A country in the Windward Islands of the West Indies comprising the island of Grenada and the southern Grenadines. Originally inhabited by Arawaks, who were later driven out by Caribs, the island of Grenada was sighted by Columbus in 1498 and settled by the French in the mid-1600s. It became a British colony in 1783 and achieved independence in 1974. A coup in 1979 brought a Marxist government to power, and concern over Cuban influence led to an invasion by primarily US troops in October 1983, after which democratic rule was restored. St. George's, on Grenada, is the capital and the largest city.