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Nassau History, Bahamas

Nassau is not only the capital and largest city of Bahamas but it is also the centre for tourism.  The city has beautiful beachfronts, structures that represent both the earliest times and the colonial era.  In addition to these, the city has become one of the sought after travel destinations for its tropical climate, dazzling sights and cool nightlife.  But before the city became this famous, it was once an unexplored and quiet area.  Let us look back to a brief history of Nassau so we could fully understand how this city came to be.

Discovery of the Island

The British discovered Nassau during the last years of the 1600’s.  They were enticed to explore then afterwards settle in this sheltered harbor.  This island was named Charlestown, in honor of King Charles II.  However, in 1684, it was burned down by the Spanish.  After it was restored in 1695, Charlestown became Nassau. The new name was given as a tribute to King William III, the successor of the English throne and who was formerly known as the Prince of Orange-Nassau.

Pirate Expulsion

Even before the British arrived in the island, it has already been inhabited by pirates and wreckers, who trapped ships.  These people raid them to steal their goods.  Troops from Spain and France had been struggling with these unlawful people for years but their attempts were put into waste because the pirates kept on re-settling in the island.

When the Great Britain affirmed that the Bahamas Island was part of their colony in 1718, Woodes Rogers, the first governor, built the Fort Nassau.  He brought back law and order in the island.  This started the annihilation and expulsion of pirates from the place.

Revolutionary War and American Civil War

During the Revolutionary War in the 1700’s, many of the British Loyalists chose to relocate in Nassau.  They brought slave from the plantation who they traded but was later intercepted and freed by the Royal Navy.  Nassau became a settlement for freed West Africans.

It was during these times when Nassau began to prosper.  It was heightened during the American Civil War and Nassau became the shipping ground for obstructed goods bound to the United States. 

In the 1940’s, King Edward VIII relinquished his throne, and chose to live in Nassau with his wife. They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  This event started the age of peace and glamour in the island and attracted tourists.


Linda Pindling, a politician and native from the West African Over-the-Hill district of Nassau, established in 1953 the Progressive Liberal Party which aims to liberate the island from England.  Their voices were eventually heard. Now Nassau still has a good relationship with England and remained under the Commonwealth.

The vast number of colonies which reigned in the land brought Nassau to a relevant place in history.  Nowadays, it is enjoying its cognizance in the world.  Its name had flourished with its tourism as one if its major assets.

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  • lindamuraThe best places on the Bahamas
    review by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    Come and enjoy two exotic destinations in the Atlantic. The two Caribbean islands located southeast of the capital city Nassau, named Acklins Island and Crooked Island are a must–see location. So close to each other are they that they are usually mentioned as a single unit. They both are...
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