Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Saint Pierre and Miquelon (), officially the Territorial Collectivity of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (French: Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon [sɛ̃ pjɛʁ e miklɔ̃]), is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, located near the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. An archipelago of eight islands, St. Pierre and Miquelon is a vestige of the once-vast territory of New France. Its residents are French citizens; the collectivity elects its own deputy to the National Assembly and participates in senatorial and presidential elections. It covers 242 km2 (93 sq mi) of land and had a population of 6,008 as of the March 2016 census.

The islands are in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near the entrance of Fortune Bay, which extends into the southwestern c...Read more

Saint Pierre and Miquelon (), officially the Territorial Collectivity of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (French: Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon [sɛ̃ pjɛʁ e miklɔ̃]), is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, located near the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. An archipelago of eight islands, St. Pierre and Miquelon is a vestige of the once-vast territory of New France. Its residents are French citizens; the collectivity elects its own deputy to the National Assembly and participates in senatorial and presidential elections. It covers 242 km2 (93 sq mi) of land and had a population of 6,008 as of the March 2016 census.

The islands are in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near the entrance of Fortune Bay, which extends into the southwestern coast of Newfoundland, near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. St. Pierre is 19 km (12 mi) from Point May on the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland and 3,819 km (2,373 mi) from Brest, the nearest city in Metropolitan France. The tiny Canadian Green Island lies 10 km (6 mi) east of Saint Pierre, roughly halfway to Point May.

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Saint Pierre, Quai La Roncière, 1887
 
Saint Pierre in 1921

Archaeological evidence indicates that indigenous peoples, such as the Beothuk, visited St Pierre and Miquelon, but it is not thought that they settled on the islands permanently.[citation needed] On 21 October 1520, the Portuguese explorer João Álvares Fagundes landed on the islands and named the St. Pierre island group the 'Eleven Thousand Virgins', as the day marked the feast day of St. Ursula and her virgin companions.[1] In 1536 Jacques Cartier claimed the islands as a French possession on behalf of the King of France, Francis I.[2] Though already frequented by Mi'kmaq people[3] and by Basque and Breton fishermen,[2] the islands were not permanently settled until the end of the 17th century: four permanent inhabitants were counted in 1670, and 22 in 1691.[2]

In 1670, during Jean Talon's second tenure as Intendant of New France, a French officer annexed the islands after he discovered a dozen fishermen from France encamped there, naming them Saint Pierre and Miquelon. During King William's War and Queen Anne's War, English forces launched multiple attacks against French colonial settlements on the islands, and by the early 18th century the colonists had abandoned Saint Pierre and Miquelon altogether.[3] In the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession, France ceded the islands to Britain.[3] The British renamed the island of Saint Pierre to Saint Peter, and small numbers of colonists from Great Britain and Britain's American colonies began to settle on the islands.[4][5]

Under the terms of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, which put an end to the Seven Years' War, France ceded all its North American possessions to Britain, though the British granted fishing rights to French fishermen along the Newfoundland coast, and as part of that arrangement returned Saint Pierre and Miquelon to France's control.[6] After France entered the American Revolutionary War on the side of the United States and declared war on Britain, a British force invaded Saint Pierre and Miquelon and briefly occupied them, destroying all colonial settlements on the islands and deporting 2,000 colonists back to France.[7] In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, another British force landed in Saint Pierre and, in the following year, again deporting the French colonial population, and tried to establish a community of Anglophone settlers.[3]

The nascent British colony was in turn attacked by the French Navy in 1796. The Treaty of Amiens of 1802 returned the islands to France, but Britain reoccupied them when hostilities recommenced the next year.[3] The 1814 Treaty of Paris gave the islands back to France, though the UK occupied them yet again during the Hundred Days War in 1815. France then reclaimed the now uninhabited islands, in which all structures and buildings had been destroyed or fallen into disrepair.[3] The islands were resettled in 1816. The settlers, mostly Basques, Bretons and Normans, were joined by various other peoples, particularly from the nearby island of Newfoundland.[2] Only around the middle of the century did increased fishing bring a certain prosperity to the little colony.[3]

20th century

In 1903, the colony toyed with the idea of joining the United States, but in the end nothing came of the idea.[8] During the early 1910s the colony suffered severely as a result of unprofitable fisheries, and large numbers of its people emigrated to Nova Scotia and Quebec.[9] The draft imposed on all male inhabitants of conscript age after the beginning of World War I in 1914 crippled the fisheries, as their catch could not be processed by the older men or the women and children.[9] About 400 men from the colony served in the French military during World War I (1914–1918), 25% of whom died.[10] The increase in the adoption of steam trawlers in the fisheries also contributed to the reduction in employment opportunities.[9]

Smuggling had always been an important economic activity in the islands, but it became especially prominent in the 1920s with the institution of Prohibition in the United States from January 1920.[10] In 1931, the archipelago was reported by The New York Times to have imported 1,815,271 U.S. gallons (1,511,529 imperial gallons; 6,871,550 liters) of whisky from Canada in 12 months, most of it to be smuggled into the United States.[11][12] The end of Prohibition in 1933 plunged the islands once more into economic depression.[13]

During World War II, despite opposition from Canada, Britain,[14] and the United States, Charles de Gaulle's forces seized the archipelago from Vichy France, to which the local administrator had pledged its allegiance, in December 1941. In referendums on both islands, the population endorsed the takeover by Free France by over 98%.[14][15] The colony became a French Overseas Territory in 1946. After the 1958 French constitutional referendum, the territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon was asked to choose one of three options: becoming fully integrated with France, becoming a self-governing state within the French Community, or preserving the status of an overseas territory; it decided to remain a territory.[16]

^ Placenames of the world: origins and meanings of the names for 6,600 ..., p. 328, at Google Books By Adrian Room ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference 1999-insee-731 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b c d e f g France's Overseas Frontier: Départements Et Territoires D'outre-mer, p. 33, at Google Books By Robert Aldrich, John Connell ^ "The British Period (1714–1764): Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage". Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2019. ^ "CO194-26". Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2019. ^ Atlantic Canada, p. 15, at Google Books By Benoit Prieur ^ Cite error: The named reference gb-16 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "WILLING TO BE ANNEXED: St. Pierre and Miquelon Would Like to Join United States". The New York Times. 23 November 1903. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 February 2023. ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "St. Pierre and Miquelon" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 32 (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company. p. 344. ^ a b The Fog of War: Censorship of Canada's Media in World War II, p. 59, at Google Books By Mark Bourrie ^ "St. Pierre and Miquelon Imported 1,815,271 Gallons From Canada in Twelve Months". The New York Times. 25 October 1931. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. ^ Okrent, Daniel (2010). Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. New York: Scribner. pp. 169–172?. ISBN 978-1-4391-7169-1. OCLC 676824487. Retrieved 20 October 2020. ^ "St Pierre and Miquelon". BBC News. 2 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013. ^ a b Doody, Richard. "'Over by Christmas.' The Liberation of Saint Pierre and Miquelon". The World at War. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2020. ^ War, cooperation, and conflict: the European possessions in the Caribbean ..., p. 179, at Google Books By Fitzroy André Baptiste ^ "St Pierre Stays French". The Calgary Herald. 18 December 1958. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
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