Anguilla Airport

Anguilla Island History

Don't assume that the serenity of Anguilla today has pervaded Anguilla history - this colony has endured interesting and sometimes turbulent periods that have had a direct impact upon its current socio-political situation.

The first European occupants in Anguilla history were the Dutch, who were purported to have constructed a fort here in 1631 despite evidence of it never having been found. Twenty years later the island began colonization under the British, who originated on nearby St. Kitts, the beginning of a relationship that has lasted nearly uninterrupted through Anguilla history until today. Though most of the people of Anguilla are of African descent, Anguilla history is not tainted with stories of slavery as are most other Caribbean isles. Its limestone base made Anguilla unsuitable for agriculture; British settlers and other Caribbean migrants, therefore, made their livelihoods throughout Anguilla history in fishing and other sea exploits.

The more controversial parts of Anguilla history, rather, come from the twentieth century, and were as a result of attempts to reorganize the political structure of the Caribbean. Though residents throughout Anguilla history have traditionally favored direct rule by the British, they were unwillingly herded into a union with St. Kitts and Nevis, creating an independent federation in 1967. Anguillan citizens rose up in protest, kicking St. Kitts leaders off of their island and resigning themselves to self-rule for two years. A British peacekeeping force quelled the uprising and granted Anguilla its status as an independent colony under British command. Anguilla history has since remained stable and has prospered peacefully, with an economy mainly reliant on a secure and well-managed tourism industry.

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