Collectivite de Saint-Barthelemey
The journeys followed by Columbus' caravels during his 4 journeys
Saint Barthélemy, Swedish land:
By the Treaty of 1 June 1784 with the King of Sweden, Île Saint Barthélemy was exchanged for a right of access for French vessels to the port and warehouses of Gothenburg.
Saint Barthélemy, retroceded to France:
A century later, by a treaty dated August 10, 1877, Saint Barthélemy was reassigned to France and attached to Guadeloupe. This treaty guarantees the maintenance of the status of a free port and is approved by the population of Saint Barthélemy consulted by referendum.
From the island's retrocession in very recent times, the French administration and public services have been virtually absent from Saint-Barthélemy, leaving its inhabitants to administer themselves (see the parliamentary report by Mr François SENERS, Senator, December 1999).
The absence of natural resources condemns in advance any industry but will not disarm the population, which will be able to seek refuge or work elsewhere over time (in Saint-Thomas in particular, a new commercial centre in the Caribbean region). Its population is known to be of high moral, spiritual and hardworking character. The island exports fish, salt and straw products.
The island's tourism development is very recent and has put an end to the prevailing poverty. It is a main driving force of the island.
Since 15 July 2007, the municipality of Saint-Barthélemy has become an overseas collectivity. The island continues in its usual simplicity, listening to its tenacity, its battle for the enhancement of its heritage, its respect for its exceptional quality of life, which is the pride of its inhabitants and the joy of its visitors.