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The island of Dominica has been home to civilization since ancient history; evidence tells us that people lived here dating back to 3100 B.C. and possibly even earlier. This first group is known as the Ortoroid people who came from South America originally. Although the history is not clear, we do believe the group ceased to exist circa 400 B.C. and made way for a new group of people also to come from South America, the
Arawaks who settled in much of the Caribbean during the years of 400 A.D. But, also similar to most Caribbean islands, this group of people was to run into struggle with the next dominant group, the
Caribs; again from South America.
Europeans finally made way to Dominca in 1493 with the arrival of who else, but
Christopher Columbus who named the island after the day of his arrival on Sunday. The Spanish were not welcome however, their desire to colonize Dominica was not a success due to the fighting Caribs. A small war ensued and the Spanish didn't feel the island worth the death; ultimately they moved on and as more Europeans came in later such as the Dutch and French, similar situations underwent.
But as more of the Caribbean islands were being colonized by Europeans, efforts became stronger and competition heated between England and France over the land of Dominica. The English forced the Caribs out as well as introduced a variety of deadly viruses but, Dominica was still the last island in the Caribbean to be colonized.
Roseau develeoped in the 1700s as the hub of the new life on Dominica.