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Cape Verde Travel

History and Culture of Cape Verde: People, Life and Tradition

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History and Culture of Cape Verde. The Islands were uninhabited until the Portuguese first landed in 1460. They settled in an area of Santiago which they called Ribeira Grande and which they used as a slave-trade post between Africa and the New World. History and Culture Information and Travel Guide.  Vacation package Book. Some Africans stayed on the island and worked as slaves on the latifundas, or plantations, there. Ribeira Grande experienced several pirate attacks, and was abandoned after a French assault in 1712. After 1876, with the decline of slave trade, the islands lost much of their economic value to the Portuguese. The effects of drought and famine were compounded by poor administration and government corruption. Cape Verde regained some wealth in the late nineteenth century due to its convenient location on major trade routes between Europe, South America, and Africa and to the opening of a coal and submarine cable station in the port city of Mindelo. This prosperity again declined after World War I, however, and the country experienced several devastating famines. It was not until after the second world war that relative prosperity began to return