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Dominica is an island republic located in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea. Located south-east of Guadeloupe and north-west of Martinique, the island is volcanic in origin with fertile soils and has earned the nickname 'Nature island of the Caribbean', due to its abundant rainforest, waterfalls, springs, and rivers. First settled by the Carib people in pre-Columbian times, Dominica was claimed by France in 1635 but was not colonized until 1715. Following the French defeat in the Seven Years' War, the island was ceded to the British under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, but was briefly occupied by the French military during the American Revolutionary War until the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Dominica was declared a British Crown Colony in 1896 and granted full independence in 1978. The capital and largest city is Roseau, and the island population in the 2011 census was 71,293.