Eventually, the French diseases and wars defeated the Carib people, almost wholly
replacing the indigenous culture with that of the French. Most of the surviving
Caribs became enslaved and with this lost much of their historic culture, although
their language survives to a degree.
With French colonization of the island, the European power sought economic development,
which required cheap labor. Since most of the Caribs had died from diseases and
wars, the French turned to slavery from Africa to fill this labor shortage. This
again altered the culture, but it also returned the island to agriculture, which
was at the island's core for centuries.
Farming under French rule was focused on sugarcane and indigo, while today it is
focused on coffee and cocoa. Although these agricultural goods have changed over
time, the lifestyle of working the lands has remained fairly stable. What drastically
changed over time came in the form of the culture. The Caribs, French, and Africans
all have very different cultures and each has left its mark on the island to some
degree, although today few Carib influences can be found without seeking them out.
Later, another vast cultural change took place when the British took control over
the islands; many of the more visible aspects of the culture and way of life result
from this time. The most lasting English influences come in the form of the most
commonly spoken language, English, and the lifestyle to a great degree. The French
left traces of their language behind in the French patois language and Catholicism,
which is the dominate religion on the island. However, it's the African population
that made the greatest impact on the present culture through their foods, clothing,
music, and lifestyle. This influence is becoming even more pronounced with each
passing decade as the government is dominated by the majority, which is the ethnic
Africans. Despite these changes over time in the culture, the way of life in the
country remains tied to the land as agriculture is the dominant form of work and
the people tend to live in the coastal regions.