Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Bahamas was inhabited by Arab-speaking Indians. When Columbus came to the Caribbean in 1492, he first reached one of the Bahamas. It was previously assumed that it was San Salvador (Watling’s Island), but nowadays the southern Samana Cay also has its advocates. The indigenous people were made slaves and brought by the Spaniards to Haiti.
In the 17th century, the English took possession of the Bahamas, and in 1717 the islands were made into a British crown colony. The barren islands were not suitable for plantation. Major industries instead became piracy, smuggling and slave trade. During the North American War of Independence (1775–83), many loyalists fled with their slaves to the Bahamas.
In 1964, the Bahamas gained self-government, and in July 1973 full independence was achieved. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Bahamas. The country’s history has subsequently been characterized by attempts to build a strong economy and a functioning political system. In practice, the Bahamas is a bipartisan system where the government has shifted between the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM), both of which can be placed at the center of the political scale.
PLP ruled 1967-92 with Lynden O. Pindling as prime minister. The period was characterized by economic growth but also by corruption and extensive drug smuggling. The Bahamas has also long been accused of allowing money laundering in tax havens’ banks. Crime has continued to be a major problem along with illegal immigration.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Bahamas on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Bahamas.
FNM ruled the country in 1992–2002 and thereafter the parties alternately held government power, PLP 2002–07 and 2012–17 and FNM 2007–12 and since 2017.
Bahamas foreign policy is characterized by close relations with the United States, which previously strongly criticized the country’s handling of drug smuggling and money laundering.