История, Язык и Культура Синт-Мартен
Sint Maarten had been inhabited by Amerindian peoples for many centuries, with archaeological finds pointing to a human presence on the island as early as 2000 BC. These people most likely migrated from South America. The earliest identified group were the Arawak people who are thought to have settled around the period 800 BC - 300 BC. Circa 1300-1400 AD they began to be displaced with the arrival of the more bellicose Carib peoples.
To work the new cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations the French and Dutch began importing large numbers of African slaves, who soon came to outnumber the Europeans. The slave population quickly grew larger than that of the land owners. Subjected to cruel treatment, slaves staged rebellions, and their overwhelming numbers made it impossible to ignore their concerns. In 1848, the French abolished slavery in their colonies including the French side of St. Martin. Slaves on the Dutch side of the island protested and threatened to flee to the French side to seek asylum. The local Dutch authorities then freed the colonies' slaves. While this decree was respected locally, it was not until 1863 when the Dutch abolished slavery in all of their island colonies that the slaves became legally free.
Statue of Claude Wathey in Philipsburg After the abolition of slavery, plantation culture declined and the island's economy suffered. In 1939 Sint Maarten received a major boost when it was declared a duty-free port. In 1941 the island was shelled by a German U-boat during World War II.
Tourism began growing from the 1950s onward, and Princess Juliana International Airport became one of the busiest in the Eastern Caribbean. For much of this period, Sint Maarten was governed by business tycoon Claude Wathey of the Democratic Party. The island's demographics changed dramatically during this period as well, with the population increasing from a mere 5,000 people to around 60,000 people by the mid-1990s. Immigration from the neighbouring Lesser Antilles, Curacao, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Europe, and Asia turned the native population into a minority.
Sint Maarten became an "island territory" of the Netherlands Antilles in 1983. Before that date, Sint Maarten was part of the island territory of the Windward Islands, together with Saba and Sint Eustatius. The status of an island territory entails considerable autonomy summed up in the Island Regulation of the Netherlands Antilles. During this period Sint Maarten was ruled by an island council, an executive council, and a Lieutenant Governor appointed by the Dutch Crown.
Hurricane Luis hit the island in 1995, causing immense destruction and resulting in 12 deaths.
In 1994 the Kingdom of the Netherlands and France had signed the Franco-Dutch treaty on Saint Martin border controls, which allows for joint Franco-Dutch border controls on so-called "risk flights". After some delay, the treaty was ratified in November 2006 in the Netherlands and subsequently entered into force on 1 August 2007. Though the treaty is now in force, its provisions are not yetimplemented as the working group specified in the treaty is not yet installed.
On 10 October 2010 Sint Maarten became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, making it a constitutional equal partner with Aruba, Curacao, and the Netherlands proper.
Sint Maarten has been assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes of SXM and SX, and the .sx Internet ccTLD became available to register on 15 November 2012.