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The most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Latitude 18 degrees North, Longitude 63 degrees West, Anguilla was first settled by Amerindian tribes who migrated from South America. The island, formerly called by the Carib name Malliouhana, gained the Spanish name Anguilla because of its ‘eel-like’ shape. Anguilla was first colonised by English settlers from Saint Kitts, beginning in 1650.

Below, we provide a chronology of key historical events from 1650 to the present day.

1650: English Colony Administered from St. Kitts

1667 – 1824: Anguilla is administered by the British Government through Antigua.

1696 - 1816: Member of the "Leeward Islands Colony" (English Colony)

1816 - 1871: St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands Colony (English Colony)

1824: Britain places Anguilla under administrative control of St. Kitts

1833: The Emancipation Act of 1833 abolishes slavery (which officially ended in 1838).

1832 - 1871: Leeward Islands Colony (English Colony)

1871: St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla united as a British dependency

1882: Part of colony of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla (English Colony)

1952: Universal Adult Suffrage, as part of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla.

27 Feb 1967: Associated state of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla

30 May 1967: Anguillians expel the 15-man St. Kitts-directed police force, demand direct links with Britain.

11 Jul 1967: Referendum on Anguilla's secession is held. 1,813 votes for secession, 5 against. Peter Adams President of first legislative council. He is deposed when he agrees to take Anguilla back to St. Kitts, replaced by Ronald Webster

16 Jun 1967: Anguilla unilaterally withdraws from Saint Christopher-Nevis

12 Jul 1967: Unilateral declaration of independence (not recognized by U.K.).

Dec 1967 – Jan 1968: One-year agreement negotiated. British official (Tony Lee) exercises basic administrative authority, along with the Anguilla Council

Jan 1969: No conclusive agreement reached on island's governance. "the Anguillians ceremoniously usher Lee off the island" (Time Magazine).

Victorious Ronald Webster

7 Feb 1969: Second referendum yields a vote of 1,739 to 4 against remaining in association with Saint Kitts. Anguilla declares itself an independent republic, Ronald Webster as President.

11 Mar 1969: British envoy (William Whitlock) arrives in Anguilla with a proposal for a new interim British administration.

19 Mar 1969: British rule restored via Armed Invasion

15 Sep 1969: Reunited with St. Kitts-Nevis (English Colony)

1971: Anguilla placed under direct British rule following a rebellion against domination by St Kitts.

24 Jul 1972: Ronald Webster’s People’s Progressive Party wins general election.  Webster becomes Chairman of the Anguilla Council.

10 Feb 1976: Autonomy (English Colony); Ronald Webster was sworn in as Anguilla first Chief Minister

Chief Minister Emile Gumbs

15 Mar 1976: Ronald Webster's People's Progressive Party returned to office in general election.

1 Feb 1977: Ronald Webster loses no-confidence motion in parliament.  Emile Gumbs appointed as the new Chief Minister.

28 May 1980: Ronald Webster’s Anguilla United Movement wins general election

19 Dec 1980: Anguilla granted a constitution and its union with St Kitts and Nevis formally revoked.  Anguilla becomes a separate British Dependent Territory.

22 Jun 1981: Ronald Webster’s newly formed his new Anguilla People's Party wins election.

9 Mar 1984: Ronald Webster calls elections two years early; Opposition Anguilla National Alliance of Emile Gumbs wins four of seven seats.  Emile Gumbs sworn in as Chief Minister.

27 Feb 1989: Emile Gumbs’ Anguilla National Alliance re-elected.  Gumbs continues as Chief Minister.

16 Mar 1994: Hubert Hughes leads coalition government between Anguilla Democratic Party (ADP) and the Anguilla United Party (AUP), each of which won two of the seven seats in the general election.

Chief Minister Osbourne Fleming

4 Mar 1999: ADP/AUP coalition retains government with Hughes as Chief Minister.  Coalition loses its majority in May 1999 upon resignation of Victor Banks (ADP).

3 Mar 2000: New election called to resolve impasse in government. Election results in the same representatives being returned, but a new government being formed by Osbourne Fleming's Anguilla United Front joining forces with Victor Banks of the Anguilla Democratic Party.   Fleming was sworn in as Chief Minister on 6 March 2000.

21 Feb 2005: Ruling Anguilla United Front  returned to office, winning four of the seven seats contested in the elections. All six incumbents who sought re-election kept their seats in the election.  Osbourne Fleming continued as Chief Minister.

15 Feb 2010: New government, the Anguilla United Movement, unseats incumbent Anguilla United Front.  Hubert Hughes sworn in as Chief Minister for a second time.

25 Feb 2015: Parliament Dissolved

22 Apr 2015: Anguilla United Front (AUF) wins General Election by a landslide winning six of seven seats. Victor F. BAnks sworn in as Chief Minister on 23 April 2015.

AUF = Anguilla United Front; AUM = Anguilla United Movement; DOVE = The DOVE Party; IND = Independent; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
A Political Chronology of the Americas by Europa Publications.


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