The Turks and Caicos Islands are known for having been the first Land on which Christopher Columbus set foot in 1492 after his crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He was welcomed by the Lucayan Indians who inhabited the island. Unfortunately, the islands became quickly unpopulated and attracted the attention of the French buccaneers. Up to the 17th century, the Caicos Islands became a hideout and haven for such infamous pirates as Blondel, Captain Dulaien, Francois L'Olonnais, Calico' Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read.
After having been regained by the British crown, the Turks and Caicos federated with the Bahamas Islands in 1799. This union lasted for about 50 years and in 1848, Turks and Caicos separated with the wish to form their own government. A few years later, this idea was abandoned as the Turks and Caicos joined force with Jamaica. In 1976, the Turks and Caicos became a British Crown colony. At that time they were granted a new constitution and government with a governor appointed by the Queen of England.
The 1976 elections were won by the PDM, the People's Democratic Movement, who promised to negotiate independence provided they were reelected in 1980. But the other main political party, the Progressive National Party (PNP), won the 1980 elections and plans for independence were set aside. The Turks and Caicos Islands pride itself on having been stable for 250 years.