Bahamas: Political System
The Bahamas has been a sovereign state and a parliamentary-democratic
monarchy in the Commonwealth since 1973. The formal head of state is therefore
the British Queen or the British King, who is represented by a Governor General.
The traditional closeness to the Anglo-Saxon view of the world and politics is
also reflected in the country's constitution. The parliament, which consists of
the House of Representatives with 40 members and the Senate with 16 seats, is
the legislative power. There is a majority vote like in the former mother
country Great Britain. The governor general appoints nine of the 16 senators at
the suggestion of the prime minister, who must take into account the respective
majorities in the House of Representatives and the opposition, four at the
suggestion of the opposition leader and three by the governor according to his
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
The national anthem of the Bahamas was composed by Timothy Gibson and
introduced in 1973 after independence. In English it reads:
||In the English translation
|March on, Bahamaland
Lift up your head
To the rising sun
BahamalandMarch on to glory
Your bright banners
Waving high.See how the world
marks the manner
Of your bearing!Pledge to excel
Through love and unity.Pressing onward
To a common loftier goal.
Tho 'the weather
Hide the wide and treach' rous shoal.
Lift up your head
To the rising Sun, Bahamaland,
'Till the road you´ve trod
Lead unto your God,
March on Bahamaland.
|Up, up, raise your head
to the rising sun, Bahamaland.Forward towards glory, carrying
your shining banner
high in front of you.See how the world
rewards you for it!Vows to excel
through love and unity.Pushing forward,
marching towards the common
Always facing the sun,
even when the weather obscures
the large, treacherous shallows.
Raise your head
to the rising sun, Bahamaland.
Until the path
you have chosen leads you to your God.
The national flag (national flag) of the Bahamas was adopted on July 10,
1973. Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the colors are interpreted as follows:
- Blue symbolizes the ocean (Caribbean)
- Yellow stands for the beaches
- Black in the form of a triangle stands for unity
Bahamas: Known People
Politicians and rulers
- Georg I Hanover (1660-1727) 1714-1727
- Georg II Hanover (1727-1760) 1683-1760
- George III Hanover (1738-1820) 1760-1820
- George IV Hanover (1762-1830) 1820-1830
- Wilhelm IV Hanover (1765-1837) 1830-1837
- Viktoria I. Hanover (1819-1901)
- Eduard VII Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1841-1910) 1901-1910
- George V (1910-1936) 1864-1936
- Edward VIII (1894-1972) 1936
- George VI. (1895-1952) 1936-1952
- Elizabeth II (1926-) since 1952
- Sir Roland Symonette (1898-1980), first Prime Minister
(United Bahamian Party) from 1964 to 1967
- Lynden O. Pindling (1930-2000), Prime Minister
(Progressive Liberal Party) from 1967 to 1992
- Hubert Ingraham (1947), Prime Minister (Free National
Movement) from 1992 to 2002
- Perry Christie (1943), Prime Minister since May 2002
(Progressive Liberal Party)
Writer and poet
- Ernest Hemingway(1899-1961), American novelist,
reporter, war correspondent, hunter, deep-sea fisherman, big game hunter and
Nobel laureate in literature. He lived in his house on Bimini until his
death in 1961. His book "The Old Man and the Sea" about a hopeless fight
between an old fisherman and a big fish on the high seas is set in the
Caribbean. The book sold five million copies in two days. Hemingway was
honored with the Pulitzer Prize. The Caribbean became home to Hemingway in
the years after World War II.
There are few native mammals in the Bahamas, with most of the larger animals
such as wild asses, wild pigs and horses once brought to the islands.
The largest native mammals are the manatees that can be seen along the Grand
Bahama canals. The animals are also known as manatees, as they graze the
underwater pastures as their main source of food. They are slow, dark brown
animals with a characteristic spatulate caudal fin. The manatees have a small
head with a very bulging upper lip and are short haired. They are diurnal,
sociable, and often live in herds.
Other mammals living here are raccoons, hutias, quite large tree rats, which
look more like a beaver than a rat, and bats, most of which inhabit the cave on
The endangered rock iguanas can be seen in the Exuma Cays National Land & Sea
Park. In general, however, iguanas, lizards, geckos and snakes are relatively
widespread on the islands. You can often see members of the anole family, the
most species-rich group of iguanas. The very slender and often bright green
lizards with a noticeably long tail have particularly intense colors that they
can change depending on the situation. Because they are excellent climbers, they
can mainly be seen on trees and bushes.
The amphibians living here are mainly represented by the very numerous
frogs. The 7-10 cm large cuban tree frog is particularly common, striking for
its sturdy shape and warty skin and, despite its frequent occurrence in the
Bahamas, is on the red list.
