Antigua was discovered by Columbus in 1493, but was a British support point from the early 16th century and came under British administration in the late 1600s. Since 1860 Antigua was administered as a colony with Barbuda. 1958–62, the area was part of the West Indies Federation, and gained the status of Associated State in 1967 to independence in 1981.
Antigua was among the Caribbean islands that developed exclusive tourism as early as the 1950s, and the island is still the hub of air travel in the eastern Caribbean. Since World War II, the US naval base Coolidge has been a dominant feature of Antigua, and this, together with tourism, has provided a high standard of living. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Antigua and Barbuda.
The independence party PLM lost the majority in parliament in 1976 in favor of the Antigua Labor Party (ALP), which from 1978 facilitated independence. The ALP also gained a pure majority in parliament after the 1999 elections. At Barbuda, the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) had a monopoly on local power and was opposed to independence.
When Vere Bird resigned as prime minister in 1993, an era was over in the country’s political history. Bird founded the ALP in 1946, and served as head of government for all years except the PLM period in the first half of the 1970s. Now the son took over Lester Bird, who had been party leader in the ALP since 1971. Voters supported his move through ALP’s election victory both the following year and 1999. The Bird dynasty has contributed to political stability in the country, but has also been accused of abuse of power. The Prime Minister’s brother was convicted of cocaine smuggling in 1995.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Antigua and Barbuda on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua has long had a stalemate in the region when it comes to money laundering, but after targeted countermeasures, the International Regulatory Agency in 2001 declared that the country cooperates fully in this fight. The financial industry and tourism appear to be the most important trade routes, following recent attempts to revitalize the sugar industry in the early 1980s. However, climatic conditions make tourism vulnerable, hurricanes have repeatedly caused major damage to the islands. Foreign policy, Antigua and Barbuda follow a US-friendly line, supporting both the Grenada invasion and the sanctions against Cuba.
The islands owe their name to Christopher Columbus. In 1632 the English colonists arrived and in 1685 the British crown leased them to Christopher Codrington, who developed the cultivation of sugar cane there. In 1871 the islands returned to the British crown. Between 1958 and 1962 they were part of the Federation of Indie Westerners. In 1967 they became an autonomous state, within the Commonwealth, which in 1981 achieved independence. For decades dominated by the Antigua Labor Party (founded in 1946 by Vere Bird), in the 2004 elections Antigua and Barbuda saw the affirmation of United Progressive Party, the success of which was confirmed by the consultations of 2009, while the legislative elections held in June 2014 saw the Antigua Labor Party led by G. Browne, who assumed the post of premier, return to power after ten years of opposition.