Nome oficial: Comunidade das Bahamas (Commonwealth of the Bahamas).
Data nacional: 10 de julho (Independência).
Cidades principais: Nassau (172.000), Freeport (26.574), Marsh Harbour (3.611) (1990).
Idioma: Inglês (oficial).
Religião: cristianismo 78,4% (anglicanos 16%, batistas 31,1%, outros protestantes 15,3%), outras 21,6% (1990).
Localização: norte da América Central, mar do Caribe.
Hora local: -2h.
Área: 13.864 km2.
Área de floresta: 2 mil km2 (1995).
Total: 310 mil (2000); sendo afro-americanos 85%, europeus meridionais 12%, asiáticos e outros 3% (1996).
Densidade: 22,14 hab./Km²
População urbana: 88% (1998).
População rural: 12% (1998).
Crescimento demográfico: 2% ao ano (1998).
Fecundidade: 2,6 filhos por mulher (1995-2999).
Expectativa de vida M/F: 70,5/77 anos (1995-2000).
Mortalidade infantil: 16 por mil nascimentos (1995-2000).
Analfabetismo: 3,9% (2000).
IDH (0-1): 0,844 (1998).
Forma de governo: Monarquia parlamentarista
Divisão administrativa: 20 ilhas e grupos de ilhas.
Chefe de governo: primeiro-ministro Hubert Alexander Ingraham (FNM) (desde 1992, reeleito em 1997).
Principais partidos: Movimento Nacional Livre (FNM), Liberal Progressista (PLP).
Legislativo: bicameral - Senado, com 16 membros (9 indicados pelo governador-geral, 4 pelo líder da oposição e 3 pelo primeiro-ministro); Casa da Assembléia, com 40 membros eleitos por voto direto para mandato de 5 anos. Constituição em vigor: 1973.
Moeda: dólar das Bahamas.
PIB: US$ 3,7 bilhões (1996).
PIB agropecuária: 3,4% (1992).
PIB indústria: 10,9% (1992).
PIB serviços: 85,7% (1992).
Crescimento do PIB: 0% ao ano (1995).
Renda per capita: US$ 12.400 (1996).
Força de trabalho: 160 mil (1998).
Agricultura: Principalmente legumes e verduras, grapefruit, outras frutas.
Pecuária: ovinos, caprinos, suínos, aves.
Pesca: 10,4 mil t (1997).
Mineração: sal, aragonita.
Indústria: bebidas (principal: rum), química, gráfica e editorial, extração de petróleo.
Exportações: US$ 1,8 bilhão (1998).
Importações: US$ 2,2 bilhões (1998).
Principal parceiro comercial: EUA.
Efetivo total: 900 (1998).
Gastos: US$ 22 milhões (1998).
Organizações: Banco Mundial, Caricom (não faz parte do mercado comum), Comunidade Britânica, FMI, OEA, ONU.
Embaixada: Tel. (202) 319-2660, fax (202) 319-2668 - Washington D.C., EUA. Não possui embaixada no Brasil.
As Bahamas ou Baamas, oficialmente Comunidade das Baamas, são um país insular constituído por mais de 3 000 ilhas, cayos e ilhéus no oceano Atlântico, a norte de Cuba e da ilha Espanhola (Haiti e República Dominicana), a noroeste do território ultramarino britânico das ilhas Turcas e Caicos e a sudoeste do estado estadunidense da Flórida. A sua capital é Nassau na ilha de Nova Providência. Geograficamente, as Baamas situam-se no mesmo arquipélago que Cuba, Espanhola e Turcas e Caicos.
Originalmente habitadas pelos Lucaianos, um ramo dos Taínos, falantes do aruaque, as Baamas foram o local do primeiro desembarque de Cristóvão Colombo no Novo Mundo em 1492. Apesar de os espanhóis nunca terem colonizado as ilhas, transportaram os lucaianos como escravos para a ilha Espanhola. As ilhas permaneceram quase despovoadas entre 1513 e 1648, quando colonos britânicos da Bermuda se estabeleceram na ilha de Eleutéria.
