Anguilla

Images spéciales
Carte d'Anguilla
Drapeau d'Aruba
Prickly Pear

General presentation

Map of AnguillaAnguilla is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom since 1980. It is located in the Caribbean between the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the east and St. Kitts and Nevis to its south. It is located on the Caribbean arc to the north of it. It is an archipelago where the main island Anguilla occupies most of the total area 96 km² (37 mi²) out of 102 km² (39 mi²). The two other islands of which it is composed, Dog Island and Prickly Pear, are uninhabited islets surrounded by reefs and sandy beaches.

It is populated by approximately 15,278 inhabitants in 2022, almost all of whom live in the island's capital, The Valley.

With an area of 102 square kilometers, the population density is 150 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The name of the island comes from the fact that Anguilla would have the shape of a snake and would have been named Anguilla in reference to the eels, the sea snakes.

The highest point is Crocus Hill at 65 m!

Map of ArubaAnguilla as a British Overseas Territory has King Charles III as its head of state. The British Prime Minister is the chief executive. Locally, a Governor represents the British power on the spot, like the prefects in the French speaking islands. Currently, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam is in office since 2021.

The head of the local government is Chief Minister Ellis Webster.

History

Anguilla was first populated by the Arawaks from South America who arrived on the island around 1300 BC. They named the island "Malliouhana" which means arrowhead.

Some sources suggest that the Arawaks were replaced by Carib Indians as was the case in several Caribbean islands, including Martinique, but there are not enough sources to prove that it was the Caribs who inhabited the island when the Europeans arrived.

Similarly, the "discovery" of the island is still unknown and disputed. While some sources say that Christopher Columbus sighted the island first, during his second voyage in 1493 and named it Anguilla because of its snake-like shape, others say that it was first sighted by the French explorer René Goulaine de Laudonnière in 1564.

In 1650, Anguilla was colonized by English settlers from the neighboring island of Saint Kitts. In 1656, Amerindians from another island attacked the English who had enslaved the former inhabitants of the island and some were massacred. The French temporarily took over the island in 1666, forcing the English settlers to take refuge in the forests of the island's interior. But the following year, they signed the Treaty of Breda giving the island back to the English.

The English brought slaves from Africa shortly after their arrival, but it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date on which they were introduced to the island. It is known, however, that they came from Central and West Africa. They worked in the sugar cane, cotton and tobacco plantations.

Again, the English were attacked by the French and Irish in 1688, forcing the English to withdraw from the area. Then several episodes of drought during the 1680s made living conditions so difficult that the population that was still living there fled to Saint Croix and the British Virgin Islands in 1694.

It was not until 40 years later that the island was once again populated. About 350 British landed on the island with nearly 900 African slaves.

The French tried again to capture the island during the War of the Austrian Succession in 1745 and during the Napoleonic Wars in 1796, but all these attempts ended in failure.

Efforts to populate the island were also a failure. In 1819, the population consisted of only 360 Europeans, 320 free men of color and 2,451 slaves.

Politically, Anguilla had been administered by the British from Antigua since the beginning of the colonial period, but in 1825 it came under the administrative control of St. Kitts.

Slavery was abolished in 1834 in all British colonies including Anguilla. The planters returned to Europe leaving the island to the old and new free people who were mainly farmers and fishermen.

Severe droughts in the 1830s and 1840s caused famines on the island. The British government tried to send the entire population of the island to Guyana but most refused.

At that time, the main exploitation of the island was the production of salt which was exported to the United States. The other crops that were in place during colonization also continued.

In 1871, in order to improve the management of their colonies, Anguilla was forcibly integrated into a federation with Saint Kitts. In 1882, Nevis was added to the federation.

The population grew to 3,890 at the beginning of the First World War. At the same time, the production of coal led to the deforestation of the island, resulting in the export of livestock to the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 1951, Anguilla became part of the British colony of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, which in turn became part of the federal colony of the Leeward Islands. Between 1958 and 1962, the three states were members of the West Indies Federation. In 1952, all adults were granted the right to vote.

On February 27, 1967, the British guaranteed St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla full autonomy with their own constitution, but this did not please the Anguillans, who still remember the old federation where they were subject to decisions made in St. Kitts.

Le 30 Mai 1967, qui est aussi appelé « Anguilla Day », la police de Saint-Kitts est expulsée de l'île. Le gouvernement demande d'être placé sous administration des États-Unis, ce qui leur sera refusé. Suite à un référendum, la sécession d'Anguilla de l'ancienne fédération avec Saint-Kitts et Nevis est actée, Peter Adams devient le Président du Conseil de l'île d'Anguilla. Mais quelques semaines après Peter Adams accepte de revenir dans la nouvelle fédération appelée Anguilla-Saint Kitts-Nevis en contrepartie qu'Anguilla obtienne des pouvoirs locaux équivalents à ceux qu'avaient Nevis.

In 1951, Anguilla became part of the British colony of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, which in turn became part of the federal colony of the Leeward Islands. Between 1958 and 1962, the three states were members of the West Indies Federation. In 1952, all adults were granted the right to vote.

Months of uncertainty followed, as Parliament refused to ratify the agreement signed by Peter Adams, who was then removed from office. On February 7, 1969, a new referendum renewed the population's refusal to form a federation with St. Kitts. The island was declared an independent republic.

Following the numerous political upheavals and the failure of a peaceful resolution, the British sent armed forces to the island to restore order on 19 March 1969. The secession agreement with St. Kitts was signed and the island adopted its own constitution on February 12, 1976.

On December 19, 1980, Anguilla was officially separated from St. Kitts and became a British dependency, independently of St. Kitts and Nevis, which in turn gained full independence from the British.

In 2002, Anguilla became a British overseas territory.

Since then, Anguilla has become a stable parliamentary democracy with a growing economy that has benefited from massive injections of foreign capital, primarily from the United States, in the early years of the 21st century.

Economy

Prickly PearTourism is the main activity of this small archipelago which counts hardly more than 15,000 inhabitants. It has specialized in ultra-luxury tourism attracting fewer tourists but more tourists who spend a lot and do not hesitate to invest in the financial sector which is currently in full development. The latter represents 13% of the activity.

Offshore banks, which have become increasingly important since the 1980s, have raised allegations that they are used for money laundering. In 2000, the government introduced legislation to combat the problem.

Despite this, Anguilla is still considered a tax haven.

Agriculture is a small part of the economy. Only a small portion of the land is cultivated.

Its main economic partners are the United States, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.

There are no sales taxes (such as VAT) or income taxes. Instead, the government relies on import duties, service taxes, business registrations and various licensing fees.

Income distribution is fairly even, and there are few signs of extreme poverty and no noticeable slums.

The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.

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