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Goals & Objectives
History of Frederiksted
Project Location

19th and 20th Century

The British recaptured St. Croix in 1807 and held the island during the Napoleonic Wars much to the relief of St. Croix's English planters, who had been chafing under trade restrictions imposed by the Danish Crown. But the island reverted to Denmark in 1815, and the next 30 years brought drought and widespread economic depression.

During the second half of the 19th century, St. Croix suffered a series of natural disasters including a fire in Christiansted, an earthquake and tidal wave and two hurricanes that exacerbated the colony's woes. The economy did not fully recover until the middle of this century.

In 1917, the United States purchased St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas from the Danish government to prevent their becoming a German submarine base during World War I. St. Croix first fell under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy and was later granted Territorial status. A period of uneven economic recovery continued until the 1950s, when tourists began to discover the island. Since then, the industry and the island has seen steady growth.

Today, the U.S. Virgin Islands is an unincorporated Territory with a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Although all persons born here are U.S. citizens and taxpayers, they have no vote in national elections. Islanders were granted the vote in local elections in 1936 and chose their first governor in 1970.

Columbus Late 15th Century
English / Dutch 17th Century
Danish 18th Century
19th and 20th Century