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A Brief History of the U.S. Virgin Islands: Background information when reading Land of Love and Drowning

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Land of Love and Drowning

by Tiphanie Yanique

Land of Love and Drowning
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2014, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2015, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
A Brief History of the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands Land of Love and Drowning opens in the early 1900s when the Virgin Islands were still under the control of Denmark. European powers, namely France, Denmark, and England, had taken an interest in the Virgin Islands since the early 1600s. Denmark settled St. John and St. Thomas by the mid-1600s, and purchased St. Croix from the French in 1733, forming the three islands into the Danish West Indies. The remaining large islands of significance were in British hands. A treaty in 1685 established a trading post for slaves in St. Thomas, allowed the island to develop an economy based on trade, while St. John and St. Croix maintained a plantation economy harvesting cane, cotton, and indigo. Interestingly, pirates, who were viewed as a source of income, were encouraged to hide out in the Islands during this time.

By the 1800s, the slave trade had been outlawed — in 1848, slaves were freed — piracy had disappeared, and the agriculture value of the Islands severely declined. ...

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