Virgin Islands History - the history of the Virgin Islands
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Virgin Islands   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Virgin Islands History

   
 

Virgin Islands History


The Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by Arawak, Carib and Ciboney native American peoples.

Christopher Columbus encountered the islands and named them in 1493 during his second voyage. For the next few hundred years, control of the islands would switch between many European nations including Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta and Denmark.

The Danish West India Company settled Saint Thomas in 1672, Saint John in 1694, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733.

Denmark attempted to sell the islands to the US in the early 20th century, but a deal could not be reached. However, during World War, the US began to fear that the islands might be seized by Germany, and a deal was eventually negotiated whereby the United States purchased the islands for $25 million in 1917. United States citizenship was granted to the islands' inhabitants in 1927.


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America's Virgin Islands: A History of Human Rights and Wrongs

By William Boyer

Carolina Academic Press
Paperback (510 pages)

America s Virgin Islands: A History of Human Rights and Wrongs
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Product Description:
This second edition of America's Virgin Islands by William W. Boyer is the only history of the United States' territory covering the period from 1492 to 2010. Especially emphasized is the period since 1917 when the U.S. acquired the Islands from Denmark. Constituting three small Caribbean islands St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John each is unique, but together they are widely known as a favorite tourist destination featuring sun, sand and surf. In many respects, the territory is a microcosm of the human family. The diversity of its physical environment is matched by the diversity of its people. The focal point of the book is a record of the struggle of the Islanders' greater number as slaves, then serfs, and lastly as citizens to gain control of their own destiny. Broadly conceived, this is a history of human rights and human wrongs. The author does not merely portray the history of the Islands and their people; he also shows how the Islanders share the same aspirations as other colonial subjects. In so doing he taps previously unused sources. The relationship between the USA and the Virgin Islands has been marked by indifference and vacillation on the part of American officials. Moreover, thousands of tourists who flock to the territory annually are unaware of the Islands checkered and rich history. For many, the Islands are simply a tropical paradise. America's Virgin Islands is a fascinating, extensively documented, and detailed source of information, valuable to those interested in a political and cultural perspective, to those interested in African American or Caribbean history, and likewise to those who live in or visit the Islands.


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