St. Kitts and Nevis: A Quick History
A Quick History of St. Kitts and Nevis
The first people to reach these islands were hunter-gatherers who migrated from present-day Florida around 3,000 BCE. Over the next few thousand years, various groups of people from Central and South America settled here, and in 1493 the first Europeans reached St. Kitts and Nevis during an expedition led by Christopher Columbus.
By the early 1600s, the English and French were main settlers of St. Kitts and the island would switch hands several times during the 17th century. The two nations continued to fight for control of more islands in the eastern Caribbean, using St. Kitts as an important military base. In 1783, Britain gained full control of St. Kitts.
Nevis’ history was slightly less rocky. It is only separated from St. Kitts by two miles of water, but the islands were governed as separate states until the 19th century.
The number of slaves forcibly sent to the Caribbean was so large that today, many islands in the area are predominantly occupied by people of African descent. St. Kitts and Nevis are no exception, and its arts, culture, and cuisine reflects this African heritage.
St. Kitts and Nevis achieved independence from Britain in 1983, and today, the two islands are governed as one nation.