Bahamas History

Bahamas History and Geography

Bahamas Islands. They were the first lands found by Christopher Columbus on his journey, among these is San Salvador discovered on October 12, 1492. Spread over a front of more than 1000 km between the Straits of Florida and the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, they form an archipelago of more than 700 islands and islets. First territory of the New World discovered by Christopher Columbus on his route to the Indies, the Bahamas constituted a natural bastion of special strategic and commercial importance between the Atlantic and the Caribbean region.


According to localcollegeexplorer, the islands of the Bahamas were the first lands found by Christopher Columbus on his journey, among these is San Salvador discovered on October 12, 1492.

The English first occupied it in 1625 in an operation carried out by Great Britain to create bases in the New World from which they could more easily attack the Spanish colonies. In 1641 the Spanish reconquered the Bahamas; however in 1646 the English managed to found a new colony on Eleuthera Island and twenty years later to reoccupy New Providence.

In 1670 Charles II Stuart of England granted the Bahamas to a group of owners, whose rights were threatened by the Spanish and the Buccaneers. Already in 1718 the crown sent the first royal governor and some settlers to start the cultivation of fruit trees. During the war of independence of the United States, many loyal to the king emigrated with their slaves to the Bahamas, which strengthened the cultivation of cotton.

The constitutional process has been slow, in May 1963 the government of London approved a new constitution (which came into force in 1964) by which self-government was granted to the Bahamas, but dependent on a governor representing the English crown. In 1973 the Bahamas achieved its independence under the leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Lynden O. Pindling. In this same year she was admitted to the UN.

Bahamas is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Being governed by a Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Systems that recognize as Head of State the King of England who designates a Governor General as his representative with limited and ceremonial powers.

Legislative power rests with a Bicameral Parliament system made up of 16 members of the Senate, who are appointed by the Governor General, and 40 members of the House of Representatives elected directly by the population. The Privy Council of Her Majesty’s Judicial Committee is the highest Court in The Bahamas, followed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court with 12 judges, in addition to the Magistrates Courts.


The Archipelago of the Bahamas is located on a wide underwater platform, at a depth of 100 m, on which coral concretions have been formed due to intense madreporic activity. Morphologically it is made up of limestone rocks in its interior and limestone sands with coralline adhesions on its surface. All these islands have an elongated shape from Northwest to Southeast in the direction of the marine currents responsible for their configuration, as well as the channels and the arms of the sea that fragment them.

The largest of the islands in the archipelago is Andros with 4144 km2, which is cut by two transverse marine channels, is supported by the Great Bahamas Bank and is separated from the most important island in the entire archipelago, New Providence by an underwater depression, the Tongue of the Ocean which constitutes a kind of underwater gulf that forms a wedge to the South, for 300 km inside the Great Bahamas Bank and to the Northeast communicates with the Providence Channel. To the east, the Exuma Sound trench opens, reaching up to 2000 meters deep and is separated from the ocean by the bank of Cat Island.

Facing Florida and on the Great Bahama Bank are the groups of the Bimini, Exuma that delimits the Southwest depression of the same name; Long Island, in the extreme Southeast, and many other minor island formations. Outside this great underwater bank is the Grand Bahama and the Abaco group ; the island of San Salvador, Guanahani or Watling, identified as the island on which Christopher Columbus landed on October 12, 1492. The Crooked-Acklins group stands between two marine depressions corresponding to the Crooked and Mayaguana channels; the group of the Samanas and the Island of Mayaguana. Further south is the Inagua group.


The climate of the Bahamas is between Tropical and Subtropical; It is very moderate, the equatorial sea currents make it warmer than could be expected from its latitude, and the cool breezes from the Atlantic avoid torrid periods to the islands.
The sky is always clear with few days without sun throughout the year. These islands, like the entire Caribbean, suffer the scourge of Hurricanes, whose season lasts from late summer to late autumn. Hurricane “Andrew” hit the northern islands in 1992, Floyd almost all of them in 1999, and Frances in 2004 is considered one of the worst.

Vegetation and fauna

The vegetation cover varies from one island to another, but in the largest proportions the tropical forest prevails with abundant palm trees, mahogany and cedars, Campeche wood and pinus cariboea. Most of the fruit trees were imported to the archipelago by Europeans after colonization.

The Bahamas has a relatively poor fauna, abundant birds, being able to mention flamingos. The marine fauna is very rich with fish and crustaceans of all kinds.

Bahamas History