Seeking out ship wrecks, primarily Spanish ship wrecks led
to conflict between the inhabitants and the Spanish, leading to the growth of pirates
in the region and conflicts between the Bahamas-supported
pirates and Spanish. Eventually the Spanish won these battles and burned the two
settlements on the island (New Providence and Eleuthera) in 1684.
In 1686 the islands were again settled by people of the English
crown, this time from Jamaica. Shortly after their arrival,
the pirates (also known as privateers in times of war) made the islands home, partially
by bribing government leadership on the islands. By 1700 the city of Nassau was
a pirate haven, but the French and Spanish
eventually defeated these pirates and the city of Nassau in 1706. This led to the
abandonment of the local government, and hence the further growth of pirates in
Nassau and the island chain as a whole. Nassau became home to more pirates than
settlers and was home to such famous pirates as Blackbeard (Edward Teach) and others.
The outlaw ways in the islands, also known as the "Pirates' Republic,"
came to an end in 1718 when the British government
send warships to the islands and created a government on the islands. The British
offered all pirates a pardon who surrendered themselves; some did so immediately,
while others stood up to fight the British government or fled the region.
During the America Revolutionary War in
the late 1700s the Spanish took the Bahamas,
but at the war's end the British re-took the
islands and allowed American loyalists to settle the island chain. This quickly
escalated the population on the islands and today most of the residents are descendants
of these people or, a larger population is descendants of their slaves.