Early history: Nassau was established around 1670 as a commercial port and overrun by seafaring men. Years after, Nassau was destroyed twice, once by Spanish troops and the other time by French and Spanish navies. Piracy quickly became rampant, a “privateer’s republic” was established in Nassau. When England signed treaties with its enemies, the privateers officially became outlaws. Nassau’s over the hill district was first established as a settlement for liberated West Africans. By the time parliament declared general emancipation in 1834, about three-quarters of the Bahamian population was from West Africa.
Middle history: During the American Civil war, England and Nassau defied the North’s blockade and continued to trade with southern states. Later, during Prohibition, Nassau defied the U.S again and did a lively business smuggling liquor into Southern ports, until President Roosevelt repealed the “unfortunate amendment”. In the 1940s, began a new era of peaceful glamour, attracting an ever-increasing number of visitors, and celebrities to the island.
Recent history: In 1953, young politician Lynden Piddling, formed the progressive Liberal Party, which 20 years later led the nation to vote for independence from England. Despite the independence, the island still retains strong ties to England, choosing to remain within the commonwealth and to declare allegiance to the Queen. Given the Bahamas’s historic and multicultural background, it’s no wonder that Bahamian English is a fascinating mixture of Queen’s diction, African influences and island lingo.