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History of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The last few hundred years of history in the Turks and Caicos islands has mirrored that of the rest of the Caribbean in many ways. The Turks and Caicos islands were first inhabited by the Taino, and then the Lucayan Indians, both of whom lasted scarcely a few years after the period of Caribbean colonization began in full force. Those first 17th-century European settlers were a group of Bermudians, attracted by the abundant salt flats present on the Turks and Caicos islands, who brought back their product for resale in Bermuda and the British colonies in North America. They were soon joined on the Turks and Caicos islands by British loyalists fleeing the southern United States after the Revolutionary War of the 1770s and 80s, solidifying London's claim on the resource-rich colony. The growing population established a prosperous cotton plantation economy, which dominated the Turks and Caicos islands until a combination of environmental factors - a hurricane, eroding soil, and boll weevils - succeeded in wiping out the industry by the early 1800s.

After a brief period during which the Turks and Caicos islands were officially integrated with the Bahamas, a strong maritime relationship led to their being absorbed by Jamaica in 1874. These ties remained until Jamaican gained independence in 1862, and the Turks and Caicos islands reverted back to their original status of British Crown Colony. The people and government of the Turks and Caicos have since debated seeking independence from Britain as well but, for the time being, it seems as though they're content with the stability this position has afforded them. Today, tourism is an important part of the economy of the Turks and Caicos islands, rivaled only by its booming offshore financing industry.

If you're interested in visiting the Turks and Caicos islands we recommend that your search our luxury Turks and Caicos villas. Click here for the best villa rentals in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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