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Like so many of the Caribbean islands, the history of civilization goes back quite far in the Virgin Islands. They were originally inhabited by tribes of Arawaks and Carib peoples. Again, like many islands and continents for that matter, it was Christopher Columbus who discovered the Virgin Islands, in 1493. As with many other of his discovered areas, Columbus called the people Indians, still belieiving for some time that he had indeed, made it to India.
Columbus was a busy man however, he and his troops did not put a lot of energy into the Virgin Islands at the time. They went on for new discoveries and to deal with issues in their homeland. But over time, when more Europeans began making the journey to the islands, many of them living in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands began to be inhabited. The diseases they brought with them caused major problems for the islanders who had come long before them. Aside from disease, the Europeans forced many of them into labor; because of this, many left the Virgin Islands for good.
In the early 1600s, St. Croix was home for the English and Dutch who began colonizing until the French came in and took over. But to continue to ping-pong game, the Danish bought the island back from the French in 1733. St. Croix was now a part of the Danish West Indies and turned into a major force in sugar production.
Slavery was still in effect until 1848 when an up rising occrured and freedom was thus declared for all. The next major change came in 1917 when with one more swing in the game of ping pong, the United States bought the Virgin Islands.