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A Brief History of Bahamas

At least 500 years prior to the Europeans’ arrival to Bahamas, the islands where inhabited by a people called Lucayans who were descendants of the Arawak Indians. Originally, they lived in the north part of South America in the Caribbean Islands and in Florida. During centuries, the Lucayans lived a simple live in villages of Bahamas.

The 12th of October of 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived at a small island called Guanahani by the Lucayans, which he named San Salvador. The Bahamas were under the Spanish dominion until they were colonized by Great Britain in 1612.

In 1671 a census was taken for the first time in Bahamas. There were 1097 inhabitants of which 443 were slaves that have been brought from Africa to work on the British plantations of cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane.

Most British settlers left the island, which became open to the pirates’ attacks. Many pirates settled in the island and remained for years.

In 1718 Captain Woodes Rogers was named governor of Bahamas. He initiated the difficult task of expelling more than one thousand pirates who lived in New Providence.

In the beginning of 1800 the number of slaves had risen to over 12,000.

With time the social system of Bahamas began to change, eliminating slave trading in 1807 and slave emancipation in 1834. Education was introduced.

In 1963 the British Government granted Bahamas its own government. A constitution was presented in 1964 general elections to elect a Prime Minister.

Bahamas received total independence in 1973.