18] The new period also saw the creation of a number of other new institutions such as the Cathedral Cabildo, the Captaincy–General [es] , the Royal Chapel and the Royal Chancellery. [19] For the rest of the 16th century the Granadan ruling oligarchy featured roughly a 40% of (Jewish) conversos and about a 31% of hidalgos. [20]

Responding to the rebellion of 1501, the Crown of Castile rescinded the Alhambra Decree treaty, and mandated that Granada's Muslims convert or emigrate. Under the 1492 Alhambra Decree, Spain's Jewish population, unlike the Muslims, had already been forced to convert (the so-called conversos) under threat of expulsion or even execution. Many of the elite Muslim class subsequently emigrated to North Africa. [c] The majority of the Granada's mudéjares converted (becoming the so-called moriscos or Moorish) so that they could stay. Both populations of converts were subject to persecution, execution, or exile, and each had cells that practiced their original religion in secrecy (the so-called marranos in the case of the conversos accused of the charge of crypto-Judaism).

Over the course of the 16th century, Granada took on an ever more Catholic and Castilian character, [ citation needed ] as immigrants came to the city from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. [ which? ] The city's mosques were converted to Christian churches or completely destroyed. [ citation needed ] After the 1492 Alhambra decree, which resulted in the majority of Granada's Jewish population being expelled, the Jewish quarter (ghetto) was demolished to make way for new Catholic and Castilian institutions and uses. [ citation needed ]

During the 17th century, despite the importance of immigration, [21] the population of the city stagnated at about 55,000, contrary to the trend of population increase experienced in the rural areas of the Kingdom of Granada, [22] where the hammer of depopulation caused by the expulsion of the moriscos had taken a far greater toll in the previous century. The 17th-century demographic stagnation in the city and overall steady population increase in the wider kingdom contrasted with the demographic disaster experienced throughout the century in the rest of the Crown of Castile. [23]

Location Edit

The city of Granada sits on the Vega de Granada, one of the depressions or plains located within the Baetic mountain ranges, continued to the west by those of Archidona and Antequera and to the East by those of Guadix, Baza and Huéscar. [24]

The fertile soil of the Vega, apt for agriculture, is irrigated by the water streams originated in Sierra Nevada, as well as minor secondary ranges, all drained by the catchment basin of the Genil River, [25] that cuts across the city centre following an east to west direction. The Monachil, a left-bank tributary of the former, also passes through the city, discharging into the Genil to the west of the city centre.

Climate Edit

Granada has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa) close to a cold semi-arid climate (BSk) Summers are hot and dry with daily temperatures averaging 34 °C (93 °F) in the hottest month (July) however, temperatures reaching over 40 °C (104 °F) are not uncommon in the summer months. Winters are cool and damp, with most of the rainfall concentrated from November through to January. The coldest month is January with daytime temperatures hovering at 13 °C (55 °F) and dropping to around 1 °C (34 °F) during the night. Frost is quite common as temperatures usually reach below-freezing in the early morning. Spring and autumn are unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from mild to warm. Early summer in 2017 confronted the city with two massive heat waves that broke long-standing record temperatures starting on June 13, 2017, with a new maximum high for the month at 40.6 °C (old record 40.0), which was topped three times within the span of four days at 40.9 °C on June 14, 41.3 (June 15) and, eventually, 41.5 (June 17). The second extreme surge in temperatures followed roughly a month later when readings soared to 45.7 and 45.3 °C on July 12 and 13, respectively, surpassing the old July record by almost 3 degrees.

Climate data for Granada (Granada Base Aérea, altitude 687 m, 2,254 ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.4
Average high °C (°F) 12.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.9
Average low °C (°F) 1.2
Record low °C (°F) −12.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 41
Average precipitation days 5.8 5.6 5.1 6.3 4.7 1.7 0.3 0.6 2.7 5.1 6.7 7.2 51.8
Average snowy days 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.3 2
Average relative humidity (%) 72 68 60 57 51 43 37 41 51 62 71 75 57
Mean monthly sunshine hours 170 172 219 234 280 331 362 330 254 211 164 148 2,881
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología [26] [27]
Climate data for Granada (Granada Airport, altitude 567 m, 1,860 ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.6
Average high °C (°F) 13.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.6
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Record low °C (°F) −14.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 42
Average precipitation days 5.6 5.9 4.9 6.2 4.2 1.7 0.3 0.6 2.8 5.0 6.8 7.4 52.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 165 172 225 231 293 336 373 344 262 215 170 149 2,935
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología [28] [29]

