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St. Kitts figures prominently in the history of English colonization in the Lesser Antilles; the first settlement was established on the island in 1623, and St. Kitts was used as the base for further British colonization of neighboring islands. In fact, the island was once called “Mother Colony of the West Indies.” St. Kitts has been linked to Nevis as an entity-first as a colony, then as a part of a tree-island protectorate in association with Great Britian, and finally as an independent federated state-for more than a century.