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Christopher Columbus explored the islands in 1493, during which time they were inhabited mainly by Carib Indians.  However, the island today is inhabited mostly by decedents of African slaves brought in by the British. The British settled St. Kitts in 1623, and later Nevis in 1628. When the French landed in St. Kitts in 1627, an Anglo-French rivalry began and lasted for more than 100 years. After a decisive British victory over the French at Brimstone Hill in 1782, the islands came under permanent British control. The islands, along with nearby Anguilla, were united in 1882. They joined the West Indies Federation in 1958 and remained in that association until its dissolution in 1962. St. Kitts–Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the United Kingdom in 1967. After Anguilla seceded in 1980, St. Kitts and Nevis followed suit and gained independence in 1983.



Updated: 12 May 2008


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