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The Cayman Islands has 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 and 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 has had British influence in all aspects of life. The slave trade was prevalent on the island for a long time until the British Parliament finally banned it, but it still existed illegally for a few decades after that. Though the Cayman Islands has always had close ties to Jamaica because of the British alliance, when Jamaica gained independence in 1962 it was decided to separate from Jamaica and remain under British rule. The Cayman Islands does however have its own constitution and government.