The greatest artistic wealth of Granada is its Spanish-Islamic art – in particular, the compound of the Alhambra and the Generalife. The Generalife is a pleasure palace with attached romantic gardens, remarkable both for its location and layout, as well as for the diversity of its flowers, plants and fountains. The Alhambra is the architectural culmination of the works of Nasrid art that were undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries, with most of the Alhambra having been built at the time of Yusuf I and Mohammed V, between 1333 and 1354.

Alhambra Edit

The Alhambra is a Nasrid "palace city". It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984. It is certainly Granada's most emblematic monument and one of the most visited in Spain. It consists of a defensive zone, the Alcazaba, together with others of a residential and formal state character, the Nasrid Palaces and, lastly, the palace, gardens and orchards of the Generalife.

The Alhambra occupies a small plateau on the southeastern border of the city in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada above the Assabica valley. Some of the buildings may have existed before the arrival of the Moors. The Alhambra as a whole is completely walled, bordered to the north by the valley of the Darro, to the south by the al-Sabika, and to the east of the Cuesta del Rey Chico, which in turn is separated from the Albaicín and Generalife, located in the Cerro del Sol.

In the 11th century the Castle of the Alhambra was developed as a walled town which became a military stronghold that dominated the whole city. But it was in the 13th century, with the arrival of the first monarch of the Nasrid dynasty, Muhammad I of Granada (Mohammed I, 1238–1273), that the royal residence was established in the Alhambra. This marked the beginning of its heyday. The Alhambra became palace, citadel and fortress, and was the residence of the Nasrid sultans and their senior officials, including servants of the court and elite soldiers (13th–14th centuries).

In 1492 the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabela, expelled the final Moors from the city of Granada. They established permanent residency in the Alhambra, and it was here that Christopher Columbus requested royal endorsement for his westward expedition that year.

In 1527 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor demolished part of the architectural complex to build the Palace which bears his name. Although the Catholic Monarchs had already altered some rooms of the Alhambra after the conquest of the city in 1492, Charles V wanted to construct a permanent residence befitting an emperor. Around 1537 he ordered the construction of the Peinador de la Reina, or Queen's dressing room, where his wife Isabel lived, over the Tower of Abu l-Hayyay.

There was a pause in the ongoing maintenance of the Alhambra from the 18th century for almost a hundred years, and during control by the First French Empire, substantial portions of the fortress were blown apart. The repair, restoration and conservation that continues to this day did not begin until the 19th century. The complex currently includes the Museum of the Alhambra, with objects mainly from the site of the monument itself and the Museum of Fine Arts. [30]

Other monuments Edit

Since 1988, there is in Granada a monument honoring Judah ben Saul ibn Tibbon. [31]

Generalife Edit

The Generalife is a garden area attached to the Alhambra which became a place of recreation and rest for the Granadan Muslim kings when they wanted to flee the tedium of official life in the Palace. It occupies the slopes of the hill Cerro del Sol above the ravines of the Genil and the Darro and is visible from vantage points throughout the city. It was conceived as a rural village, consisting of landscaping, gardens and architecture. The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammed III (1302–1309) and redecorated shortly after by Abu l-Walid Isma'il (1313–1324). It is of the Islamic Nasrid style, and is today one of the biggest attractions in the city of Granada. The Generalife was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.

It is difficult to know the original appearance of the Generalife, as it has been subject to modifications and reconstructions throughout the Christian period which disfigured many of its former aspects. All buildings of the Generalife are of solid construction, and the overall decor is austere and simple. There is little variety to the Alhambra's decorative plaster, but the aesthetic is tasteful and extremely delicate. In the last third of the 20th century, a part of the garden was destroyed to build an auditorium. [32]

Cathedral Edit

The cathedral of Granada is built over the Nasrid Great Mosque of Granada, in the centre of the city. Its construction began during the Spanish Renaissance in the early 16th century, shortly after the conquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs, who commissioned the works to Juan Gil de Hontañón and Enrique Egas. Numerous grand buildings were built in the reign of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, so that the cathedral is contemporary to the Christian palace of the Alhambra, the University and the Real Chancillería (Supreme Court).

