Columbus discovered Antigua, inhabited by Caribbean Indians, in 1493. The island was first colonized after 1632 by Britain. They also colonized Barbuda in the 1660s and 1970s, but ended up in private ownership in 1680. Barbuda returned to the British crown in the late 1800s and could then be united with Antigua. The islands were administered until 1959 as part of the British colony of Leeward Islands.
In the 1960s, Antigua and Barbuda gained greater autonomy and gained their own constitution. In 1967, the Legislative Council was replaced by a House of Representatives and a Senate, and a General Governor was appointed. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda have been an independent state in the British Commonwealth since 1981. The policy was dominated between 1976 and 2004 by the Antigua Labor Party (ALP), whose results in the parliamentary elections, however, gradually decreased in favor of the United Progressive Party(UP). The ALP is known for being a political tool in the hands of the powerful Bird family and has been regularly employed by major corruption scandals. In 2009, US billionaire Allen Stanford was sentenced to a long prison sentence for fraud; Stanford had major business interests in Antigua and Barbuda and close links with the Bird family.
From 2004 to 14, the government was held by the UP and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer (born 1948). Under the leadership of Gaston Browne (born 1967), party leader since 2012 and subsequently inducted into the Bird family, the Antigua and Barbuda Labor Party (ABLP), which the party then renamed, returned to office after the 2014 election. In the 2018 election, ABLP and Browne made it.