The Bahamas - Country history and economic development

1492. Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus lands in the Bahamas.

1500s. The Spanish conduct raids in the islands and enslave the Lucian Indians, who are sent to work the gold and silver mines in Central and South America. Over a 25-year period, the native tribes of the Bahamas are wiped out.

1647. British religious refugees settle on Eleuthera Island.

1717. The Bahamas becomes a British Crown Colony.

1718. Woodes Rogers, the first governor of the colony, drives out pirates who were based in the islands.

1700s. Sugar cane production becomes the main source of revenue in the colony.

1861-65. The Bahamas becomes a center for Confederate blockade raiders during the American Civil War.

1917-33. The Bahamas again becomes a center for American smugglers, this time for those transporting illegal alcohol into the United States during the Prohibition period.

1939-45. The Allies use the Bahamas as a base for air and naval operations during World War II.

1964. The nation is granted self-government.

1973. The Bahamas gains full independence.

1992. After 25 years of rule, the United Bahamian Party loses power to the FNM.

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