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Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France (fôr-də-fräNs), city (1999 pop. 94,049), capital of the French overseas dept. of Martinique, West Indies. It is a popular tourist resort and a free port, exporting mainly bananas, sugar, and rum. It was settled in 1762 by the French, who built Fort-Royal by the strategically situated harbor. Yellow fever hampered its prosperity, however, and Fort-de-France did not gain importance until after 1902, when the city of Saint-Pierre was destroyed by an eruption of Mont Pelée. Drainage of the swamps to control disease further stimulated Fort-de-France's growth. Empress Josephine, first wife of Napoleon I, was born across the bay from the city.

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Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France Capital of the French overseas department of Martinique, on Fort-de-France Bay. First settled in the 17th century, it remained undeveloped until the beginning of the 20th century, when a volcanic eruption destroyed St. Pierre, Martinique's commercial centre. It is now a popular tourist resort. Exports: sugar cane, rum, cacao. Pop. (1999) 94,152.

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