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The Bahamas - History



The Bahamas - History
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10.14

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    colonialists, Expulsis, treasure-seekers, africans, pass-through, commerce, lawless, prohibition, ever-changing, registry, minority, so-called, finding, booming, independence, aground
     content words:    New World, Arawak Indians, Christopher Columbus, San Salvador, Juan Ponce, North America, Some British, Charles Town, North American, Expulsis Piratis


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The Bahamas - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     The story of the Bahamas is a great story of adventure, exploration, British royals, and pirates. But it is also a story of poverty, slavery, crime, and mob rule. Like many neighboring Caribbean nations, and much of the so-called New World, the Bahamas have struggled through centuries of ever-changing rulers, finding successes and failures and perseverance.
 
2     Before anyone from Europe arrived in the "New World," the Lucayans, a group of Arawak Indians that had migrated there in the 9th century, occupied the Bahamas. Unfortunately, not much is known about these natives, since European colonialists wiped out most of the Lucayans' culture and artifacts.
 
3     The Bahamas started to change when Christopher Columbus landed on San Salvador in 1492. Three years later, the Spanish set up colonies in the Bahamian islands and eventually lay waste to the 50,000 Lucayans before abandoning the islands a few years later. The Lucayans, the people who invented the words "canoe," "hammock," "hurricane," and "tobacco," were gone.
 
4     The Bahamas became a pass-through for Spanish explorers and treasure-seekers. The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sailed through the islands looking for the fabled Fountain of Youth, but instead ended up in a swift current that took him to the coast of St. Augustine, Florida. Many ships carrying goods and valuables sank around the Bahamas, so the Bahamas became home to lots of pirates and treasure hunters. In the absence of the Spanish, the British took over the islands.
 
5     The British colonies in the Bahamas gave birth to settlements in North America. Some British citizens sailing between Bahamian islands ran aground and wrecked. Survivors of the shipwreck boarded small rowboats to look for help and found themselves aground in Jamestown, Virginia. These people established the first British colony in North America in 1607.

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