31.03.

1917: How did the United States Come into Possession of the Virgin Islands?

1917: How did the United States Come into Possession of the Virgin Islands?
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, the Islands' capital.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 31 March 1917
  • It is interesting that the Americans purchased these islands from the Danes, for the equivalent of 25,000,000 dollars in gold. Today, this amount of gold would be worth as much as 2,200,000,000 dollars.

On this day in 1917 the United States came into possession of the famous Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.

It is interesting to note that they purchased these islands from the Danes, for the equivalent of 25,000,000 dollars in gold. Today, this amount of gold would be worth as much as 2,200,000,000 dollars.

It is little known that Denmark once had significant colonial possessions around the world. Indeed, while they were not as large as those of the English, Spanish, or Dutch, they were at spread throughout almost the entire world.

Thus Denmark had possessions in Africa (on ​​the coast of present-day Ghana), India, the aforementioned Caribbean, and on the Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean. However, according to the size, the largest Danish estates were Greenland (the largest island in the world) and Iceland. Meanwhile, Iceland became independent, but Greenland is still tied to Denmark.

The U.S. Virgin Islands have a total land area of ​​34,636 hectares on fifty islands. They are inhabited by just over 106,000 people. The capital city is named Charlotte Amalie, which clearly indicates their Danish roots.

Namely, it was named after the Danish Queen Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel. Today, that city is the most important port of call for cruise ships in the Caribbean.

The largest island of the U.S. Virgin islands is named Saint Croix.

It is necessary to add that there also exist the British Virgin Islands, which are even smaller than the U.S., and are part of Britain’s overseas possessions.

Also, a group of islands is sometimes called the “Spanish Virgin Islands”. It is part of the territory of Puerto Rico (and also part of the United States).

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