Antigua and Barbuda: History

  1. 1493

    Christopher Columbus visits the islands, naming the larger one Santa Maria de la Antigua.

  2. 1632

    English settlers colonize the islands.

  3. 1685

    African slaves are imported to the islands to grow tobacco and sugarcane.

  4. 1967

    Antigua and Barbuda becomes a self-governing state within the British Commonwealth. Britain retains control of the island’s defense and foreign affairs.

  5. 1972

    The sugar industry, which has been the main economic driver in the economy for over 50 years, is closed down.

  6. 1981

    Antigua and Barbuda becomes independent.

  7. 1985

    Attempts to replant sugarcane fields are abandoned after financial problems.

  8. 1995

    Riots erupt in protest against new taxes.

  9. 1998

    Six Russian banks are shut down after accusations of money laundering.

  10. 2007

    The World Trade Organization orders that the United States must pay compensation to Antigua for failing to comply with a ruling to relax offshore, online gambling rules.

  11. 2009

    Allen Stanford, Antigua’s biggest private investor, is charged with massive fraud. This causes the business sector in the country to fall apart, prompting Venezuela to give $50 million in financial aid.


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