As Baamas tornaram-se uma colónia da coroa em 1718, quando os britânicos apertaram o cerco à pirataria. Depois da Guerra da Independência dos Estados Unidos, milhares de lealistas (apoiantes da monarquia britânica) e escravos africanos deslocaram-se para as Baamas e implantaram uma economia com base em plantações. O tráfico de escravos foi abolido no Império Britânico em 1807 e muitos africanos libertados de navios negreiros pela Marinha Real foram colocados nas Baamas durante o século XIX. A escravatura em si foi abolida em 1834. Os descendentes destes escravos constituem a maioria da população baamiana atual.
As Baamas são um dos países mais ricos da América (a seguir aos Estados Unidos e ao Canadá), quanto a número de PIB per capita. Localizadas a aproximadamente 160 km da costa da Flórida, com um ótimo clima — com média de pouco mais de 32 °C — e com um mar cristalino de águas azuis turquesa e praias de areia branca perolada, as ilhas das Bahamas são um dos principais destinos turísticos mundiais.
O arquipélago de Bahamas (nome derivado do espanhol bajamar, "maré baixa"),[carece de fontes] foi habitado por índios arauaques antes da chegada de Cristóvão Colombo, em 1492. Ocupadas por ingleses desde o século XVI, as Bahamas serviram de refúgio a piratas. A lavoura de algodão entra em declínio com o fim da escravidão (escravatura, em português europeu), em 1834. Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, cresce o turismo no país.
Lynden Pindling, do Partido Liberal Progressista (PLP), de maioria negra, torna-se primeiro-ministro em 1967, depois das primeiras eleições legislativas no país. Em 1973, as Baamas conquistam a independência. Nas eleições de 1992, o Movimento Nacional Livre (FNM) obtém maioria. Pindling, denunciado por corrupção, é substituído por Hubert Alexander Ingraham na chefia de governo. A vitória do FNM nas eleições de 1997 é atribuída aos resultados econômicos positivos, e ao envolvimento do PLP em escândalos financeiros. A passagem do furacão Floyd pelo país, em 1998 provoca sérios danos e prejudica o turismo.
A maior ilha das Bahamas é a ilha de Andros, no ocidente do arquipélago. A ilha de New Providence, a leste de Andros, é onde se localiza a capital, Nassau, e onde mora cerca de dois terços de toda a população do país. Outras ilhas importantes são a Grande Bahama no norte e Inágua a sul.
A maior parte das ilhas — formações de coral — são relativamente planas, com algumas colinas baixas e arredondadas, a mais alta das quais é o monte Alvernia, na ilha Cat, com 63 m de altitude. O clima local é tropical, moderado pelas águas quentes da corrente do Golfo, com furacões e tempestades tropicais frequentes entre Maio e Outubro.
The Bahamas i/bəˈhɑːməz/, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a country consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean; north of Cuba and Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti); northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands; southeast of the U.S. state of Florida and east of the Florida Keys. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. Geographically, the Bahamas lie near to Cuba, which is part of the Greater Antilles, along with Hispaniola and Jamaica. The designation of "Bahamas" refers to the country and the geographic chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The three West Indies/Caribbean island groupings are: The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. As stated on the mandate/manifesto of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Bahamas territory encompasses 180,000 square miles of ocean space. From the Cay Sal Bank and Cay Lobos (just off of the coast of Cuba) in the west, to San Salvador, the Bahamas is much larger than is recorded in some sources.
Originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.
The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, thousands of American Loyalists, taking their enslaved Africans, moved to the Bahamas, where the Americans set up a plantation economy. After Britain abolished the international slave trade in 1807, the Royal Navy resettled many free Africans liberated from illegal slave ships in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Hundreds of American slaves and Black Seminoles escaped to the islands from Florida, and nearly 500 were freed from American merchant ships in the domestic trade. Slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Today the descendants of slaves and free Africans form the majority of the population; issues related to the slavery years are part of society. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as monarch.
