Before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous Arawaks and later by the Island Caribs. Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas. Although it was deemed the property of the King of Spain, there are no records to suggest the Spanish ever landed or settled on the island. Following several unsuccessful attempts by Europeans to colonise the island due to resistance from the Island Caribs, French settlement and colonisation began in 1650 and continued for the next century. On 10 February 1763, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. British rule continued, except for a period of French rule between 1779 and 1783, until 1974. From 1958 to 1962, Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies. On 3 March 1967, Grenada was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State. Herbert Blaize was the first Premier of the Associated State of Grenada from March to August 1967. Eric Gairy served as Premier from August 1967 until February 1974.
Independence was granted on 7 February 1974, without breaking formal ties with the Commonwealth.
In March 1979, the New Jewel Movement launched a coup which removed Gairy, suspended the constitution, and established a People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop who declared himself prime minister. His Marxist–Leninist government established close ties with Cuba, Nicaragua, and other communist bloc countries. All political parties except for the New Jewel Movement were banned and no elections were held during the four years of PRG rule.
On October 25, 1983, combined forces from the United States and from the Regional Security System (RSS) based in Barbados invaded Grenada in an operation codenamed Operation Urgent Fury. The US stated this was done at the behest of Prime Minister Eugenia Charles of Dominica. While the Governor-General of Grenada, Sir Paul Scoon, later stated that he had also requested the invasion, it was highly criticised by the governments of Britain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada. The United Nations General Assembly condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law" by a vote of 108 in favour to 9, with 27 abstentions. The United Nations Security Council considered a similar resolution, which was supported by 11 nations and opposed by only one — the United States, which vetoed the motion.
When US troops withdrew from Grenada in December 1983, Nicholas Brathwaite of the National Democratic Congress was appointed prime minister of an interim administration by Scoon until elections could be organised. The first democratic elections since 1976 were held in December 1984, and were won by the Grenada National Party under Herbert Blaize who served as prime minister until his death in December 1989.
Ben Jones succeeded Blaize as prime minister and served until the March 1990 election, which was won by the National Democratic Congress under Nicholas Brathwaite who returned as prime minister for a second time until he resigned in February 1995. He was succeeded by George Brizan who served until the June 1995 election which was won by the New National Party under Keith Mitchell who went on to win the 1999 and 2003 elections and served for a record 13 years until 2008.
In 2000–02, much of the controversy of the late 1970s and early 1980s was once again brought into the public consciousness with the opening of the truth and reconciliation commission. The commission was chaired by a Roman Catholic priest, Father Mark Haynes, and was tasked with uncovering injustices arising from the PRA, Bishop's regime, and before. It held a number of hearings around the country. Brother Robert Fanovich, head of Presentation Brothers' College (PBC) in St. George's tasked some of his senior students with conducting a research project into the era and specifically into the fact that Maurice Bishop's body was never discovered. Paterson also uncovered that there was still a lot of resentment in Grenadian society resulting from the era and a feeling that there were many injustices still unaddressed.
On September 7, 2004, after being hurricane-free for 49 years, the island was directly hit by Hurricane Ivan. Ivan struck as a Category 3 hurricane and damaged or destroyed 90% of the island's homes. On July 14, 2005, Hurricane Emily, a Category 1 hurricane at the time, struck the northern part of the island with 80-knot (150 km/h; 92 mph) winds, causing an estimated USD $110 million (EC$297 million) worth of damage. By December 2005, 96% of all hotel rooms were open for business and to have been upgraded in facilities and strengthened to an improved building code. The agricultural industry and in particular the nutmeg industry suffered serious losses, but that event has begun changes in crop management and it is hoped that as new nutmeg trees gradually mature, the industry will return to its pre-Ivan position as a major supplier in the Western world.
In April 2007, Grenada jointly hosted (along with several other Caribbean nations) the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The Island's Prime Minister was the CARICOM representative on cricket and was instrumental in having the World Cup games brought to the region. After Hurricane Ivan, the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) paid for the new $40 million national stadium and provided the aid of over 300 labourers to build and repair it. During the opening ceremony, the anthem of the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) was accidentally played instead of the PRC's anthem, leading to the firing of top officials.
The 2008 election was won by the National Democratic Congress under Tillman Thomas.
The 2013 election was won by the New National Party under Keith Mitchell winning all 15 seats.
The 2018 election held on March 13th, 2018 was won by the New National Party under Keith Mitchell winning all 15 seats.
Grenada is a full and participating member of both the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Grenada is, along with much of the Caribbean region, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. the organisation, which is primarily the old British colonies, focuses on fostering international relations between its members.
Organisation of American States (OAS)
Grenada is one of the thirty five states which has ratified the OAS charter and is a member of the Organisation. The Charter of the Organisation of American States was signed in Bogota in 1948 and was amended by several protocols which were agreed to in different countries. The naming convention which is used with respect to the naming of the protocols is name of the city and the year in which the Protocol was signed, being included in the Protocol, such as Cartagena de Indias in 1985, Managua 1993, according to the website of the OAS.
Grenada entered into the Inter-American system in 1975 according to the OAS's website.
Summits of the Americas
The last Summit of the Americas, the seventh, was held in Panama City, Panama in 2015 with the eight summit being held in Lima, Peru in 2018 according to the website of the Summits of Americas. Since Grenada is a member of the OAS, in light of changes in the global economy, discoveries in the Oil and Gas sector in Guyana, possible exploration for Oil and Gas which is in the discussion stage in Grenada, representations on behalf of Grenada are likely to be made at that Summit.
Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty
On July 6, 1994 at Sherbourne Conference Centre, St. Michael, Barbados, George Brizan signed the Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty on behalf of the Government of Grenada.
Seven other countries signed the Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty on that day. These countries were: Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, with another country Guyana signing the agreement on August 18, 1994. This treaty covered concepts such as taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas.
On June 30, 2014, Grenada signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America in relation to Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).