Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands ( formerly Virgin Islands ) are a group of islands in the Lesser Antilles between the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Politically, the Virgin Islands between the British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the U.S. foreign territory Puerto Rico administratively affiliated Spanish Virgin Islands are divided. The latter are sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican Virgin Islands because they belong to Puerto Rico and, because of their location west of the Virgin Passage commonly also known as Passage Islands.


The seven major and several smaller islands, the American and British Virgin Islands are located about 100 km east of Puerto Rico and almost 200 km west of Anguilla. The two larger and many smaller islands in the Spanish Virgin Islands are only a few kilometers off the east coast of Puerto Rico to which they belong administratively. Sometimes they are not counted among the Virgin Islands, as they are different from the American and British Virgin Islands to the west of the Virgin Passage. However, the Spanish Virgin Islands are closer to Saint Thomas, the main island (located on their capital ) the U.S. Virgin Islands, as Saint Thomas in Saint Croix, the largest and most populous island of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Economy and population

The majority of residents - a mix of African and European groups - lives on the main islands of St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix ( all part of the U.S. Virgin Islands). Alone on St. Croix is home to more people (about 53,000 ) than along the entire Spanish ( 11,000 ) and British Virgin Islands (about 23,000 ).

Most important industry is tourism. The currency in the entire Virgin Islands is the U.S. dollar. Although the vehicles on the entire Virgin Islands are generally LHD, there is only the Spanish Virgin Islands and legal transactions. In the British as well as U.S. Virgin Islands on the left.


The first settlers of the islands belonged to the tribe of which must be an Arawak Taíno and colonized the islands around 300 AD from South America. Around 1000 AD invaded the Caribs before the islands. Christopher Columbus on his second voyage lay in the New World on November 14, 1493 in the Virgin Islands. He named first ' Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes " (Saint Ursula and the eleven thousand virgins ). The islands were taken for the Spanish crown in possession, but not populated. In the travelogue of the then Diego Alvarez Chanca ride- it is said: "A whole group of islands rising from the sea, some heavily wooded, others quite rocky. The largest is called Columbus Santa Ursula, the other he gives the name, Las Virgenes Once Mil '. "

By 1600, Europeans invaded other nations prior to the islands and used them as a base for piracy and smuggling, but also to attack the Spanish colonies of the Caribbean and Latin America. From this time on the extinction of the indigenous population by the colonizers and by them introduced diseases began. Officially Islands ( Danish West Indies ), the islands of Tortola, Anegada and Virgin Gorda in the 17th century in English and Danish owned were temporarily Dutch possession, but were annexed by the British in 1672 and since then form the British Virgin Islands. Vieques and Culebra and their various smaller islands east side of the Virgin Passage were up to the Spanish-American War Spanish-owned. As a result of the war these Spanish Virgin Islands in 1898 were in common with Puerto Rico, this administratively attached, American territory. Under the administrative leadership of D. Hamilton Jackson, the U.S. bought in 1917 the Danish colonial possession of the Virgin Islands for $ 25 million as the U.S. Virgin Islands has since separate uninkorporiertes American outdoor area. The purchase price is equal to inflation adjusted according to the current value of $ 472.32 million and 344.53 million euros, respectively 421 530 000 Swiss francs.