The Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the western Caribbean Sea comprising the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. It lies south of ► Cuba and west of ► Jamaica. It is the fifth largest financial centre and is also one of the leading tourist underwater diving destinations in the world.
► British overseas territory, British (English) since 1670
This section holds a short summary of the history of the area of present-day the Cayman Islands, illustrated with maps, including historical maps of former countries and empires that included present-day the Cayman Islands.
Christopher Columbus discovers the unihabited Cayman islands in 1503 and names them Las Tortugas. In the seventeenth century variety of people settle on the islands, including pirates, refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, shipwrecked sailors, deserters from Oliver Cromwell's army in Jamaica, and slaves. The islands become an English posession in 1670 and become part of the colony of Jamaica. Permanent settlement began around 1661.
In 1959 the Cayman islands are separated from Jamaica and become a separate colony and part of the West Indies Federation.
After the dissolution of the British West Indies in 1962, the Cayman Islands become a separate British colony. The colony has internal self-government since 1972.
Notes and references
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