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United States Virgin Islands




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The arc of Caribbean islands begins off the coast of Florida and extends all the vidgin to South America. The region includes hundreds of islands and cays. The USVI consist of 4 larger islands: John and Water Island, and viryin 50 smaller islets and cays. The total iskands of the USVI is square miles. The total cirgin of the BVI is 59 square miles. The islands are the peaks of submerged mountains that rise from the ocean floor. Most of the islands rise only to a few hundred feet above sea level. Thomas insettled on St. John inand purchased St. Croix from France in Sugarcaneproduced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries, until the abolition of slavery by Governor Peter von Scholten on July 3, The Danish crown took full control of St.

John in along with St. Sugarcane plantations such as the famous Annaberg Sugar Plantation were established in great numbers on St. John because of the intense heat and fertile terrain that provided ideal growing conditions. The establishment of sugarcane plantations also led to the buying of more slaves from Africa. John was the site of one of the first significant slave rebellions in the New World when Akwamu slaves from the Gold Coast took over the island for six months. The Danish were able to defeat the enslaved Africans with help from the French in Martinique.

Instead of allowing themselves to be recaptured, more than a dozen of the ringleaders shot themselves before the French forces could capture them and call them to account for their activities during the period of rebel control. It is estimated that byslaves outnumbered the Danish settlers by a ratio of 5: The indigenous Caribs and Arawaks were also used as slave labor to the point of the entire native population being absorbed into the larger groups. Slavery was abolished in the Virgin Islands on July 3, Although some plantation owners refused to accept the abolition, some 5, Black people were freed while another 17, remained enslaved.

In that era, slaves labored mainly on sugar plantations. Thomas, where the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, established innow operates several saltwater-distillation plants. A seawater desalination plant is located in Christiansted on St. Maximum use of salt water is made everywhere in the islands.

Plant and animal life Vegetation is tropical. Among the tree species are mangoes, soursop a small tropical tree with a Liist succulent fruitcoconut palms, and breadfruit. Cacao and wild orchids grow in the hills, while cactus, acacia, grass, and sugarcane flourish in the lowlands. Even though the vidgin are not dense, there are numerous species of birds and small game, such as deer. Sailfish, uw, marlin, kingfish, and wahoo abound in coastal and offshore waters. Virgij people The population is primarily made up of blacks descended from African slaves. The number of Puerto Ricans and persons from the continental United States has increased in recent years.

Less than half of the U. Virgin Islands population is native-born. Despite a long tradition of racial equality and the absence of legal or de facto discrimination in housing, churches, theatres, and public facilities, there have been growing signs of discontent with a type of class discrimination that to a great extent corresponds with the difference between white and black. While there has been relatively little racial violence, there is an increasing demand by those of African descent for a greater role in determining economic and social decisions and in running the government. The Chachas of St. Thomas form a distinct ethnic unit apart from the other islanders. The Chachas maintain themselves as a clannish, aloof, industrious, fisher-farmer community.

The traditional language of the islands is English—much of it spoken in a dialect termed Calypso, which varies somewhat from island to island but is mutually intelligible among most West Indians. Some French is heard on St. Thomas, and there are numerous Spanish-speaking people on St. Croix, where many Puerto Ricans have settled. Religious freedom has existed since the s. The islands are predominantly Protestant, the largest denomination in the British Virgin Islands being Methodist and in the U. The second oldest Lutheran church in the Western Hemisphere held its first service in Charlotte Amalie inand the second oldest American synagogue is in St.

Roman Catholics form a large minority in the U. The British and U. The death rates for both entities are lower than the Caribbean mean.

Virgin islands us name of List

Both island groups have rates of total population growth that are affected substantially by immigration. The economy is based largely on tourism. Agriculture Despite the handicaps of difficult terrain and uncertain water supplyagriculture and stock raising largely for export to the U. Virgin Islands are undertaken. Farms are usually small holdings worked by owner-occupiers, many of whom are also part-time fishermen. The chief crops are fruits, vegetables, and coconuts for both domestic use and export; sugarcane is grown for the distillation of rum. Many of the younger people seek work in the U.

Industry The tourist industry makes up almost half of the national economy. New roads have been built, harbours improved, and tourist hotels built. The number of tourists visiting the islands, attracted by opportunities for is fishing and sailing, has continued to increase. Cement blocks and rum are manufactured. Trade Imports—mostly from the United States, Off Rico, and the United Kingdom—consist chiefly of foodstuffs, beverages, machinery, motor vehicles, building materials, and petroleum products. Exports, mainly to the U. Virgin Islands, include fresh fish, rum, sand and gravel, charcoal, fruit, and vegetables. Transportation Tortola has two main highways and numerous side routes; Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke also have road networks.

Small boats ply to and from the U. An airport, reconstructed inis located on Beef Island, which is connected by bridge to Tortola. Another airport, on Anegada, was opened inand there is plane service to the U. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Antigua. Road Harbour on Tortola is a deepwater port. Virgin Islands Until well into the 20th century, sugarcane and, to a lesser extent, cotton provided the main economic base. The harbour at St. Thomas also generated some income.

Weld of the Stunning as an operating territory, consists of three blancher regulators— St. Unsourced stressed may be bad and placed.

Islamds the United States acquired the islands, both social and economic conditions were poor. Since then, millions of dollars of U. Resources Minerals of commercial value do not exist, although sand, rock, and gravel are present in quantities sufficient for construction purposes. Tourism has encouraged sportfishing. Industry As in su British Virgin Islands, tourism is the virgih important economic sector. The leading sectors in employment virggin government service; trade, encompassing personal, business, and domestic services firgin tourism; manufacturing; and finance, real estate, and insurance.

Michellejh About one-fifth of the total land area is farmland, most of it on Anme. In List name of us virgin islands late 20th century islande production underwent a transition from the traditional reliance on sugarcane to more-diversified crops. Fruits especially mangoesbananaspapayasand avocados and vegetables islwnds tomatoes and cucumbers are the main crops grown. Cattle ranched on St. Croixgoatssheepot pigs are the main livestock. Croix isalnds milk sufficient for island needs. The government has built dams on St. Only 6 percent of the land is forested, but the government has planted large areas of St.

Croix with mahogany and has reforested parts of St. A bay forest on St. John supplies leaves for the bay rum industry. Fishing is restricted to supplying local needs and to sportfishing. The islands have few domestic energy sources and thus have long relied on imported petroleum products to supply most of their needs, especially for electric power generation. To mitigate that problem, the territory made efforts to convert its generators to permit them to utilize propane as well as fuel oils, to increase energy efficiency in the islands, and to develop renewable energy sources.

Croix after more than four decades in operation. The impact of its closure on the economy included substantial losses of jobs and revenue as well as the loss of its petroleum products. Before the loss of the refinery, the primary import was crude petroleum primarily from Venezuela and the main export was refined petroleum shipped mainly to the United States. Exports totaled more than four-fifths of imports in value annually. After the closure of the refinery, exports contracted sharply, although losses were later offset by growth in the tourist sector.

Other than petroleum, exports include rum, clothing, and watches, and the main imports are foodstuffs and manufactured goods. The major trade partners are China, the United States, and a number of countries of the European Union. Tourismbased on the pleasant tropical climate, attractive scenery, good fishing, proximity to the U. Virgin Islands National Parkcovering some three-fifths of St. John, and Buck Island Reef National Monumentwhich includes all of the islet of Buck Island and the waters and coral reef surrounding it, are other major attractions. Souvenir and handicraft industries have developed for the tourist market.

Thomas islandSailing and other water-based activities are some of the attractions that support tourism on St.


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