The first inhabitants of the Bahamas came from Cuba. The Siboney Indians settled here probably anno 2500 BC.
Columbus came as the first European. He discoverered the New World on 12 October 1492 on the west coast of San Salvador. Infectious diseases which the europeans took to the country, and the spread of slavery and caused the extinction of the indigenous locals.
The free exercise of religion was forbidden on the Bahamas, so that most of the Puritan emigrated to Citatoo in 1648. They called the new country Eleuthera (Free).
Charlestown Nassau on New Providence was founded by settlers which came from England 1456.
Pirates quickly recognized that Charlestown is an ideal base location for their prey. While the Bahamas 1670 were owned by British aristocracy as fiefs, but the pirates had the power.
Officially the English crown governed the Bahamas since 1717.
The Pirates remain in power. The first one was Governor Woodes Rogers, a former freebooter. All pirates obtain impunity if they became ordinary citizens, and also took part in the erection of Nassau.
Even the American War of Independence got to Nassau. In 1776 it was getting occupied.
The Spanish troops as invaders followed 1782.
The independence war of the Americans has ended with the victory of the United States. Citizens of the United States that remained faithful to the British Empire (Loyalists) took over Nassau in 1783 under the leadership of Andrew Deveaux. Many of these Loyalists followed and also settled on the nearby islands of the Bahamas. Caused by the bad soil conditions they did not succeed in agriculture. The slave part of population was at 75%.
In Europe (England), the slave trade was already banned 1807 by the “United Kingdom Emancipation Act". The official abolition in the colonies happened 27 years later in 1834.
During the American civil war of 1861 - 1865, the Bahamas were used by the southern states as a source and supply base.
For military use during the Second World War of 1940 - 1945, the Bahamas were used for pilot training in Allied camps. It was also important for the defence of submarines. Governor of the Bahamas at this time was none other than the Duke of Windsor, on the basis of his not rank fitting marriage, he had to renounce the kings throne.
A large part of the Bahamas, was declared to be a free-trade zone 1955. The fundamental of this was the Hawskbill Creek Agreement. The early days of tourism should not be overlooked, the construction of free port and Lucaca are the cornerstones of the new free trade zone.
Even the politics are progressing. In 1962 the Women's electoral law was issued. 5 years later, the Bahamas got limited self-government.
In 1967 the majority of black population took over the power. It was a great electoral success of Lynden Findling and his Progressive Liberal Party.
The desire for an independent state concentrated in a referendum in 1972. One year later, the Bahamas got independent. The membership in the Commonwealth is one of the few old roots.
The drug trade had a maximum peak in 1980. It was Colombian cocaine in large quantities for the American continent, mainly the United States.
Tourism has established as the main industry since 1990. But international traders of all kinds can be found because of a perfect bank secrecy and other concessions for business.