The church was conceived on the model of the Cathedral of Toledo, for what initially was a Gothic architectural project, as was customary in Spain in the early decades of the 16th century. However, Egas was relieved by the Catholic hierarchy in 1529, and the continuation of the work was assigned to Diego Siloe, who built upon the example of his predecessor, but changed the approach towards a fully Renaissance aesthetic. [33]

The architect drew new Renaissance lines for the whole building over the gothic foundations, with an ambulatory and five naves instead of the usual three. Over time, the bishopric continued to commission new architectural projects of importance, such as the redesign of the main façade, undertaken in 1664 by Alonso Cano (1601–1667) to introduce Baroque elements. In 1706 Francisco de Hurtado Izquierdo and later his collaborator José Bada built the current tabernacle of the cathedral.

Highlights of the church's components include the main chapel, where may be found the praying statues of the Catholic Monarchs, which consists of a series of Corinthian columns with the entablature resting on their capitals, and the vault over all. The spaces of the walls between the columns are perforated by a series of windows. The design of the tabernacle of 1706 preserves the classic proportions of the church, with its multiple columns crossing the forms of Diego de Siloé. [34]

Royal Chapel Edit

The Catholic Monarchs chose the city of Granada as their burial site by a royal decree dated September 13, 1504. The Royal Chapel of Granada, built over the former terrace of the Great Mosque, ranks with other important Granadan buildings such as the Lonja and the Catedral e Iglesia del Sagrario. In it are buried the Catholic Monarchs, their daughter Joanna of Castile (Juana la Loca) and her husband Felipe I (Felipe el Hermoso). Construction of the Chapel started in 1505, directed by its designer, Enrique Egas. Built in several stages, the continuing evolution of its design joined Gothic construction and decoration with Renaissance ideals, as seen in the tombs and the 17th and 18th century Granadan art in the Chapel of Santa Cruz. Over the years the church acquired a treasury of works of art, liturgical objects and relics.

The Royal Chapel was declared a Historic Artistic Monument on May 19, 1884, taking consideration of BIC (Bien de Interés Cultural) status in the current legislation of Spanish Historical Heritage (Law 16/1985 of 25 June). The most important parts of the chapel are its main retable, grid and vault. In the Sacristy-Museum is the legacy of the Catholic Monarchs. Its art gallery is highlighted by works of the Flemish, Italian and Spanish schools. [35]

Hans Memling - Diptych of Granada, left wing:Acceptance of the Cross, h. 1475

Juan de Flandes - Birth of Christ, 1435-1438

Sandro Botticelli - Prayer of the Garden, 1498-1500

Albayzín Edit

The Albayzín (or Albaicín) is a neighborhood of Al-Andalus origin, much visited by tourists who flock to the city because of its historical associations, architecture, and landscape.

The archeological findings in the area show that it has been inhabited since ancient times. It became more relevant with the arrival of the Zirid dynasty, in 1013, when it was surrounded by defensive walls. It is one of the ancient centres of Granada, like the Alhambra, the Realejo and the Arrabal de Bib-Rambla, in the flat part of the city. Its current extension runs from the walls of the Alcazaba to the cerro of San Miguel and on the other hand, from the Puerta de Guadix to the Alcazaba.

This neighborhood had its greatest development in the Nasrid era, and therefore largely maintains the urban fabric of this period, with narrow streets arranged in an intricate network that extends from the upper area, called San Nicolás, to the river Darro and Calle Elvira, located in the Plaza Nueva. The traditional type of housing is the carmen granadino, consisting of a free-standing house surrounded by a high wall that separates it from the street and includes a small orchard or garden.

