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Antigua, Christopher Columbus sighted Antigua on his second voyage to the Americas in 1493. He named the island Santa Maria de la Antigua at that time, after a miracle working saint in the Seville Cathedral. The British mispronounced the name as "An-tee-ga", and it has remained so ever since. in 1674, the first major sugar estate was established by a British sugar planter, Sir Christopher Odrington, who came from Barbados. He named the estate Betty's Hope, after his daughter. The islands sugar economy was dependent on slave labor as well as protective tariffs, which maintained high prices back in England. when slavery was abolished in 1834, the economy was hit extremely hard. With continuous pressure for a free trade market in sugar, the prices plunged and the sugar estates remained an important industry in Antigua. In 1967, led by V.C. Bird, Antigua achieved Statehood in Association with Britain, with independent internal affairs and foreign affairs. On November 1, 1981, Antigua achieved full political sovereignty, with V.C. Bird as Prime Minister.



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