In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada).
Lucayan skull. These Taíno people were the original inhabitants of the Bahamas.
Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century AD, having migrated there from South America. They came to be known as the Lucayan. An estimated 30,000 Lucayan inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus' arrival in 1492. Columbus' first landfall in the New World was on an island named San Salvador (known to the Lucayan as Guanahani), which some researchers believe to be present-day San Salvador Island (also known as Watling's Island), situated in the southeastern Bahamas.
An alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge, based on Columbus's log. Evidence in support of this remains inconclusive. On the landfall island, Columbus made first contact with the Lucayans and exchanged goods with them.
The Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to Hispaniola for use as forced labour; together with suffering from exposure to diseases to which they had no immunity, they suffered high fatalities. The population of the Bahamas was decimated.[dead link] The smallpox that ravaged the Taino Indians after Columbus's arrival wiped out half of the population in what is now the Bahamas.
Historians had long believed that Europeans generally did not begin to colonize the islands until the mid-17th century. However, recent research suggests that there may have been attempts to settle the islands by groups from Spain, France, and Britain, as well as by other Amerindians. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers, led by William Sayle, migrated from Bermuda. These English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. They later settled New Providence, naming it Sayle's Island after one of their leaders. To survive, the settlers salvaged goods from wrecks.
In 1670 King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas, who rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, tax, appointing governors, and administering the country. In 1684 Spanish corsair Juan de Alcon raided the capital, Charles Town (later renamed Nassau). In 1703 a joint Franco-Spanish expedition briefly occupied the Bahamian capital during the War of the Spanish Succession.
Sign at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park commemorating hundreds of African-American slaves who escaped to freedom in the early 1820s in the Bahamas.
During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. To restore orderly government, Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers. After a difficult struggle, he succeeded in suppressing piracy. In 1720, Rogers led local militia to drive off a Spanish attack.
During the American War of Independence, the islands were a target for American naval forces under the command of Commodore Ezekial Hopkins. US Marines occupied the capital of Nassau for a fortnight.
In 1782, following the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau, and the city surrendered without a fight. Spain returned possession of the Bahamas to Britain the following year, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
After American independence, the British resettled some 7,300 Loyalists and their slaves in the Bahamas from New York, Florida, and the Carolinas, to help compensate them for losses. These Loyalists established plantations on several islands and became a political force in the capital. European Americans were outnumbered by the African-American slaves they brought with them, and ethnic Europeans remained a minority in the territory.
In 1807, the British abolished the slave trade. During the following decades, they resettled thousands of Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy, which intercepted the trade, in the Bahamian islands. Slavery was finally abolished in the British Empire on 1 August 1834.
In the 1820s, hundreds of American slaves and Black Seminoles escaped from Cape Florida to the Bahamas, settling mostly on northwest Andros Island, where they developed the village of Red Bays. From eyewitness accounts, 300 escaped in a mass flight in 1823, aided by Bahamians in 27 sloops, with others using canoes for the journey. This was commemorated in 2004 by a large sign at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Some of their descendants continue Black Seminole traditions in basketmaking and grave marking.
The United States' National Park Service, which administers the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, is working with the African Bahamanian Museum and Research Center (ABAC) In Nassau on development to identify Red Bays as a site related to American slaves' search for freedom. The museum has researched and documented the Black Seminoles' escape from southern Florida. It plans to develop interpretive programs at historical sites in Red Bay associated with the period of their settlement in the Bahamas.
In 1818, the Home Office in London had ruled that "any slave brought to the Bahamas from outside the British West Indies would be manumitted." This led to a total of nearly 300 slaves owned by U.S. nationals being freed from 1830 to 1835. The American slave ships Comet and Encomium, used in its domestic coastwise slave trade, had wrecked off Abaco Island in December 1830 and February 1834, respectively. When wreckers took the masters, passengers and slaves into Nassau, customs officers seized the slaves and British colonial officials freed them, over the protests of the Americans. There were 165 slaves on the Comet and 48 on the Encomium. Britain paid an indemnity to the US in those two cases, but only after lengthy delay.
