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The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is an independent English-speaking nation in the West Indies. An archipelago of 700 islands and cays (which are small islands), the Bahamas is located in the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida in the United States, north of Cuba and the Caribbean, and west of the British dependency of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
History of Bahamas
Christopher Columbus'' first landfall in the New World in 1492 is believed to have been on the island of San Salvador (also called Watling''s Island), located in the southern Bahamas. He encountered friendly Arawak (also known as Lucayan) Amerindians and exchanged gifts with them. The subsequent ethnic cleansing of the Arawak peoples is believed to have been greatly facilitated by this and other european expeditions in the region.
From the late 1400s until the 1600s, Spain controlled the Bahamas. In the 18th century, British Loyalists who had left New England due to increasing anti-British sentiments moved to the islands. Due to the large number of British settlers across the islands, custody of the chain was transferred from Spain to Britain, and the Bahama Islands were named a British colony in 1783.
In 1973, Bahamians voted for and received independence from Britain while remaining a part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Since attaining independence, the Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management.