St. Kitts and Nevis

Official Name

Federazione of Saint Christopher and Nevis


around 50.700 inhabitants

surface area

261 squared kilometers – the Federazione unites two isles of the little Antilles Arcipelago (St. Kitts island and Nevis island)

official language





Eastern caribbean Dollar

government form

Federal Constitutional Monarchy (The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II)

Current General Governor

Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton (since September 2015)

current prime minister

Timothy Harris (since February 2015)


In 1493 the islands were joined by Christopher Columbus, who renamed the first with the name “Saint Christopher” and called the second “isla de las nieves”, because of the clouds that covered the top of the volcano of today’s island of Nevis.

The first British colony was established in St. Kitts in 1623 and through two treaties the islands were officially annexed to Britain in 1783, after a period of contention with France.

Independence was achieved on September 19, 1983.

The emblem of the Federation depicts a shield containing a boat, the red flowers typical of the country (of the Poinciana regal plant), a lily of France and the pink Tudor (to remember the cultural influence of the islands).

On either side of the shield are two pelicans, a coconut palm and a sugar palm.

Key Events chronology of St. Kitts and Nevis

1493 – Christopher Columbus lands on the islands and appoints St. Kitts as his patron saint, Christopher.

1623 – The British establish their first Caribbean colony in Saint Kitts.

1626 The English massacre 2,000 indigenous people.

1628 – The British create a colony on Nevis.

1783 – France claims Saint Kitts in the Treaty of Versailles.

1871 – St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla join together as a British dependency.

1932 – A center-left Labor Party is founded that promotes independence.


1967 – Saint Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla become members with internally autonomous government, of the Associated States of the West Indies and with, in the role of prime minister, the head of the Labor Party Robert Bradshaw.

1970 – The Party for the Reform of Nevis is founded, in favor of independence.

1971 – Anguilla is placed under direct British rule following a rebellion against the domination of Saint Kitts.

1980 – Anguilla grants a constitution and its union with St Kitts and Nevis is formally revoked.


1983 – Saint Kitts and Nevis jointly achieve independence within the British Commonwealth with Kennedy Simmonds as prime minister.

1993 – The anti-government demonstrations take place following inconclusive general elections.

1994 – A state of emergency is declared after the anti-government revolts by Labor party supporters in the capital, Basseterre.

1995 – Prime Minister Kennedy Simmonds loses the general election he called following a scandal over drug smuggling charges; Labor party leader Denzil Douglas becomes prime minister.

Secessionist threat

1997 – The Nevis legislators authorize a referendum on the question of whether the island should separate from Saint Kitts.

1998 July – St Kitts and Nevis performs its first performance in 17 years despite international protests.

1998 August – The referendum on the independence of Nevis fails to reach the majority of two thirds required for secession of the island.

1998 September – Hurricane George hits.

2000 – Denzil Douglas begins a second term as prime minister after his Labor party won the majority of the seats in view of the general election.

2003 March – The largest hotel complex in the Eastern Caribbean opens at Frigate Bay, in Saint Kitts.

2004 October – Denzil Douglas begins a third consecutive term as prime minister.

2005 March – The government decides to close the sugar industry that lost 300 years after the 2005 harvest.

December 2008 – First execution in over a decade when Charles Elroy Laplace was hanged for murder. The government has said it hopes this can serve as a deterrent to high levels of violent crime.

2010 January – Denzil Douglas wins the fourth consecutive term as premier.

May 2012 – Paris The creditor governments’ club agrees to restructure the public debt of St Kitts and Nevis, reducing interest payments by 90%.

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