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