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tiistai 13. syyskuuta 2016

Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cool Facts #138

<= 137. Jamaica                                                                                                         St. Lucia 139.  => 

1. Smallest country in the Americas

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a country, that consists of two neighboring islands. The capital city Basseterre is on the island of Saint Kitts and the smaller island Nevis is about 3km Southeast of Saint Kitts. Saint Kitts and Nevis is the smallest country in the Americas by total land area and population.

Top 5 smallest countries in the Americas (land area in square km): 

1. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 261
2. Grenada - 344
3. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 389
4. Barbados - 430
5. Antigua and Barbuda - 442

Top 5 smallest countries in the Americas by population: 

1. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 55.000
2. Dominica - 71.293
3. Antigua and Barbuda - 86.295
4. Grenada - 103.328 
5. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 109.000 

Nevis (in the foreground) and Saint Kitts (in the background)
Saint Kitts and Nevis map
2. Saint Kitts and Nevis Name Origins

Saint Kitts
According to current studies Christopher Columbus named an island near Saint Kitts as San Cristobal, but after a mapping error the current Saint Kitts island was called San Cristobal. San Cristobal was Columbus' patron saint and the patron hallow of travelers. The English colonists kept the translation of the name St. Christopher's island. In the 1600s Kit or Kitt was a common nickname for Christopher so the island was called then informally Saint Kitt's island and further shortened Saint Kitts.

Pre-Columbian name by the Kalinago people: Liamuiga (roughly translates as "fertile land")

The name comes from a Spanish name "Nuestra Señora de las Nieves" meaning "Our Lady of the Snows". The name refers to a fourth-century miracle story, when it snowed during summer on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. Probably the white clouds around the Nevis Peak reminded someone about the story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate and that's where the name Nevis originates from. 

Pre-Columbian name by the Kalinago people: Oualie (land of beautiful waters) 

The Spanish capture of Saint Kitts in 1629 by Fadrique de Toledo, 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza.

After the year 1882 the islands of Anguilla, Saint Christopher and Nevis were controlled as one British colony, although the smaller islands constantly protested about their status. In 1967 Saint Kitts and Nevis got full autonomy as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. This act was against the wishes of the Anguillians. This led to the two Anguillian Revolutions in 1967 and 1969.

Between 1967 and 1969 Anguilla was actually the independent Republic of Anguilla, however it was a not-recognized state. The Anguillians didn't want independence but just be separated from Saint Kitts and Nevis and return to being a British colony. In 1971 British authority was restored and in 1980 Anguilla became a separate British Crown colony or British overseas territory like it's referred to nowadays. 


4. Kalinago Genocide and Colonization 

The islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis were settled by Native Americans five thousand years before the arrival of the Europeans. The Kalinago people had lived for about three centuries on the islands before the arrival of the Europeans. The Spanish were the first Europeans in Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1493. 

Later the English and French arrived on the islands and established their own settlements. There were clashes between the European powers and the Kalinago people. In 1626 the British and French carried out the Kalinago Genocide killing the majority of the people sparing only the most beautiful women, who had to serve as slaves their European masters. 

There are no specific numbers of the casualties of the genocide but after the Europeans had got rid of the local people the French and British divided the island together. The Europeans established sugar plantations and brought African slaves to work there.

The Spanish destroyed the French and British colonies and deported them back to their own countries in 1629. The Spanish permitted the re-establishment of the British and French settlements in 1630 as part of the war settlement.

Later the Spanish power declined in the area and the British and French used Saint Kitts as a premier base for expansion into the Caribbean.

From St. Kitts Britain settled: Angitua, Montserrat, Anguilla, Tortola
From St. Kitts France settled: Martinique, Guadaloupe archipelago, St. Barts

In 1713 France ceded St. Kitts to Great Britain after many battles over the island in the 17th century.

Kalinago or Carib family

5. Economic Citizenship 

The government of Saint Kitts and Nevis has an investment programme called Citizenship-by-Investment. The citizenship was established in 1984 and it's the oldest prevailing economic citizenship program of this kind in the world. The program catapulted in 2006 when the global citizenship advisory company Henley & Partners helped restructuring the program to incorporate donations to the country's sugar industry.

Requirements for the citizenship: 

- 400,000 US dollar minimum investment in designated real estate plus the payment of government fees and other taxes and fees
- 250,000 US dollar minimum contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund and some other fees and taxes

Benefits of the citizenship: 

- The person and his/her whole family gets a full citizenship for life, which can be passed to future generations
- Passports of Saint Kitts and Nevis, which allow visa-free travel to more than 130 countries
- The right to take residence in Saint Kitts and Nevis and most of the CARICOM member countries at any time and for any length of time

St. Kitts and Nevis passport


1493 Columbus arrived in Saint Kitts and Nevis as the first European. The islands were then inhabited by the native Carib people
1620s The British and French established the first settlements in the islands
1623 It became Great Britain's first colony in the Caribbean
1626 The settlers murdered the Kalinagos (Caribs)
1882 Saint Christophe, Nevis and Anguilla were administered as one British colony
1958-1962 Saint Kitts and Nevis was part of the West Indies Federation
1967 Autonomy but Anguilla declared its independence, which lasted for two years
1983 The country became independent as Saint Christopher and Nevis
1995 Denzil Douglas became Prime Minister
1997 A crisis after Nevis decided to become independent
1998 Nevis didn't get enough votes in the referendum to become independent 

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