Divided Islands

The divided islands: Saint Martin

This series of articles will focus on a territorial quirk I find very interesting because cases are more numerous than I first thought and because it is the source of disparities; I will write about those islands that are split into several countries (mostly two, sometimes more). Of course, some cases are more famous than others. You might have thought of Cyprus and Ireland. I will attempt to write about as many as possible, so come back every week to read about a new place.

The island of Saint Martin was discovered by Christopher Columbus, who was then on his second voyage to the Caribbean, on November 11th 1493, on Saint Martin’s day, hence the name. Due to its salt deposits and protected waters, the Flemish, Dutch, French, English, Portuguese and Spanish all wanted to take possession of the newly discovered land.

The Dutch started occupying Saint Martin in 1627, which caused direct confrontation with Spain as Columbus had claimed the island for the Spanish Crown. The Spaniards, however, Continue reading