Volcanic Island. British colony. pop. 12,000. Columbus sighted
it in 1493. It was then inhabited by Caribs.
English colonists came from St Kitts in 1632. Then Irish from
Virginia. African slaves arrived in 1664.
The French took the island several times. It has been continuously
British from 1783. It is too small to be independent on its own.
Member East Caribbean Currency Union and Caribbean Common
Following the explosion of the volcano the population fell
below that needed for a political community. Its near future
may be as an almost uninhabited island. The volcano was previously
dormant for about 300 years. Perhaps it will resume dormancy
after the present period of activity.