Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis are adjacent Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles located in the Caribbean Sea. Among the earliest English Caribbean colonies, sugar made both islands economically valuable. As such, the islands were valued targets during wars. This entry reviews the colonization of Saint Kitts and Nevis and discusses the consequences that sugar production had on the islands and on warfare.


Both Saint Kitts and Nevis were colonized by indigenous American Indian groups, first by the Taino and, after 1300 CE, by the Caribs. Christopher Columbus claimed Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1493, but the Spanish did not colonize either island. The Caribs were more warlike than the Taino on other islands, and they resisted Spanish encroachment more effectively. French Huguenots established a short-lived settlement ...

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