In the Muslim era the Albayzín was characterized as the locus of many revolts against the caliphate. At that time it was the residence of craftsmen, industrialists and aristocrats. With the Christian reconquest, it would progressively lose its splendor. The Christians built churches and settled there the Real Chancillería. During the rule of Felipe II of Spain, after the rebellion and subsequent expulsion of the Moors, the district was depopulated. In 1994 it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. [36] Of its architectural wealth among others include the Zirid walls of the Alcazaba Cadima, the Nasrid walls, the towers of the Alcazaba, the Bañuelo (former bathhouse), the Dar al-Horra Palace and several other historic mansions, and the churches of Salvador (former main mosque), San Cristóbal, San Miguel Alto and the Real Chancillería. [37]

Sacromonte Edit

The Sacromonte neighbourhood is located on the Valparaíso hill, one of several hills that make up Granada. This neighborhood is known as the old neighbourhood of the Romani, who settled in Granada after the conquest of the city. It is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods, full of whitewashed caves cut into the rock and used as residences. The sound of strumming guitars may still be heard there in the performance of flamenco cantes and quejíos, so that over time it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Granada.

At the top of this hill is the Abbey of Sacromonte and the College of Sacromonte, founded in the 17th century by the then Archbishop of Granada Pedro de Castro. The Abbey of Sacromonte was built to monitor and guard the alleged relics of the evangelists of Baetica. Those are of questionable authenticity, but since their finding the area has been a religious pilgrimage destination. [38]

The abbey complex consists of the catacombs, the abbey (17th–18th centuries), the Colegio Viejo de San Dionisio Areopagita (17th century) and the Colegio Nuevo (19th century). The interior of the church is simple and small but has numerous excellent works of art, which accentuate the size and rich carving of the Crucificado de Risueño, an object of devotion for the Romani people, who sing and dance in the procession of Holy Week. The facilities also include a museum, which houses the works acquired by the Foundation. [39]

Charterhouse Edit

The Charterhouse of Granada is a monastery of cloistered monks, located in what was a farm or Muslim almunia called Aynadamar ("fountain of tears") that had an abundance of water and fruit trees. The initiative to build the monastery in that place was begun by Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known as El Gran Capitán. The charterhouse was founded in 1506 construction started ten years later, and continued for the following 300 years.

The Monastery suffered heavy damage during the Peninsular War and lost considerable property in 1837 as a result of the confiscations of Mendizábal. Currently, the monastery belongs to the Carthusians, reporting directly to the Archdiocese of Granada. [40]

The street entrance to the complex is an ornate arch of Plateresque style. Through it one reaches a large courtyard, at the end which is a wide staircase leading to the entrance of the church. The church, of early 16th century style and plan, has three entrances, one for the faithful and the other two for monks and clergy. Its plan has a single nave divided into four sections, highlighting the retables of Juan Sánchez Cotán and the chancel's glass doors, adorned with mother-of-pearl, silver, rare woods and ivory. The presbytery is covered by elliptical vaulting. The main altar, between the chancel arch and the church tabernacle, is gilded wood.

The church's tabernacle and sancta sanctorum are considered a masterpiece of Baroque Spanish art in its blend of architecture, painting and sculpture. The dome that covers this area is decorated with frescoes by the Córdoba artist Antonio Palomino (18th century) representing the triumph of the Church Militant, faith, and religious life.

The courtyard, with galleries of arches on Doric order columns opening on it, is centered by a fountain. The Chapter House of Legos is the oldest building of the monastery (1517). It is rectangular and covered with groin vaulting. [41]

The Mosque of Granada was inaugurated in 2003 on the summit of the neighborhood of Albayzin. The mosque was built near the Church of San Salvador and the Church of San Nicolás. The Church of San Salvador was built on the site of the Great Mosque of Albayzin. The Society for the Return of Islam in Spain purchased the site in 1981, but it took many years for the plans to be approved. The mosque's initial funding was supplied by Shaykh 'Abdalqadir as-Sufi al-Murabit who envisioned providing Granada's new Spanish Muslim community with a mosque. Additional funding came from Malaysia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. In 1991 the CIE (Comunidad Islámica en España) hired the architect Renato Ramirez Sanchez to design the mosque. In the 1990s, there was a heated debate pertaining to the design of the minaret. Construction eventually began in 2001. The mosque now serves about 500 people. [42]

