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Pre-Columbian inhabitants of the islands probably included the Arawakwho were displaced by the Caribs; the latter had reached the stage of stone polishing and pottery making when Christopher Columbus arrived. Croix which he called Santa Cruzand sent a landing party ashore in search of fresh water and fruit. After a skirmish, the Caribs repulsed the Spanish. Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins.

In the Holy Roman emperor, Charles V Charles I of Spainsent forces that defeated the Caribs, claimed the territory, and ordered the annihilation of the natives. By most of the natives had been killed or had left. Tortola was first settled in by Dutch buccaneers who held the island until it was taken over in by a group of English planters. In Tortola was annexed to the British-administered Was ist die virgin islands wie Islands.

In the planters was ist die virgin islands wie granted civil government, with an elected House of Assembly and a partly elected Legislative Council, and constitutional courts. The abolition of slavery in the first half of the 19th century dealt a heavy blow to the agricultural economy. In the constitution was surrendered and a legislative council was appointed that lasted untilwhen sole legislative authority was vested in the governor-in-council.

In a partly elected and partly nominated legislative council was reinstated. Following the defederation of the Leeward Islands colony in and the abolition of the office of governor inthe islands became a crown colony. In the West Indies Federation was established, but the British Virgin Islands declined to join, in order to retain close economic ties with the U.

Under a constitutional order issued inthe islands were given a ministerial form of government. The constitution was amended in to permit a greater degree of autonomy in internal affairs. In St. Thomas was occupied by Denmarkwhich five years later founded a colony there to supply the mother country with sugar, cotton, indigo, and other products. Slaves from Africa were first introduced to St.

Was ist die virgin islands wie in to work the cane fields, but the first regular consignment of slaves did not arrive until In the Danes claimed neighbouring St.

John, which had been used primarily as a base by buccaneers. Denmark colonized the island with planters from St. Thomas in In they abandoned St. John after slaves rebelled, staged an uprising, and held the island for six months. They then purchased St. Croix, which had been in the possession of the French since First date then in kecskemet continued to be imported from Africa; by there were 1, on St.

Croix alone, and sugar production was bringing prosperity to the was ist die virgin islands wie. The group came under the Danish crown inand the following year Charlotte Amalie was made a free port. The British occupied the islands from toand in the next year,the slave trade was abolished in the Danish West Indies. The British reoccupied the islands from toafter which they reverted to Danish rule until Slavery itself was abolished in after a serious uprising in that year.

Sugarcane production dropped, and there was a general decline in economic activity. Senate refused in to approve the purchase of St. Thomas and St. The United States moved decisively only in World War Iwhen it was seen to be strategically important to control the main passage through the Caribbean to the Panama Canalas well as routes along the eastern coasts of the American continent.

Denmark at that time was willing to sell to avoid the jeopardy of seizure by the Allies or conquest by Germany, which then owned Was ist die virgin islands wie Line docks, warehouses, steamers, and other property in St. The treaty of cession promised U. An act in granted U. The transition was accomplished smoothly by retaining the organization of the Danish government and its legal code.

All military, civil, and judicial power was invested in a governor appointed by the president of the United States. Administration was the responsibility of the U. Navy Department from untilwhen jurisdiction was transferred to the Department of the Interior. The Organic Act ofenacted by the U. Congress for the establishment of congressional government, provided for two municipal councils, one for St.

John, the other for St. Croix, and a council for the whole territory. A Revised Organic Act adopted in created a central government and abolished the was ist die virgin islands wie municipal councils, authorized distinct executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and provided for a substantial degree of self-government. There has been little demand for autonomy by either the British or U. Virgin Islands, mostly because of fears of disrupting the lucrative tourist industry and of incurring an increased tax burden.

Independence appears not to be the goal for either territory, and statehood continues to be only a remote possibility for the U. The inability of either was ist die virgin islands wie to develop was ist die virgin islands wie self-supporting economy continues to encourage their dependent status.

In a major hurricane struck the islands, devastating the economy. Virgin Islands. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

Load Previous Page. History Pre-Columbian inhabitants of the islands probably included the Arawakwho were displaced by the Caribs; the latter had reached the stage of stone polishing and pottery making when Christopher Columbus arrived. Settlement and history of the British Virgin Islands Tortola was first settled in by Dutch buccaneers who held the island until was ist die virgin islands wie was taken over in by a group of English planters.

Settlement and history of the U. Virgin Islands In St. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. West Indiescrescent-shaped group of islands more than 2, miles 3, km long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north. From the peninsula of Florida on….

Puerto Ricoself-governing island commonwealth of the West Indies, associated with the United States. The easternmost island of the Greater Antilles chain, it lies approximately 50 miles 80 km east of the Dominican Republic, 40 miles 65 km …. It has the greatest depth more than 7, feet [2, m] of any channel in the…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.

Additional Reading. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias was ist die virgin islands wie elementary and high school students.


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