British colonial officials also freed 78 American slaves from the Enterprise, which went into Bermuda in 1835; and 38 from the Hermosa, which wrecked off Abaco island in 1840, after abolition was effective in August 1834. The most notable case was that of the Creole in 1841, the result of a slave revolt whose leaders ordered the American brig to Nassau. It was carrying 135 slaves from Virginia destined for sale in New Orleans. The Bahamian officials freed the 128 slaves who chose to stay in the islands. The Creole case has been described as the "most successful slave revolt in US history".
These incidents, in which a total of 447 slaves belonging to American nationals were freed by 1842, increased tension between the United States and Great Britain, although they had been cooperating in patrols to suppress the international slave trade. Worried about the stability of its domestic slave trade and its value, the US argued that Britain should not treat its domestic ships that came to its colonial ports under duress, as part of the international trade. The US worried that the success of the Creole's slaves in gaining freedom would encourage more slave revolts on merchant ships.
Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor and Governor of the Bahamas from 1940 to 1945.
In August 1940, after his abdication, the Duke of Windsor was installed as Governor of the Bahamas, arriving with his wife, the Duchess. Although disheartened at the condition of Government House, they "tried to make the best of a bad situation." He did not enjoy the position, and referred to the islands as "a third-class British colony".
He opened the small local parliament on 29 October 1940. The couple visited the 'Out Islands' that November, on Axel Wenner-Gren's yacht, which caused some controversy. The British Foreign Office strenuously objected to the trip because they had been advised (mistakenly) by United States intelligence that Wenner-Gren was a close friend of the Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring of Nazi Germany.
The Duke was praised for his efforts to combat poverty on the islands. A 1991 biography by Philip Ziegler described him as contemptuous of the Bahamians and other non-white peoples of the Empire. He was praised for his resolution of civil unrest over low wages in Nassau in June 1942, when there was a "full-scale riot." Ziegler said that the Duke blamed the trouble on "mischief makers – communists" and "men of Central European Jewish descent, who had secured jobs as a pretext for obtaining a deferment of draft".
Geography and climate
The Bahamas from space. NASA Aqua satellite image, 2009
The country lies between latitudes 20° and 28°N, and longitudes 72° and 80°W.
In 1864, the Governor of the Bahamas reported that there were 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 rocks in the colony.
The closest island to the United States is Bimini, which is also known as the gateway to the Bahamas. The island of Abaco is to the east of Grand Bahama. The southeasternmost island is Inagua. The largest island is Andros Island. Other inhabited islands include Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Exuma and Mayaguana. Nassau, capital city of the Bahamas, lies on the island of New Providence.
All the islands are low and flat, with ridges that usually rise no more than 15 to 20 m (49 to 66 ft). The highest point in the country is Mount Alvernia (formerly Como Hill) on Cat Island. It has an altitude of 63 metres (207 ft).
Damaged homes in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
To the southeast, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and three more extensive submarine features called Mouchoir Bank, Silver Bank, and Navidad Bank, are geographically a continuation of the Bahamas, but not part of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
The climate of the Bahamas is subtropical to tropical, and is moderated significantly by the waters of the Gulf Stream, particularly in winter. Conversely, this often proves very dangerous in the summer and autumn, when hurricanes pass near or through the islands. Hurricane Andrew hit the northern islands during the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Floyd hit most of the islands in 1999 and Hurricane Irene traversed the entire length of the archipelago as a major hurricane in 2011.
While there has never been a freeze reported in the Bahamas, the temperature can fall as low as 2–3 °C (35.6–37.4 °F) during Arctic outbreaks that affect nearby Florida. Snow was reported to have mixed with rain in Freeport in January 1977, when it also snowed in the Miami area. The temperature was about 4.5 °C (40.1 °F) at the time.
Referência para busca:
Bahamas caribe américa
Fotos de Bahamas.