A chronology of key historical events from 1501 to the present day.
1501 – St Lucia sighted by Christopher Columbus.
1635 – The French establish a colony on St Lucia.
1660 – The French sign a treaty with the indigenous Carib people.
1814 – France cedes St Lucia to Britain following the Treaty of Paris; Britain proclaims the island a crown colony and brings in African slaves to work on the sugar cane plantations.
1834 – Slavery abolished.
1871-1956 – St Lucia a member of the Leeward Islands Federation.
1924 – St Lucia granted representative government.
1936 – St Lucia given a constitution providing for a majority of elected representatives in the legislative council.
1951 – St Lucia granted universal adult suffrage.
1958-62 – St Lucia a member of the Federation of the West Indies.
1964 – St Lucia ceases sugar cane production.
1967 – St Lucia becomes fully self-governing in internal affairs, with Britain remaining in charge of external matters and defence.
1979 – St Lucia becomes independent with John Compton, leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) as prime minister.
1979 – Allan Louisy becomes prime minister after his St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) wins the general election.
1981 – Louisy resigns following a split in the SLP and is replaced by the attorney-general, Winston Cenac.
1982 – John Compton returns to power after his UWP wins a decisive victory in the general election.
1987 – The UWP wins a narrow victory in the general election.
1992 – The UWP wins another general election.
1992 – Derek Walcott, a native of the capital, Castries, wins the Nobel Prize for literature.
1993 – Fall in the price of bananas leads to unrest and strikes by farmers and agricultural workers.
1996 – John Compton resigns and is succeeded by Vaughan Lewis as prime minister.
1997 – Kenny Anthony becomes prime minister after his SLP-led coalition wins the country’s biggest ever landslide in the general election.
2002 – September – Tropical Storm Lili destroys about half of the banana crop. In some places entire plantations are wiped out.
2003- July – Parliament amends constitution to replace oath of allegiance to British monarch with pledge of loyalty to St Lucians.
2003 -November – New criminal code passed, with controversial clauses on imprisonment for spreading “false news” and legalisation of abortion in some circumstances.
2004 – July – Volcanic twin peaks – the Pitons – are declared a Unesco world heritage site.
2006 – The United Workers Party won an upset victory in elections held December 11, 2006, taking 11 seats against 6 won by the St. Lucia Labour Party. Sir John Compton once again returned to the position of Prime Minister.
2007 – April – St Lucia says it will re-establish diplomatic ties with Taiwan, 10 years after it broke off relations in favour of China.
2007 – September – Prime Minister Sir John Compton dies, is replaced by Stephenson King.
Source: Caribbean Elections Research