Nevis, in 1778 made a desperate attempt to get
back on track economically by opening the western hemisphere's first hotel as
they began seeking tourism, a radical idea at the time.
St. Kitts meanwhile continued to prosper through the sugarcane trade, an
industry that prospered and thrived until the end of slavery in the
British Empire in 1834. From this point on, the islands struggled to find
a sustainable income, although they continued to rely on the sugarcane industry.
The essential death of the sugar industry came in the 1930s when the Great Depression
in the United States and
Europe led to a decrease in demand for sugar. St.
Kitts & Nevis had relied almost entirely on this crop for their
income and when the industry suffered so did the people. This led to numerous uprisings
and demands for greater freedoms among the workers.
Meanwhile, throughout the 1800s and into the 1900s the British
regularly altered their administrative districts, changing the government of
St. Kitts & Nevis, however for the most part the power remained in St.
Kitts. This continued through 1971 when Anguilla finally withdrew from the association
and St. Kitts & Nevis were left on their own under British rule. In the 1980s
Nevis started discussing separation from St. Kitts, but instead Britain granted
the islands independence in 1983, a move that gave Nevis greater rights and the
option to secede from St. Kitts.
Since independence in 1983 the country of St. Kitts &
Nevis has turned to tourism as the primary means of income, while maintaining
a fairly stable political and economic state.