|demonym = Virgin Islander
|government_type = Unincorporated organized territory with a presidential representative democracy
|leader_title1 = President
|leader_title2 = Governor
|leader_title3 = Lieutenant Governor
|leader_title4 = Delegate
|legislature = Legislature of the Virgin Islands
|area_rank = 202nd
|area_magnitude = 1 E8
|area_km2 = 346.36
|area_sq_mi = 133.73
|percent_water = 1.0
|population_census = 106,405
|population_census_year = 2010
|population_density_km2 = 310.3
|population_density_sq_mi = 803.7
|population_density_rank = 42nd
|GDP_PPP = $3.778 billion 〔http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/general/terr/2013/vigdp_080213.pdf〕
|GDP_PPP_year = 2012
|GDP_PPP_per_capita = 35,500
|sovereignty_type = Unincorporated territory
of the United States
|established_event1 = Treaty of the Danish West Indies
|established_date1 = March 31, 1917
|established_date2 = July 22, 1954
|HDI_year = 2008
|HDI_change = increase
|HDI = 0.894
|HDI_rank = 59
|currency = United States dollar
|currency_code = USD
|time_zone = AST
|utc_offset = −4
|time_zone_DST = none
|utc_offset_DST = −4
|drives_on = lefta
|calling_code = +1-340
|iso3166code = VI
|official_website = (www.vi.gov ) or (www.gov.vi )
|footnote_a = The United States Virgin Islands is the only United States jurisdiction whose road traffic drives on the left.
The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI; also called the United States Virgin Islands or American Virgin Islands), officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.
The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is .〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=CIA - The World Factbook-US Virgin Islands )〕 The territory's capital is Charlotte Amalie on the island of Saint Thomas.
In 2010 the population was 106,405,〔(2010 Population Counts for the U.S. Virgin Islands ), U.S. Census Bureau.〕 and mostly Afro-Caribbean. Tourism is the primary economic activity, although there is a significant rum manufacturing sector.〔 Farming is done on a minuscule scale on the island of St. Croix, although it has seen a slow revival in recent years.
Previously the Danish West Indies of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. They are classified by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and are currently an organized, unincorporated United States territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands are organized under the 1954 Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands and have since held five constitutional conventions. The last and only proposed Constitution, adopted by the Fifth Constitutional Convention in 2009, was rejected by the U.S. Congress in 2010, which urged the convention to reconvene to address the concerns Congress and the Obama Administration had with the proposed document. The convention reconvened in October 2012 to address these concerns, but was not able to produce a revised Constitution before its October 31 deadline.
(詳細はVirgin Islands were originally inhabited by the Ciboney, Carib, and Arawaks. The islands were named by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 for Saint Ursula and her virgin followers. Over the next two hundred years, the islands were held by many European powers, including Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Denmark-Norway.
The Danish West India Company settled on Saint Thomas in 1672, on Saint John in 1694, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733. The islands became royal Danish colonies in 1754, named the Danish West Indian Islands ((デンマーク語:De dansk-vestindiske øer)). Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries, until the abolition of slavery by Governor Peter von Scholten on July 3, 1848.
The Danish West India and Guinea Company represented the first Europeans to settle the Virgin Islands. They are also credited with naming the island St. John (Danish: Sankt Jan). The Danish crown took full control of Saint John in 1754, along with St. Thomas and St. Croix. Sugar plantations such as the famous Annaberg Sugar Plantation, were established in great numbers on St. John because of the intense heat and fertile terrain which provided ideal growing conditions. The establishment of sugar plantations also led to the buying of more slaves from their chiefs in Africa. St. John was the site of one of the first significant slave rebellions in the New World in 1733, when Akwamu slaves from the Gold Coast took over the island for six months of horror.
The Danish were able to defeat the enslaved Africans with help from the French in Martinique. Instead of allowing themselves to be recaptured more than a dozen of the ringleaders shot themselves before the French forces could capture them and call them to account for their activities during the period of rebel control. It is estimated that by 1775, slaves outnumbered the Danish settlers by a ratio of 5:1. The indigenous Caribs and Arawaks were also used as slave labor to the point of the entire native population being absorbed into the larger groups. Slavery was abolished in the Virgin Islands on July 3, 1848.
For the remainder of the period of Danish rule the islands were not economically viable and significant transfers were made from the Danish state budgets to the authorities in the islands. In 1867 a treaty to sell Saint Thomas and Saint John to the United States was agreed, but the sale was never effected.〔(A Brief History of the Danish West Indies, 1666–1917 ), Danish National Archives〕 A number of reforms aimed at reviving the islands' economy were attempted, but none had great success. A second draft treaty to sell the islands to the United States was negotiated in 1902 but was defeated in the upper house of the Danish parliament in a balanced ballot (because the opposition literally carried a 97-year-old life member into the chamber).〔
The onset of World War I brought the reforms to a close and again left the islands isolated and exposed. During the submarine warfare phases of the First World War, the United States, fearing that the islands might be seized by Germany as a submarine base, again approached Denmark about buying them. After a few months of negotiations, a selling price of $25 million in United States gold coin was agreed (this is equivalent to $ million in dollars). At the same time the economics of continued possession weighed heavily on the minds of Danish decision makers, and a consensus in favor of selling emerged in the Danish parliament.
The Treaty of the Danish West Indies was signed in August 1916,〔(Convention between the United States and Denmark for cession of the Danish West Indies ), 〕 with a Danish referendum held in December 1916 to confirm the decision. The deal was finalized on January 17, 1917, when the United States and Denmark exchanged their respective treaty ratifications. The United States took possession of the islands on March 31, 1917 and the territory was renamed the Virgin Islands of the United States. Every year Transfer Day is recognized as a holiday, to celebrate the acquisition of the islands by the United States.〔(Transfer Day ), Royal Danish Consulate, United States Virgin Islands〕 U.S. citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of the islands in 1927.
Water Island, a small island to the south of Saint Thomas, was initially administered by the U.S. federal government and did not become a part of the U.S. Virgin Islands territory until 1996, when of land was transferred to the territorial government. The remaining of the island were purchased from the U.S. Department of the Interior in May 2005 for $10, a transaction which marked the official change in jurisdiction.〔Poinski, Megan. ("Water Island appears frozen in time, but big plans run under the surface – V.I. says land acquired from the feds is about to undergo large-scale improvements" ). The Virgin Islands Daily News, November 18, 2005, online edition. Retrieved September 6, 2007.〕
Hurricane Hugo struck the Virgin Islands in 1989, causing catastrophic physical and economic damage. The territory was again struck by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995, killing eight people and causing more than $2 billion in damage. The islands were again struck by Hurricanes Bertha, Georges, Lenny, and Omar in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2008, respectively, but damage was not as severe in those storms.
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