The name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish baja mar meaning shallow sea, and is an archipelago of over 700 islands stretching over 258,998 square km in the western Atlantic Ocean.
The Lucayan Indians were the original inhabitants: they lived throughout The Bahamas between 900 and 1500 A.D.
Christopher Columbus (the first European visitor) made his first landfall in the New World on San Salvador (called Guanahani by the Lucayan Indians) in 1492.
The first English settlers on Eleuthera shipped braselitto wood to Boston to thank the people of Massachusetts for the support they had given. The proceeds from the sale of this precious wood was used to purchase the land for Harvard College, which eventually became Harvard University.
Charles Town on New Providence Island was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684, but later rebuilt and renamed Nassau in 1695 in honor of King William III (formerly prince of Orange-Nassau).
The Bahamas House of Assembly first officially convened in 1729.
In 1788 The Bahamas exported 450 tons of cotton to Britain.
Nassau was officially promoted as a fashionable winter season resort in 1898 with the Hotel and Steam Ship Service Act.
The Bahama Islands became the free and sovereign Commonwealth of The Bahamas on 10 July 1973, ending 325 years of British rule (but remains part of the Commonwealth).
The Bahamas, with over 270 years of democratic rule, is one of the most politically stable countries in the world.
The Bahamas does not have an army.