Known as a notorious pirate hideout in the 16th century, the Danish, Dutch, English, French and Spanish all fought for control of the territory, with the Dutch eventually establishing a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola in 1648. However, the English soon captured Tortola from the Dutch in 1672 and annexed Anegada and Virgin Gorda in 1680. Sugar Cane was introduced to the territory by the British, which would soon become the main crop and source of foreign trade in the territory, and slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations. However, with the abolition of slavery in the territory, a series of disastrous hurricanes, and the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States led to sugar cane production going way down in the 19th century. The territory would then focus on financial services and tourism instead, and become one of the richest areas of the Caribbean.
The British Virgin Islands are also known as one of the world's best sailing destinations, with charter sailboats being a very popular way of getting around the territory, and the Spring Regatta sailing races have been hosted there since 1972.
British Virgin Islands in media
- 1983: Doomsday: The British Virgin Islands is a member of the East Carribbean Federation.
- Polandball: British Virgin Islandsball
British Virgin Islander flag