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British Virgin Islands Modern History

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The 1800s brought about great changes in the British Virgin Islands, with the abolition of slavery in 1834 being a pivotal event. Although the local economy suffered a temporary blow, it recovered in a relatively short amount of time. To this day, the abolition is still a widely celebrated event, with festivals held in its honor each August.

1872 brought about the islands’ inclusion in the Leeward Island Federation. This lasted until 1956, with colonization occurring in the 1960s. Colonization was then followed by the development of the tourism industry, which today brings approximately 400,000 visitors a year.

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