Former Danish colony, sold to the United States
They were seen by Columbus in 1493 and named after the Feast
of the Holy Virgin.
In 1555 they were claimed by Spain but actually settled by
the English and French with no real government, hence there was
piracy. All the natives had been killed by 1596 and replaced
by African slaves.
The western islands became Danish from about 1660. The United
States bought the islands in 1917. They are ruled by a governor
elected by the people and are a territory of the US.
Riots in 1989 following hurricane damage indicated considerable
discontent with the present situation and especially with the
incoming American settlers.