The Virgin Islands are an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The islands are divided into two parts, one of which, the British Virgin Islands, is a overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The other is the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States.
Christopher Columbus named the islands "St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins". Today they are simply referred to as the Virgin Islands. They were inhabited by Carib Indians, whom Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor wiped out when he took over the islands in 1555 for the Holy Roman Empire.
The islands were later peopled by Africans who were enslaved on sugar and at least one indigo plantation. The sugar plantations are now gone, but the descendents of the slaves are still there, sharing a common West Indian culture with the other English-speaking islands of the Caribbean. Tourism is now the main industry.
On both the British and the US Virgin Islands, cars are driven on the left-hand side of the road and the currency is the US dollar.