Bahamas Facts

Bahamas Facts and History

North America

The Bahamas – a tourist dream

Located on the way from Europe to the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas used to be of great strategic importance for the fleets of the colonial powers. It is therefore strange that it was not until 1648 that the British claimed the islands. Until then, the 700 islands, of which around 30 are now inhabited, had only been visited by shipwrecked pirates.

Today the country is one of the most popular destinations for tourists, especially from the USA. In addition, until recently it was a popular destination for investors from all over the world, who value the banking secrecy of the 400 banking institutions in Nassau, as “Switzerland in the Atlantic” did not levy taxes on capital gains.

The archipelago is strongly influenced by the Spanish conquerors and it is from them that they got their name. They called the waters around the islands of Baja Mar “shallow sea”, which later became the Bahamas.

Unfortunately, the Bahamas was hit by the hurricane in early September 2019″Dorian” met. The category 5 hurricane was the worst storm that had ever hit the island nation and left a trail of total devastation. In addition, around 50 people lost their lives and a number of people are still missing.

Name of the country The Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Name in German Bahamas
Form of government Parliamentary monarchy in the Commonwealth of Ntions
Geographical location The Bahamas are south of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean.
National anthem March on, Bahamala
Population approx. 390,000 (Credit: Countryaah: Bahamas Population)
Ethnicities Descendants of West Africans 90%Descendants of English settlers, mulattos, Haitians 10% and others
Religions 70% Protestants (Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, etc.), 15% Catholics, other Christian churches around 13%, as well as minorities of followers of the natural religions or Jewish and Muslim communities.
Languages The official language is English.
Capital Nassau with approx. 270,000 residents
Surface 13,939 kmĀ²
Highest mountain Mount Alvernia with a height of 63 m
Largest lake Blue holes
International license plate BS
National currency Bahamian dollars
Time difference to CET – 5 h (November to March)- 4 h (April to October)
International phone code 001242
Mains voltage, frequency 120 volts and 60 hertz(an adapter is required)

Bahamas: history

Before the 15th century

The first settlements on the islands date from around AD 1,000. Indians of the Aruak tribe settled here mainly as hunters and gatherers, but no high culture developed until the arrival of the Europeans. In their language the Indians called themselves island people, Lukku-Cairi.

Discovery in 1492 until settlement in 1648

According to Abbreviationfinder website, Christopher Columbus entered Guanahani in 1492 and renamed the island San Salvador. The conquerors abducted the Indians living in the Bahamas (estimated: 20,000 to 40,000 people) to their mines in other colonies. There they died of overwork or imported diseases. The name of the islands was derived from the Name of the country Baha mar or bajamar by the Spaniards: The flat (shallow) sea. The Bahama archipelago had no mineral resources, so the region was economically uninteresting for the colonial powers. Only pirates used the islands as hiding places or were shipwrecked here. 100 years passed until the first (and unsuccessful) establishment of a French settlement (1625), until the British then laid claim to the islands in 1629 and Anglican dissidents from Bermuda and English settlers settled on Cigatoo in 1648. The island was named after the Greek word for freedom Eleutheria. Even New Providence was first settled in 1656 by Bermuda.

Piracy and the colonial era until the abolition of slavery in 1834

Despite these foundations, the pirates remained active in the region. One reason for piracy to flourish in the Caribbean at this time was the rivalry between the then sea powers Spain and England. The Spaniards had obviously occupied the (gold) rich part of America. In order to harm the rival without the risky use of their warships, the English crown passed a law that gave the pirates a free hand in the capture of Spanish or French merchant ships. The shallow Florida Strait with its dangerous coral reefs became a trap for the heavily laden Spanish galleons often enough. Among the pirates of the Bahama Islands were famous names such as Henry Jennings, Blackbeard, Edward England, Christopher Condent, Benjamin Hornigold, Charles Vane, Jack Rackham aka Calico Jack, Anne Bonny and Stede Bonnet. Spain and France launched an invasion fleet in 1684 and devastated the entire island of New Providence. The pirates began with the rebuilding and renamed the 1687 rebuilt Charles Town in 1689 in Nassau, in honor of King Wilhelm III. from the House of Orange-Nassau.

1692 became Port Royal destroyed by an earthquake and the subsequent tidal wave. Then the pirates moved from Port Royal to the Bahamas Islands. The pirates now took control of the colony. The Spanish troops destroyed Nassau in 1695, but two years later the city rose from the ruins. After five years of pirate raids, a Spanish-French fleet appeared off New Providence in 1703 and destroyed the pirate base. After the reconstruction by the pirates, they ruled the Bahamas from Nassau. Blackbeard was the leader of the pirates, tolerated by the English crown in order to minimize the influence of the rival powers. However, when the political benefits of this anarchy waned in the colony, the Bahama Islands were made a British Crown Colony in 1717.

George I (1714-1727) then sent a governor to fight piracy. The choice fell on the former pirate Woodes Rogers. He sailed to Nassau with three warships and gave the pirate captains an ultimatum to give up piracy in exchange for an amnesty. After Woodes Rogers had restored law and order in the Bahamas, the first general election took place in 1728 and on September 29, 1729 the members of the House of Assembly met for the first constituent session.

1834 until independence in 1973

The British government abolished slavery in its colonial empire between 1834 and 1838. As a result, the plantation economy in the Bahamas got into great difficulties. During the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and the prohibition in the USA from 1919 to 1933, the archipelago experienced an economic boom as a base for blockade breakers and alcohol smugglers. A powerful tourism industry emerged after the Second World War. In 1964 the country received internal autonomy and in 1973 the colony became completely independent from Great Britain, but remained in the Commonwealth.

Independence since 1973

The Progressive Liberal Party under Prime Minister Lyndon Pindling made the country an international financial center by granting immense tax advantages for capital investors and by strictly maintaining banking secrecy. The Free National Movement candidate, Hubert Alexander Ingraham, took over government in 1992 after a series of corruption incidents and economic crises.

In early September 2019, the Bahamas was extremely devastated by Hurricane “Dorian”. The category 5 hurricane was the strongest storm that had ever reached the Bahamas. In addition to the enormous destruction, around 50 people were also killed and a number are still missing.

Bahamas Facts