Palace of the Marqués de Salar Edit

The Palace of the Marqués de Salar was built in one of the most emblematic streets of Granada, the Carrera del Darro, at number 5. This place is an architectural example of the classical Granada during the Renaissance transformation of the XVI th century. It was built by the Marqués de Salar, great-grandson of both Hernán Pérez del Pulgar (known by the name of El de la Hazañas [The One of the Valiant Deeds]) and Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (El Gran Capitán [The Great Captain]), Captain-General of the Castilian-Aragonese forces that concluded the Reconquest of the peninsula. The palace is now the museum of perfumes El Patio de los Perfumes, with 1,500 square metres (16,000 sq ft) of floor space on two floors and 130 square metres (1,400 sq ft) of patio to relax surrounded by flowers and perfumes.

Other buildings Edit

Metropolitan area of Granada Edit

Granada's metropolitan area consists of about fifty municipalities and the capital. Although it is not formally constituted as a political and administrative body, there are several public services that are combined. The arrival of many inhabitants of the capital and other towns in the province, influences a large population growth. Despite the fact that the capital loses inhabitants, who move to neighboring towns. The main causes of the exodus towards the towns of the metropolitan area are, mainly, the difficulty of accessing a home in the capital because of the high prices it has and labor reasons, because in the towns of the periphery the majority are being located of industrial estates.

Capital of Granada Province Edit

The city of Granada is the capital of the province of the same name, thus all administrative entities of provincial scope dependent on the regional government and the state are located there. There is a provincial delegation from each of the governmental departments to the Junta de Andalucía, coordinated by a government delegate under the Ministry of the Interior. The national government of Spain has a sub-delegation in Granada, subordinate to the government delegate in the autonomous community.

Judicial administration Edit

The headquarters of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia, Ceuta and Melilla is in Granada, located in Plaza Nueva, in the building of the historic Royal Chancery, as well as the Superior Prosecutor's Office of Andalusia, located in the building of the Bank of Spain. It has a Provincial Court, located in Corteza del Carmen Street, and is also head of the Judicial Party No. 3 of the province, whose demarcation includes the city and 49 towns, some of them very populated, in the metropolitan area region.

Most of the courts are located in two administrative buildings, in Plaza Nueva and Avenida del Sur. The set of judicial bodies is as follows:

  • Superior Court of Justice: President. Civil-Criminal Chamber. Contentious-Administrative Room. Social room.
  • Provincial Court: President. Criminal: 2 Civil: 3
  • Courts

Municipal organization Edit

Its political administration is carried out through a City Council, of democratic management, whose components are chosen every four years by universal suffrage. The electoral roll is composed of all residents registered in Granada over 18 years of age, of Spanish nationality and of the other member countries of the European Union. According to the provisions of the General Electoral Regime Law, which establishes the number of eligible councilors according to the population of the municipality, the Municipal Corporation of Granada is made up of 27 councilors.

In the municipal elections held in 2019 the constitution of the City Council was eleven councilors belonging to the Popular Party, eight to the Socialist Party, four belonging to Citizens Party, three to Vamos, Granada and one to the United Left-Socialist Alternative-For the People. Luis Salvador, leader of Citizens, became mayor with support from the PP and Vox. [43]

Municipal districts and neighborhoods Edit

The municipality of Granada consists of eight districts whose population is distributed in the attached chart according to the 2009 census of the City of Granada. These districts formed a set of 36 neighborhoods. All boundaries of districts and neighborhoods were modified in February 2013.

Municipal service areas Edit

The municipal government team has organized the distribution of management responsibilities, structuring itself in the following service areas: Weddings and Palaces, Equal opportunities, Economy, Education, Communication office, Unified license management, Youth, Environment, Municipal Office of Consumer Information, Citizen Participation, Group of Civil Protection Volunteers, Local Police.

St. George’s, Grenada (1649- )

St. George’s is the capital of Grenada, an island nation located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The city has an estimated population of 4,300 people in a nation of 105,897 people (2012). St. George’s is positioned on the island’s southern coast on a small peninsula that has a shallow exterior bay and deep harbour. The main exports are bananas, cocoa, and nutmeg while sugar processing and rum distilling are local industries.

