May 22, 2016
2569 UNITED STATES (U.S. Virgin Islands) / UNITED KINGDOM (Overseas Territory) - The map of the Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands are the western island group of the Leeward Islands, which are the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, and form the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Politically, the eastern islands form the British Virgin Islands and the western ones form the United States Virgin Islands.
The first is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom comprising approximately 60 islands and cays including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada. The last is one of five inhabited insular areas of the United States, and comprises the islands St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.
The Virgin Passage separates the American Virgin Islands from the so-called Spanish Virgin Islands of Vieques and Culebra, which are part of Puerto Rico. Christopher Columbus named the islands after Saint Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins, shortened to the Virgins (las Vírgenes). The "twin pillars" of the economy are tourism and financial services. Politically, tourism is the more important of the two, as it employs a greater number of people from the islands, and a larger proportion of the businesses in the tourist industry are locally owned.
The Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by the Arawak, Carib, and Cermic, who are perished during the colonial period due to enslavement, foreign disease, and mass extermination. European colonists later settled here and established sugar plantations, at least one tobacco plantation, and purchased slaves acquired from Africa. The plantations are gone, but the descendants of the slaves remain the bulk of the population, sharing a common African-Caribbean heritage with the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean. In 1916, Denmark sold to the United States the Danish West Indies, which will become American Virgin Islands.
About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Vintage Circus Posters, about which I wrote here.
Virgin Islands - Wikipedia
Sent from Houston (Texas / United States), on 20.05.2014