The Bahamas are close enough to the state of Florida that you could easily confuse them as another part of the keys. With Cuba being controlled by the US for a long time, it makes sense that the Bahamas are also owned or even a part of the United States.
However, if you said yes to “is the Bahamas part of the United States”, you may be surprised to find out you are wrong. This article gives you more information about the Bahamas, including where the islands are located, and whether they are or ever were part of the US.
About the Bahamas
The Bahamas is considered an archipelago. It is on the northwestern side of the West Indies. It is in a very prominent location, as it sits in the middle of the entrance to Central America, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.
It, unfortunately, has a dark history of lawlessness, piracy, rivalry, struggles with slavery, and Christopher Columbus himself.
There are a total of 700 islands in the Bahamas, but only about 30 are actually inhabited. The islands stretch out over 500 miles. Being comprised of small islands, most of them aren’t very high above sea level. Many are around 20 feet, with the highest area being about 206 feet above sea level.
Interestingly enough, none of the islands have rivers, but there are lakes and plenty of fresh water on most of the islands. The islands were created from a mix of limestone rock and skeletal coral.
Where Is the Bahamas Located in the World?
The Bahamas is part of a group of island nations collectively known as the West Indies located in the Atlantic Ocean and relatively close to the Gulf of Mexico. It is southwest of the US, specifically off the coast of Florida.
What Is Near the Bahamas?
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Because the Bahamas is a part of the Lucayan Archipelago, there are many small islands around the small country. The Bahamas’ most prominent neighbors include Cuba to the south, the US state of Florida to the northwest, as well as the countries of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the islands of Turks and Caicos to the southeast.
Being only about 60 miles from Florida, it makes sense why many people think that the Bahamas is part of the United States. After all, Cuba was part of the US for a while, and that is further from the coast of Florida than the Bahamas is.
Is the Bahamas Part of the US?
No, the Bahamas is not a part of the United States of America, nor is it a part of the US Virgin Islands or the US Minor Outlying Islands. The country has an independent government from any other international body and has had one since 1973.
That being said, King Charles III is the current monarch of the Bahamas because the country is still considered a Commonwealth realm.
Were the Bahamas Ever Part of the US?
Though the Bahamas gained its independence in 1973, it still wasn’t part of the United States. Before it gained its independence, it was a part of British rule. In fact, the Bahamas were under the control of Britain for 325 years before they were able to become a sovereign country.
Despite its closeness to Florida and the United States, it was never part of or controlled by the United States.
What Country Was the Bahamas Owned By?
Before the area was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the country was owned by the native inhabitants known as Lucayans.
After the discovery, Spain took control of and owned the Bahamas almost causing the islands to become completely deserted between the years 1513 and 1648 because they enslaved and transported the natives to Hispaniola.
In 1649, English colonists settled on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera and it wasn’t until 1718 that the Bahamas became an official crown colony of the British Empire.
When Did the Bahamas Become Independent?
The Bahamas finally managed to gain their independence on July 10th, 1973. Independence came pretty peacefully for the small country. The Progressive Liberal Party, led by Lynden Pindling, won two general elections and led the Bahamas to independence on July 10th of 1973 and a new constitution was created.
Britain first welcomed the independence in September of 1972 when the PLP won the election and the final agreement for all 700 islands and 175,000 people came about in London in December of 1972.