A Herd Of Animals Traveling As A Group Island A Brief History of The Bahamas

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A Brief History of The Bahamas

When he was asked in history lessons at school what made the year 1492 so important, almost every student knew the answer. It was the year Christopher Columbus discovered America. The word American has different meanings in Europe and in America itself. When people in Europe talk about America they are almost always referring to the United States of America, with Washington, DC as its capital. In Europe people don’t even know about the regional issue in North America, which includes Canada, USA and Mexico. So when we ask about Christopher Columbus and his discovery they believe that he landed somewhere near Boston.

In fact the first place Columbus landed on the West Coast was the Bahamas. The Bahamas is a group of islands and it is on one of them, San Salvador, where Christopher Columbus set foot on October 12th, 1492.

The Bahamas themselves were of little interest to the Spanish and were not really settled there. But what they did was to enslave all the locals and send them to the San Domingo mine. Basically the entire population just disappeared within a very short period of time.

But it seems that not many people live in the Bahamas, because after their abandonment and repression, there is hardly any evidence of civilization such as abandoned buildings, temples and ruins. Nor is there much evidence of extensive agriculture or land cultivation. Nowadays there are many fruit trees on the islands, but their introduction by the Spanish can be traced back and no animals can be eaten for human consumption. It is evident that the natives were originally fishermen or that they lived on wild fruits and corn.

Little is known about the original inhabitants because it is impossible to classify them. They probably came first from what we know today as Florida. What we know is that they are not carnivorous, and it seems that they are mild-mannered.

The first foreigners to settle in the Bahamas were a group of religious refugees from England. They were Eleutheran Adventurers, persecuted by their local church and they gave the island of Eleuthera its name. After other groups of settlers from different parts of the world established their own settlements with their own governments in The Bahamas the islands became a British Crown Colony.

The ongoing hostility and sometimes outright war between Spain and Great Britain gave adventurers, many of them English and French, the opportunity to use the islands as their base from which to attack Spanish ships going to or coming from The New World. It is the natural geological patterns of the islands and their environments that give those pirates the best advantage and provide them with perfect shelter.

When in 1697 Europe came to peace through the treaty of Riswick England stood to defend the islands. The Bahamas, now on their own and without any government alliances, soon turned into a haven for pirates who attacked every country and attacked all ships free from their origins. Lawlessness reigned and the Bahamas became a by-word for crime at the time.

This state of affairs obviously did not last forever and in 1718 England again took responsibility for the islands and began to exterminate all pirates. Law and order were soon re-established and the British Crown remained in possession of the islands until 1973, when the Bahamas gained full independence within the Commonwealth of Nations.

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