Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » Caribbean Islands » Islands » Bermuda

The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda is located in the North Atlantic Ocean.It is southeast of the barrier islands of North Carolina. It is an archipelago of 7 main islands and more than 170 small named islets and rocks. Although it is almost always listed as being in the Caribbean, it is too far north to be. It is in North America and is neither geographically, nor geologically in the Caribbean, and it has its own culture, which is entirely different from that of Caribbean islands.

Its type of government is officials a parliamentary dependency under a constitutional monarchy. It capital is Hamilton. Agriculture is almost non-existent, and most food, other than fish, is imported.

he economy is built on tourism and international financial services. It is said that Bermuda was discovered in 1505 by Juan de Bermudez, an explorer from Spain. There was a Spanish explorer by that name, but there is literally nothing written about such a visit, according to historians.

In 1609, Admiral Sir George Somers, was leading a fleet of nine ships headed for the Jamestown Colony in Virginia when they were separated from the other eight ships by a storm. The storm wrecked their ship, the Sea Venture, in a reef. Fortunately, they could see the island from where they were, and the 150 or so stranded sailors and their dog made it to the shores of what would be named Bermuda. Over the next ten months, using Bermuda cedar and parts stripped from the Sea Venture, they built two ships: The Deliverance and the Patience.

When it was time to set sail for the Colonies, Somers claimed the island for Britain and left two volunteers behind so that the British claim would continue. Since that time, it has never been uninhabited. When the Sea Venture landed in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, the colonists found that almost everyone in the colony was dead. Of the 500 settlers who were there only months ago, only 60 had survived, and most of them were in various states of sickness. What little food they had left from their own journey would not last very long at all.

Somers had decided to return with his shipmates to England, but before he could, a fleet of ships arrived carrying food and supplies, so they remained. The food they themselves brought back from Bermuda included a lot of pork from the wild pigs they found there. The pigs had been left there years earlier for passers-through who needed to eat. They came in handy indeed.

In 1612, the Virginia Company of England sent a group of settlers to Bermuda to begin the official English settlement on the island. In 1620, Bermuda became a self-governing colony. The island was named Somers Isles, and although its actual name is Bermuda, Somers is sometimes used as an alternative. Bermuda was known as the Isle of Devils early on because of the frequent storms, the loud shrieking birds, and the coral ring that surrounded it and which caused shipwrecks not infrequently.

Bermuda has no source of fresh water aside from rain. There is a quirk of many old structures there which stems from the need to filter and collect fresh water. That method is the roof. In the houses and other buildings who still use this way to filter and collect water, the rain that falls onto the slanted roof goes through a series of channels and then falls over a bleached limestone surface. Once it makes it through that, it goes into an underground water tank where it awaits thirsty people.

It served as a launching point for British attacks on its colonies during both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It also served as a staging area for Confederate sailors who brought goods in and out of southern ports when it was all but impossible due to the watchful eyes of the Union troops.

Years later, when America outlawed alcohol during the Prohibition from 1919 to 1933, Bermuda was a convenient stopping place for rum-runners, and both Bermuda and the rum-runners made plenty of money from those endeavors. Although Bermuda had a small tourism industry, the tourists to whom they catered were the wealthy and the elite.

In the middle of the 19th century, tourism began to bloom and expand from quite an unexpected source. Middle aged American men began arriving in Bermuda in search of eligible bachelors in the Royal Navy in hopes of finding husbands for their daughters. Once the Bermudian hotel owners realized what was going on, they began organizing dances and get-togethers with the military men. This eventually turned into the tourist industry currently alive in Bermuda.

 

 

Recommended Resources


Search for Bermuda on Google, Bing, or Yahoo!