History - The story so far

It is thought that Anguilla was a regional centre of the Saladoid Amerindians. The first inhabitants of Anguilla, the Indians, settled on the island as early as the 4th Cent AD. According to archaeological findings, the island was a regional centre for the Indians. There are remnants of large settlements around Rendezvous Bay and Sandy Ground. On the whole, 42 Amerindian archaeological sights have been uncovered on the island.

Anguilla’s presence was acknowledged by the French in 1564 but was strangely left alone till 1650 when it was first colonised by the British. For the next 150 years, Anguilla’s history was clouded by struggle between the French and the British both of who wanted to control the island. The period also witnessed attacks by the Caribs. The unsteady political situation adversely affected the economy of the island. However, the British managed to retain their control over the island and in 1825, Anguilla was associated with St. Kitts and Nevis for administrative purposes. The islands were soon integrated to become one colony. However, Anguilla resented being clubbed with St. Kitts-Nevis and felt that the administrators of St. Kitts could not empathise with local issues of Anguilla.

In 1967, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla gained full control in domestic affairs and achieved the status of a State in association with UK. The resentment of being incorporated with St. Kitts came to head during this time and Anguilla severed off all ties from the Union. Tensions on the island mounted and finally the British troops arrived to restore peace on the island. It was in 1980 that matters were resolved when Anguilla became a Separate Dependent Territory.

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