Important events in the history of the Bahamas include the settling of the islands by Cuban natives from 300 to 400 A.D., the arrival of the Lucayans 500 years later from 900 to 1500, and the discovery of the Bahamas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Europeans then settled the islands in 1649. The Bahamas gained their independence in 1973.Continue Reading
Before Christopher Columbus and the European settlers arrived in the 15th through 17th centuries, the Bahamas were first settled by people from other islands such as the island that later became known as Cuba in the 4th and 5th centuries. The Lucayans arrived and settled the Bahamas starting in the 10th century. By 1492, when Christopher Columbus discovered the group of islands and named them baja mar, they boasted over 40,000 residents. However, European-based diseases and slavery eradicated the population.
The Puritan Eleutheran Adventurers were the first European settlers in the Bahamas in 1649. Despite the Puritans simple lifestyle and search for religious freedom, the Bahamas soon became a popular hiding spot for pirates, hosting Blackbeard, Anne Bonny and Calico Jack, a few of the famous pirates of the time. By the 1700s, piracy waned and the islands became a British colony.
In 1834, the Bahamas passed an emancipation act, freeing the slaves. The Bahamas didn't become autonomous or self-govern until 1964 and finally became an independent nation in 1973.Learn more about Modern History