During the first World War, Guadeloupe did what it could to contribute, and shortly afterward in 1923 it exported its first local bananas, termed “la petite tigrée,” or “little stripy one,” to France. Just a few years later in 1928, Guadeloupe suffered a disastrous cyclone, and much of the island was reconstructed by architect Ali Tur.
After more than a decade of relative peace, the island’s Governor Sorin from france instituted a “compulsory work” program. This program lasted from 1940 to 1943. Sorin is also known for his support of the Vichy government ( World War II, the right-wing government of unoccupied France after the country’s defeat by the Germans in June 1940, named after the spa town of Vichy, France, where the national assembly was based under Prime Minister Pétain until the liberation in 1944. Vichy France was that part of France not occupied by German troops until November 1942. Authoritarian and collaborationist, the Vichy regime cooperated with the Germans even after they had moved to the unoccupied zone in November 1942. It imprisoned some 135,000 people, interned another 70,000, deported some 76,000 Jews, and sent 650,000 French workers to Germany), and in 1943 the Free French regained control and fought with the help of General DeGaulle. Three years later , Guadeloupe became an overseas Department of France.
In the 1960s, the Department of Guadeloupe began its expansion with the addition of other French Antilles islands, most notably St. Martin, but it would be nearly 20 years before this growth would cover all of the French islands. Natural disasters also refused to leave the island alone, and the volcano La Soufrière threatened to erupt in the mid-1970s. However, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 truly delivered a punch to the island.
In 1994, Guadeloupe became an observer in the Association of Caribbean States which objectivesare the strengthening of the regional co-operation and integration process, with a view to creating an enhanced economic space in the region; preserving the environmental integrity of the Caribbean Sea which is regarded as the common patrimony of the peoples of the region; and promoting the sustainable development of the Greater Caribbean.. The island, however, has been stable since then. Guadeloupe is currently the head of the Department of Guadeloupe, as well as the name of a small archipelago of islands.