Recorded history of St. Kitts begins with Christopher Columbus’ second voyage in 1493 however settlement did not begin until 1623 when the British arrived in Saint Christopher, later nicknamed St. Kitts, and in Nevis in 1628.French settlers came to the island in 1627 and an Anglo-French rivalry spanned over 100 years. After a decisive British victory over the French at Brimstone Hill in 1782, the Treaty of Paris of 1783 granted the islands to Britain. The islands, along with Anguilla, united in 1882 and were part of the colony of the Leeward Islands (1871–1956) and of the West Indies Federation (1958–62).
In 1967, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla became a self-governing state in association with Great Britain. Anguilla separated from the federation in 1980 and on September 19, 1983 St. Kitts & Nevis gained full independence.