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lauantai 10. syyskuuta 2016

The Bahamas, Cool Facts #134

<= 133. Antigua and Barbuda                                                                                135. Barbados => 



1. Geography of The Bahamas

The Bahamas comprises more then 700 different sized islands and over 2000 rocky islets and reefs. The Bahamas islands are situated between Cuba and Florida. Despite the large amount of islands only about twenty are inhabited. The land area is only 13.878 square kilometers but the country encompasses 470,000 square kilometers of ocean space. 


Map of The Bahamas

2. Piracy in The Bahamas

The Bahamas islands were abandoned by the Spanish, who moved their indigenous slave workers to the plantations of Cuba and to the gold mines of Haiti. The islands were then used by pirates and smugglers as a hide-out. 

The most famous pirate in the Caribbean was Edward Teach aka "Blackbeard". He got his nickname because of his thick black beard and scary appearance. Blackbeard wasn't a tyrannical person despite his fearsome appearance and reputation. He never murdered or harmed those he held captive and commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews. 

Blackbeard was romanticized after his death and he has been the source of inspiration for different pirate-themed works of fiction.  

Pirate Blackbeard

3. Wealth and poverty

- The Bahamas has the highest income level in the Caribbean 
- The Bahamas is a tax haven and a financial center where international companies and financial institutions have located their headquarters and hide their capital 
- The economy relies highly on tourism and the majority of tourists come from USA 
- 1170 merchant ships are registered to the Bahamas, which is the 10th biggest amount in the world
- Income levels are big as poor slums can be found next to the rich neighborhoods of Nassau 
- The Bahamas has been criticized for allowing money laundering and economic criminality
- The relationship with USA has intensified because of drug trade 


Cruise ship at The Bahamas
World's biggest tax havens


4. New World

The Bahamas was the first location where Christopher Columbus landed on October 12th in 1492 as he discovered the New World. He landed on an island, that he named San Salvador. The Spanish forced the local Lucayan population to the island of Hispaniola to forced labour. 

The Lucayan people were a branch of the Taino people. Half of the Taino people died from smallpox alone so the native population of the Bahamas diminished severely after the arrival of the Spanish. 
Columbus first landfall in the New World
Columbus' voyages in the New World

5. American war of independence and slavery

The Bahamas became a British colony in 1718 after the British navy defeated the troops of Edward Teach. The British got the whole island group under their control in 1783. Americans arrived to the islands with their slaves after the American Revolutionary War, which was fought between 1775 and 1783. The Americans established plantations 

The British abolished slave trade in 1807 and in 1834 they abolished slavery. The Bahamas became a haven for many slaves and indigenous Seminole people, who fleed to the Bahamas from the southern states of the US. The government also freed slaves from ships that were going past the Bahamas to USA. 

Currently the descendants of slaves and free Africans constitute nearly 90% of the population. 


European settlements in the Americas

Top 5 places that I want to visit in The Bahamas

1. Major Cay Island
2. Nassau
3. Eleuthera
4. Harbour Island pink beach
5. San Salvador Island

Timeline

1492 Bahamas was the first place Columbus saw in the New World as he landed in San Salvador
1718 The British navy defeated Edward Teach's troops and declared Bahamas as a colony, which was disputed by Spain
1783 The British got the whole island group in their control. Slaves were first brought to the islands
1833 Great Britain abolished slavery and Bahamas became a place of refuge for many runaway slaves from the US
1869 The colony got its own symbol and flag
1950 USA was allowed to establish a military base to the islands with the permission from Great Britain
1964 Bahamas got autonomy
1967-1992 Lynden O. Pindling was the Prime Minister of the country
1973 Bahamas became independent 
1992 Hubert Ingraham became Prime Minister after Pindling
2002 PLP came back into power and Perry Christie became the third Prime Minister during independence

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