Anguilla: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
Anguilla was first settled by Amerindian tribes from South America, who called the island "Malliouhana". The Amerindians migrated to Anguilla using rafts and dugout canoes, and archaeological evidence dates their arrival to sometime before 1300 BC. European discovery of the island is disputed, with some sources attributing this Columbus in 1493 and others stating that it was first spotted by the French explorer Pierre Laudonnaire around 1565.
The British were the first colonial power to settle on the island, and it has been governed, wholly or partly, by the United Kingdom since 1650. The date at which slaves were first brought to Anguilla is uncertain, though there is evidence of a substantial African population on the island by 1683. The Emancipation Act of 1833 resulted in the end of slavery in Anguilla and the return to Europe of many British colonists. Anguilla then developed into a society composed of subsistence farmers and fishermen, largely of African descent.
For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Anguilla was part of an administrative union with St. Kitts. This arrangement was unpopular with the local population, who preferred direct administration from Britain, and lead to revolts in 1967. Ties remain strong between the governments of Great Britain and Anguilla, although there is periodic talk of a movement towards full independence.