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Montserrat Cities

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Montserrat Cities by Population


1 cities shown of 1 total Montserrat cities that are over 1,000 in population...

1. Brades 1,000





Montserrat History

Montserrat was populated by Arawak and Carib people when it was claimed by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage for Spain in 1493, naming the island Santa Mara de Montserrate, after the Blessed Virgin of the Monastery of Montserrat, which is located on the Mountain of Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain. The island fell under English control in 1632 when a group of Irish fleeing anti-Roman Catholic sentiment in Saint Kitts and Nevis settled there. The import of slaves common to most Caribbean islands, mainly coming from West Africa, followed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and an economy based on sugar, rum, arrowroot and Sea Island cotton was established.

In 1782, during the American Revolutionary War, Montserrat was briefly captured by France. It was returned to the United Kingdom under the Treaty of Paris which ended that conflict. A failed slave uprising on 17 March 1798 led to Montserrat later becoming one of only four places in the world that celebrates St Patrick's Day as a public or bank holiday. Slavery was abolished in Montserrat in 1834, presumably as a result of the general emancipation of slaves within the British Empire in that same year.

Falling sugar prices during the nineteenth century had an adverse effect on the island's economy and in 1869 the philanthropist Joseph Sturge of Birmingham, England formed the Montserrat Company to buy sugar estates that were no longer economically viable. The company planted limes starting production of the island's famous lime juice, set up a school, and sold parcels of land to the inhabitants of the island, with the result that much of Montserrat came to be owned by smallholders.

From 1871 to 1958 Montserrat was administered as part of the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands, becoming a province of the short-lived West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962. With the completion of Beatles producer George Martins AIR Studios Montserrat in 1979, the island attracted world-famous musicians who came to record in the peace and quiet and lush tropical surroundings of Montserrat.

The last several years of the 20th century, however, brought two events which devastated the island. In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo struck Montserrat with full force, damaging over 90 percent of the structures on the island. AIR Studios closed, and the tourist trade upon which the island depended was nearly wiped out. Within a few years, however, the island had recovered considerablyonly to be struck again by disaster.

In July 1995, Montserrat's Soufriere Hills volcano, dormant throughout recorded history, rumbled to life and began an eruption which eventually buried the island's capital, Plymouth, in more than 12 metres of mud, destroyed its airport and docking facilities, and rendered the southern half of the island uninhabitable. Following the destruction of Plymouth, more than half of the population left the island due to the economic disruption and lack of housing. After a period of regular eruptive events during the late 1990s including one on June 25, 1997, in which 19 people lost their lives, the volcano's activity in recent years has been confined mostly to infrequent ventings of ash into the uninhabited areas in the south. However, this ash venting does occasionally extend into the populated areas of the northern and western parts of the island. As an example, on May 20, 2006, the lava dome that had been slowly building partially collapsed, resulting in an ashfall of about an 2.5 cm in Old Towne and parts of Olveston. There were no injuries or significant property damage.







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