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
|Form of government
||Parliamentary monarchy in the Commonwealth of Ntions
||The Bahamas are south of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and the
||March on, Bahamala
||approx. 390,000 (Credit:
||Descendants of West Africans 90%
Descendants of English settlers, mulattos, Haitians 10% and others
||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.
||The official language is English.
||Nassau with approx. 270,000 residents
||Mount Alvernia with a height of 63 m
|International license plate
|Time difference to CET
||- 5 h (November to March)
- 4 h (April to October)
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||120 volts and 60 hertz
(an adapter is required)
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
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 Commomwealth.
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.