The history of St. George’s began in 1649 when the French established a settlement due to the large sheltered harbour ideal for anchorage. In 1706 the settlement moved to the city’s present location and was named Port Royal.

The British military sailed into Port Royal on March 3, 1762 and conquered the Grenada colony. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 gave the British control of the island. Port Royal became the seat of the Colonial Government of Grenada and the British renamed the town St. George’s in honour of King George III. When the city was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1771, King George personally donated funds for its reconstruction. By this point St. George’s was a major port for the trans-Atlantic slave trade and persons of African ancestry both enslaved and free soon became the majority of its inhabitants.

In 1779 the French briefly gained control of Grenada during the period of the American War of Independence. At the end of the conflict the British regained the island as a result of the 1783 Treaty of Versailles. Ten years later, in 1793, the city was hit with an epidemic of yellow fever.

St. George’s became the capital of the newly independent nation of Grenada in 1974. Eric M. Gairy was the nation’s first prime minister until his government was overthrown in 1979 by the Marxist New Jewel Movement led by Maurice Bishop. When Bishop developed close ties with the Cuban government and the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, the U.S. became concerned about the island’s politics.

On October 25, 1983, following Bishop’s assassination by a political rival in the New Jewel Movement, United States President Ronald Reagan ordered 6,000 Marines to invade and secure the safety of American nationals in Grenada. U.S. forces defeated the Grenadian and Cuban soldiers who resisted the invasion and by December 1983, a new government was installed. Much of the fighting in that military campaign took place in and around St. George’s.

The city’s population in 2012 was 82% black, 13% of mixed African and European ancestry, and about 5% East Indian and European. Distinguished landmarks in St. George’s are the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian churches. Fort George, an 18th Century British fortification, is located at the tip of a promontory near the city center while Government House, the seat of the island’s parliament, is on a slope overlooking the city.

Political Life

Government. Grenada is a parliamentary democracy headed by the prime minister who heads the ruling party and the government, which is composed of thirteen appointed senators and fifteen elected members of the House of Representatives. As a member of the British Commonwealth, Grenada has a governor general who is appointed by the British monarch.

Leadership and Political Officials. Adults still have sharp recollection of the revolution of 1979 and the violent circumstances that preceded that upheaval. Protests just before the overthrow of the Eric Gairy government began at the grassroots level and enlisted schoolchildren to march in protests and demonstrate through sit-ins.

Because of the small size of the island, it is common for the majority of constituents to know their local government representatives. Politicians are accessible to the public and are expected to uphold their campaign promises. While the major political figures live in secure and luxurious housing,

Social Problems and Control. The rate of violent crime on Grenada is low. Common crimes include petty theft, trespassing, and drug infractions. Prison does not confer great social stigmatism, and exconvicts are readily integrated back into their communities unless the crime was violent or sexual.

Military Activity. The military budget is small. Law enforcement officers often are trained in other countries to gain military expertise.

Greneda Government - History

The Grenada dove (Leptotila wellsi), was announced as the country&rsquos national bird in 1991 and is only found on the island of Grenada in the West Indies. The Grenada dove is originally known as the pea dove or Well's dove and is considered to be one of the most critically endangered doves in the world. Historically, which includes offshore islands, and the specimen type was collected from Fontenoy, on the west coast.

Grenadian culture is a mixture of British, African, West Indian and French influences which has left an indomitable influence in the folklore, dialect, music and general way of life. African heritage is deeply rooted in Grenadian music, dance and festivals. Soca, Calypso, steel pan and DJ music form the heart of the annual carnival.

The world&rsquos first underwater sculpture park is at Moliniere Bay, Grenada, where there are ranges of sculptures. This modern wonder and popular tourist attraction opened up in 2006 to the general public and was founded and created by Jason deCaires Taylor. The Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park is listed as one of the top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic.


Before the 14th century, the Caribs who displaced the earlier population of Arawaks, settled Grenada. Christopher Columbus during his third voyage to the new world in 1498 sited the island and named it Concepción. The origin of the name "Grenada" is ambiguous but it is likely that Spanish sailors renamed the island for the city of Granada in Spain. The French then adapted Granada to Grenade, and the British followed suit, changing Grenade to Grenada.

