La Guyane est à la fois une région et un département d'outre-mer français. Avec ses 86,504 km² de superficie, la Guyane est le plus grande région française. Elle est en outre le seul territoire français et de l'Union européenne du continent sud-américain. La forêt équatoriale couvre la plus grande partie (96%) du territoire. Son nom officiel est Guyane. L'ajout de l'adjectif française dans les dénominations courantes n'est qu'une commodité de langage issue de la période coloniale, pendant laquelle existaient trois Guyanes: la Guyane britannique (actuel Guyana), la Guyane néerlandaise (actuel Suriname), et la Guyane française.
French Guiana is an overseas region and a constituent part of the French Republic. It is located on the northern coast of South America and has borders with ► Brazil and ► Suriname. As a part of France, French Guiana is also a part of the ► European Union.
French Guiana Region
Overseas region and constituent part of the French Republic (French since 1817)
French Guiana was originally inhabited by the Arawak and Galibi Indians. The first French settlement in the region was founded in 1626, and the city of Cayenne was established in 1634. Shortly thereafter, the area came under Dutch control, but after the Treaty of Breda in 1667, it became a French colony in 1674. It was temporarily ruled by Portugal between 1809 and 1817. French Guiana became a French overseas department in 1946 and a French overseas region in 1982.
18th century map of Venezuela and the Guianas
Notes and references
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