The Cayman Islands have had a history that is rooted in trading and agriculture. The islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the new world in 1503. The islands became a spot where exporers, traders, and merchants could stop off to stock up on supplies, water, and do some business as well. In 1665 the islands changed hands from the Spanish to the British, and since then they have had British influence in all aspects of life. The slave trade was prevalent on the island for a long time under the British Parliament finally banned it, but it still existed illegally for a few decades after that. A lot of companies have a long history of distilling rum on the islands, and along with sugar, rum is one of the chief exports of the island. Though the Cayman Islands have always had close ties to Jamaica because of the British alliance, when Jamaica gained independence in 1962, the Cayman's had to separate from Jamaica. The Cayman's have opted to remain under British rule, although they have their own constitution and government.