European settlement was slow to follow due to the fierce resistance of the warlike Caribs. The island remained un-colonized for more than 150 years although Britain and France fought for control. The French gained control of the island in 1672 and held on to it until the British successfully invaded the island in 1762 during the Seven Years’ War and acquired Grenada by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Although the French regained control in 1779, the island was restored to Britain in 1783 by the Treaty of Versailles.

During the 18th century, the British established sugar plantations and slave labour was brought in from Africa to work on the estates. Natural disasters in the late 18th century destroyed the sugar fields and paved the way for the introduction of other crops. Cacao, cotton, nutmeg and other valuable spices were introduced and Grenada assumed a new importance to European traders.

Slavery was outlawed in 1834 at which the slave population had reached 24,000. National political consciousness took shape through the labour movement. Grenada joined the Federation of the West Indies in 1958. When that was dissolved in 1962, Grenada evolved first into an Associated State with internal self-government (1967). Independence was achieved in 1974 Grenada became a constitutional monarchy, with a Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State, represented by the Governor General.


The State of Grenada lies between Trinidad and Tobago to the south and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the north in the Eastern Caribbean. It is the southern-most of the Windward Islands. It is 100 miles north of Venezuela, 158 miles south-west of Barbados.

Grenada is 12 miles (18km) wide and 21 miles (34km) long and covers a land area of 120 sq. miles (440 sq. km), Carriacou is 13 sq. miles (34 sq. km) and Petite Martinique is 486 acres (194 hectares).

Grenada is divided into 6 parishes:

Parishes Town Area (km 2 ) Population
Saint Patrick Sauteurs 42 10,504
Saint Mark Victoria 25 4,408
Saint John Gouyave 35 8,469
Saint Andrew Grenville 99 26,501
Saint George St. George's 65 38,249
Saint David St. David's 44 12,877
Carriacou (& Petite Martinique) Hillsborough 34 5,661
SOURCE: City Population

Grenada’s volcanic origin has produced topography of great beauty and environmental variety, ranging from mountainous rainforest to dry lowlands and coastal mangroves. The highest point is Mt. St. Catherine at 2,757 ft. and ancient volcanic craters can be found in the central massif.

Average temperature ranges from 75ºF to 85ºF (24ºC to 30ºC), tempered by the steady and cooling trade winds. The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. Due to Grenada’s remarkable landscape, the island also experiences climate changes according to altitude. The driest season is between January and May while the rainy season is from June to December.

The Religion Of The Majority In Grenada

The long colonial rule in the islands of Grenada left behind a legacy of Christianity in the country. Today, the majority of Grenada's population (more than 85%) are Christians. According to the CIA World Factbook, Protestants account for 49.2% of the population of the country. Roman Catholics are the next biggest Christian group representing 36% of the national population. Other Christian denominations have a limited presence in the nation. Among the Protestant groups living in Grenada, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, and Anglicans account for 17.2%, 13.2%, and 8.5% of the population, respectively.


Grenada's first known inhabitants were the Ciboneys. The first settlers, the peaceful Arawaks, moved to the island from the Amazon Basin of South America. Around 1000 A.D., the warlike Caribs arrived from South America. They destroyed the Arawak settlements. In 1498 Christopher Columbus discovered Grenada he called it Concepci'on.

The name Grenada came from Spanish sailors who, passing by, found its hills reminiscent of their homeland.

The island changed hands several times between Britain and France until it was awarded to Britain in the 1783 Treaty of Versailles.

In 1974 Grenada declared independence from Britain. Sir Eric Gairy served as Grenada's leader until 1979 these years were filled with governmental violence and oppression.

In quelling one protest march, Gairy forces shot the father of opposition leader Maurice Bishop. Public sympathy and Cuban support for Bishop increased until Gairy's government was overthrown.

Four years later in 1983, Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, a zealous Marxist, overthrew Bishop. At this point the Organization of Caribbean States requested help from the United States. The US intervened on Oct. 25, 1983 and Herbert Blaize was elected Prime Minister on Dec. 3, 1984.

Watch the video: Government Notices Monday October 4th 2021 (May 2022).


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