Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea, located in the Windward Islands. The islands were claimed for England in 1664, but France reclaimed the colony in 1666 and made it into a crown colony in 1674 as a dependency of Martinique. England and France warred fourteen times afterwards, and each side gained control of the island seven times each, with the British eventually succeeding in maintaining control over the island. In 1840, representative government was established, and universal suffrage was established in 1953. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations, with its legal system being based both on civil law and English common law. Castries is the capital of Saint Lucia, which had a population of 184,999 people in 2015.