The snakes found on the islands are non-poisonous species. These include blind
snakes, the Bahamian dwarf boa (Tripodophis canus), the only 80 cm tall Abaco
island boa (Chilabothrus exsul)
The bimini boa, which is the largest land-living reptile in the Bahamas, is also
one of the most endangered species.
Particularly noteworthy in the Bahamas is the flamingo colony of well over
60,000 birds on the island of Great Inagua in the Inagua National
Park. Flamingos form a family of their own and are mainly found throughout
Africa, western Asia and southern France. The up to 130 cm tall birds are
immediately recognizable by their long and thin neck, by their thin legs and by
their thick, downward-curved pink beak with a black tip.
This is used as a sieve when searching for food. The menu includes worms, algae
and, above all, small crustaceans.
They are also responsible for the pink plumage of the flamingos. The red dye
absorbed with the crabs is stored in the feathers. After all, the more crabs the
birds have eaten, the more pink they are.
The famous one-legged standing is used to store heat, as one leg is hidden in
the warm plumage and thus less heat loss occurs. This feat is not strenuous for
the flamingos (as well as for storks).
There are not nearly as many specimens of any other bird to marvel at, as the
Bahamas Amazon, which breeds in limestone caves on the ground, is now threatened
with extinction. Other species that can be seen especially in Abaco National
Park, one of the most important and lush national parks on the islands, are
hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, pigeons and mockingbirds.
Probably the largest insect in the Bahamas is the big moth, also known as
"Money Bat" or "Bat Moth" (bat moth). According to a legend, it helps those who
land on them to great wealth.
In 2006, individual cases of malaria were recorded for the first time, which
suggests the presence of the anopheles mosquito.
The land crabs, which belong to the arachnids, are quite widespread here.
In the waters around the islands there are hammer and bull sharks as well as
whales, dolphins and seven different species of frogfish as well as a multitude
of tropical fish, whereby the diversity of the underwater fauna can best be
admired near the coral reefs.
There are larger pine forests on the islands of Great Abaco, Great Bahama and
The typical trees of all islands, however, are casuarines, tamarind and plum
There are also the only 1.50 m tall cascarilla trees, cork oaks and various
types of palm.
Hardwoods such as mahogany and ebony can also be found on small areas of some
Interestingly, the black nightshade, despite its toxicity, has many reports
of its food use. However, this is only possible if the berries are fully ripe
and if the plant is particularly old, as the toxicity decreases with increasing
age of the plant. The bark of the cascarilla tree contains essential oils that
are used to flavor alcoholic beverages such as liqueurs and tobacco.
The tea made from the dried leaves of the cascarilla tree is said to help
with fever and diarrhea, as well as to aid digestion and lower blood pressure.
In Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas on the island of New Providence, there
are some poisonous plants, especially those from the nightshade family, such as
the black nightshade and the golden chalice, are represented.
The angel's trumpet, a very poisonous tree-like shrub up to 5 m high, also grows
This plant has softly hairy leaves and flowers between June and January. The
pendulous flowers are up to 25 cm long and can be white, yellow, orange or
red. All parts of the plant are poisonous because they contain tropane
alkaloids. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, flushing of the face, difficulty
swallowing, visual disturbances and heart problems.
The sandbox tree from the Wolfsmich family grows up to 40 m tall, with the most
striking feature being the trunk covered with short, black thorns. Its milky sap
and seeds are poisonous.
The black-brown marbled seeds of the miracle tree, better known as castor, are
used to make castor oil.
In contrast to the seeds, this is completely harmless. The seed coats, however,
contain a highly toxic protein, which can be fatal even in low doses. You can
recognize poisoning by a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, vomiting and
The 15 m tall manzanillo tree, also known as machineel, is one of the most
poisonous trees in the world. It is widespread in the Caribbean and grows mainly
along the beaches, where it is also quite useful for windbreakers and sand
It can be recognized by its grayish bark and the bright green leaves.
It is particularly dangerous to stand under the tree when it rains. Its strong
toxins, which are mainly contained in the milky sap of the tree, lead to the
formation of blisters. It is also dangerous to get the smoke that arises when
the wood is burned in the eyes, as it is very likely to lead to blindness. In
the past, arrowheads were dipped into the juice to ensure greater hunting
success through the poisoning.
Although the savannah is the typical landscape of many of the islands, there
are numerous flowering vascular plants to be admired, of which bougainvilleae,
orchids, bromeliads, jasmine and wild grapes are only a small part.
You can also find hibiscus and oleander here
The tamarind tree originally comes from India, the fruits of which are used
to make fruit purees, sauces and lemonades.