Antigua and Barbuda: History

  1. 1493

    Christopher Columbus visits the islands, naming the larger one Antigua.

  2. 1632

    Antigua is colonized by English Settlers from the nearby island of St. Kitts.

  3. 1685

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

  4. 1871-1956

    Antigua and Barbuda are administered together as part of the Leeward Islands federation.

  5. 1967

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

  6. 1972

    The sugar industry closed down, after being the main economic driver in the economy for over 50 years.

  7. 1981

    Antigua and Barbuda becomes independent.

  8. 1995

    Hurricane Luis devastates the islands, destroying 75% of all homes and setting back development by 10 years.

  9. 1998

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

  10. 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. A United States court convicted Stanford three years later for running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme through his Antigua based bank.


BBC News