By the beginning of the 18th century, the name "Grenada," or "la Grenade" in French, was in common use. Partly because of the Caribs, Grenada remained un colonized for more than one hundred years after its discovery; early English efforts to settle the island were unsuccessful. In 1650, a French company founded by Cardinal Richelieu purchased Grenada from the English and established a small settlement. After several skirmishes with the Caribs, the French brought in reinforcements from Martinique and defeated the Caribs, the last of whom leapt into the sea rather than surrender.
The island remained under French control until its capture by the British in 1762, during the Seven Years' War. Grenada was formally ceded to the Kingdom of Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris (1763). Although the French regained control in 1779, the island was restored to Britain with the Treaty of Versailles (1783). Although Britain was hard pressed to overcome a pro-French revolt in 1795, Grenada remained British for the remainder of the colonial period.
During the 18th century, Grenada's economy underwent an important transition. Like much of the rest of the West Indies, it was originally settled to cultivate, which was grown on estates using slave labor. But natural disasters paved the way for the introduction of other crops. In 1782, Sir Joseph Banks, the botanical adviser to King George III, introduced nutmeg to Grenada. The island's soil was ideal for growing the spice and because Grenada was a closer source of spices for Europe than the Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, the island assumed a new importance to European traders.