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St Kitts and Nevis Independence Day - 19th September

from Wikipedia

Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans. Saint Kitts was home to the first English and French colonies in the Caribbean, and thus has also been titled "The Mother Colony of the West Indies".

Five thousand years prior to European arrival, the island was settled by Native Americans. The islands were made known to the Europeans by a Spanish expedition under Columbus in 1493. In 1538, French Huguenots established a settlement on St. Kitts but the settlement was destroyed by the Spanish soon afterwards and the survivors were deported. In 1623, an English settlement was established, which was soon followed by French settlements, the island being divided by agreement. The island of Nevis was colonised in 1628 by English settlers from Saint Kitts.

A Spanish expedition, sent to enforce Spanish claims, occupied both islands and deported the English and French settlers back to their respective countries in 1629. However, they soon returned and re-established their colonies. During the late 17th and early 18th century, France and Spain battled for control over the island until it was ceded to the British in 1713.

Although small in size, and separated by only 2 miles (3 km) of water, the two islands were viewed and governed as different states until the late 19th century, when they were forcibly unified along with the island of Anguilla by the British. To this day relations are strained, with Nevis accusing Saint Kitts of neglecting its needs.

Saint Kitts and Nevis, along with Anguilla, became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. Anguillians rebelled, and their island was allowed to separate from the others in 1971. St. Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983.



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