According to Countryaah, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda is Saint John’s. The Carribes inhabited most of the islands in the sea that bear their name today, but in the 16th century they left many of these islands – including Antigua – due to lack of fresh water.
The name Antigua was given by Christopher Columbus to an island in the Antilles in 1493 in memory of the church in Seville, “Santa María de Antigua”. The Spaniards arrived in the island in 1520 and the French in 1629, but they too had to leave because of the lack of fresh water. However, some Englishmen had developed techniques for collecting and storing rainwater and therefore remained on the island.
In 1640 there were 30 families on the island. The few natives who had been there had been killed by the settlers who acquired African slaves to work first in the tobacco and later sugar cane plantations.
In 1666, war broke out between England and France, prompting the French governor of Martinique to invade the island and abduct all slaves. When the English regained the island in 1676, a wealthy landowner from Barbados – Colonel Codrington – acquired large lands on the island and introduced new slaves. Sugar production on the island was thus resumed.
Slavery was abolished in the British colonies in 1838. Nevertheless, Antigua continued for several decades with a slave-like society – right up to the formation of trade unions in the early 20th century.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does ATG stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Antigua and Barbuda.
The island’s first trade union under the leadership of Vere Bird was established on January 16, 1939. Antigua’s Labor Party (ALP), which was the island’s first political party and also led by Bird, had its starting point in this union.
Antigua and Barbuda
Central American island state, located in the Lesser Antilles group. At the 2001 census the population was 75,741 residents (mostly concentrated on the largest island, Antigua), and 28,000 that of the capital, Saint John’s. According to a 2005 estimate, the population was 68,700 residents. The country thrives on luxury tourism (245,500 arrivals in 2004) and off-shore financial and insurance activities: in the period 1990-2003 the service sector experienced an annual increase of 3.5 % in real terms, contributing directly or indirectly for the 77 % (2003) to the formation of GDP. Censored in 2000 as a tax haven by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2002 the country enacted anti-money laundering regulations.
The hegemonic role of the Antigua Labor Party (ALP), in power since 1976, and of the Bird family that had handed down the leadership from father to son, entered into crisis at the beginning of the 2000s. The involvement of various government officials, including Prime Minister L. Bird, in financial scandals and corruption incidents helped create a general state of distrust, culminating in the results of the March 2004 legislative consultations. The ALP suffered a collapse, winning only 4 of the 17 seats up for grabs, against 12 of the opposition forces, represented by the centrist United Progressive Party (UPP). The new government, led by B. Spencer, leader of the UPP, placed among its priority objectives the fight against corruption and the revitalization of the economy, compromised by the growing internal deficit and the downsizing of the tourism sector.