Brief History
Guadeloupe is a strategically important centrally located within the Caribbean sea. It was generally due to the Anglo-French rivalry that the island was frequently occupied and relinquished over the next century and a half. The rising power of the Royal Navy vis-a-vis the French navy meant that isolated islands like Guadeloupe were easy picking for the British.

They took charge of the island in 1759 as a result of the Seven Years War. One indication of Guadeloupe's importance was that in the Treaty of Paris (1763), France accepted that it would abandon all of its territorial claims in Canada in return for British recognition of French control of Guadeloupe.

They took it again in 1794 thanks to the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The British set free the slaves from the plantations on the island. These slaves then went on a rampage destroying the property of slave and plantation owners. Napolean eventually sent a relieving force who put down the rebellion with savage ferocity.

The island again came under British control in 1810. In 1813 it was actually used by the British to bribe the Swedish into changing sides in the Napoleonic War. There was therefore a curious period when it was technically a Swedish colony. However, with the defeat of Napoleon and the Bourbon restoration, Guadeloupe was given back to the French. Britain agreed to pay Sweden 24 million pounds in compensation for the original deal falling through. There was a delay in implementing this deal whilst Napoleon escaped from Elba and caused problems once more until defeated at Waterloo.

British Army Map, 1759
British Army Map, 1810
Fort on Saintes
Administrators of Guadeloupe
1827 - 1855
Suggested Reading
A Colony of Citizens
by Laurent Dubois

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