Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the western North Atlantic Ocean. It is located about 650 miles into the Atlantic off North Carolina. It is often group with the Caribbean ialands, but is in fact well to the north. Given its location, Bermuda is often struck by hurricanes. The island is actually only the largest island where the capital, Hamilton is located. There are some 300 coral islets, motly unihbited. It was well enough off the coast of North America that Native Americans nevere reached it and unlike the Caribbean islands to the south was unihabited when the Europeans arrived. The island is named after its discoverer, Spainard, Juan de Bermüdez (1515). The Spanish did not settle cthe island, in part because of the dangerous reefs. Settlement began when English colonists led by Sir George Somers headed for the North American mainland were ship wrecked (1609). The Bermuda population is primarily Afro-American, but the history is different than tht of the Cribbean because the climate and agricultural capacity did not support sugar plantations. The English settlers did import Africans as well as indentured servants. The absence of plantation agriculture, however, meant that slavery was never as harsh or as extensive as in the Cribbean. Much of the rest of the population is of English and Scotts-Irish ancestry. There are also people of other races and mixed races. The island is a popular vacation destination with pink sand beaches. Banking and tourism are the principal economic activity. Bermuda is noted for smart casual clothing. Most famous of course are Bermuda shorts.
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the western North Atlantic Ocean. It is located about 650 miles into the Atlantic off North Carolina. It is often grouped with the Caribbean ialands, but is in fact well to the north. Bermuda is neither geologically or spatially connected to the Caribbean, some 800 miles to the south. Given its location, Bermuda is often struck by hurricanes. The island is actually only the largest island where the capital, Hamilton is located. There are some 300 coral islets, motly unihabited. Nermuda is a archepelaago of coral islands and islets and rocks. The arechepelago is a rare island in the western Atlantic, located 650 miles (1,050 km) east of Cape Hatteras (North Carolina, U.S.). The archipelago is about 24 miles (40 km) long and averages less than 1 mile (1.6 km) in width. The main islands are clustered close together in the form of a fishhook connected by bridges. The largest island is Main Island, 14 miles (22.5 km) long and 1 mile wide amd is where The capital of Hamilton is located. The islands are volcanic in origin, part of a mountain range rising more than 14,000 feet from the ocean floor. The surface is composed of 200 feet of a coral overlay and a shallow layer of fertile soil. The islands are fringed by coral reefs which are a serious hazzard to shipping.
Bermuda was well enough off the coast of North America that Native Americans nevere reached it and unlike the Caribbean islands to the south was unihabited when the Europeans arrived (1503). The island is named after its discoverer, Spainard, Juan de Bermüdez (1515). The Spanish did not settle the island, in part because of the dangerous reefs. Settlement began when English colonists led by Sir George Somers headed for the North American mainland (Jamestown) were ship wrecked as a result of a hurricane (1609). Only 3 years later, Bermuda became a British territory and contunues to be so to this day. the ship werck inspired Shakespeare to write The Tempest (1611–12). The Bermuda colony was initially administered by the Virginia Company and then its successor, the Company of the Plantation of the Somers Islands. Over time, many immigrants arrived as indentured servantss well as enslaved people. This included shipwrecks and the crews of captured enemy vessels, Native Americans, and Africans transported as part of ythe slsave trade. British courts sold some Irish and Scottish political prisoners into servitude and transported them to Bermuda. The Crown assumed responsibility for Bermuda (1684). The capital was moved from St. George to Hamilton on Main Island (1815). Britiain abolish the slave trade (1807) and then slavery itself in the British Empire (1833). There were promlems with the United Stares. Southern blockade runners used Bermuda as a staging area during the Civil War to break the Union naval blockade (1861-65).
By this time Bermuda began to become a tourist attraction, mostly amomg Americans, by the turn of the 20th century it was of some importance. During the Boer War (1899–1902), 5,000 Boer prisoners of war were hels on Bermuda. on five islands of Bermuda. Captain Fritz Joubert Duquesne escped to New York and vbecame a notorious German spy in both World Wars, organizing the Duquesne Spy Ring.
Another issue with the Americans developed as result of Americam Prohibition (1929-33). Caribbean rum smuggled into the United States. The island was not of any military importabce in World War I because of the limited range of German U-boats. This changed with World War II bcause of the increased rangre of U-boats. Bermuda became an imprtant base providing substantial coverage in the North Atlntic. This was primarily done by the United states after Americ entered the War. The United States acquired a 99-year lease for military bases (1941). As Bermuda was an important way station in the Trans-Atlantic Air Mail route, providing the British the opportunity to descretekly censor mail between America and Europe. The British intercepted are work that the NAZI Gestapo had seized stolen from Jews and were trying to sell in America.
Early English colonists found that Nermuda was economically unviable. There was an attemot to grow tobacco, but it prived of low quality. The primary economic activity becme seafaring and vessel construction and mintenance. There was salt production on Turks Islands which Bermuda conntrolled for a time. The islands' Bermuda cedar (Juniperus bermudiana) trees proved useful for shipbuilding, but the small size of the islandss coulf mot sustaintain a major shipbuilding industry. Bermuda's intrepid mariners diversified their trade to include whaling and privateering. Britain paid little attention to Bermuda (17th and most of the 18th centuries). Britain's focus was on its profitable North American colonies. The American Revolution changed everything (1776-83). The loss of the 13 colonies left Britain without a naval base between Canada and the Caribbean. Bermuda became the headquarters of the Royal Navy West Atlantic Station. The Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda officially replaced the Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax as the British headquarters for the North America and West Indies Station (1818). The Dockyards and other maritime activity became were the major econimic activity. Modern Bermuda is best known for its tourist industry, but it is the service industry tht is the pricipal component of the economy. The major component of the financial industru]y is interntional finsncil srvices. It accounts fpr 85 percent of the GDP. Tourism became important after world war I with the growth of the American economy and improved maritime travel. Booze was an attraction during Ameican prohibition. Even so, tourism generates only 5 percent of the GDP. In terms of employmnt it us much larger. Over 80 percent of the tourists come from the United States. The attractions re beautifil pink sand beaches and duty free shopping. Both financial services and tourism have declined since the 2008-09 recession. Evn so, Brmuda has the highest per capita income in the Americas, largely due to importance of the financial sector. Bermuda imports most of its food and almostall manufactured good.
There are two major ethnic groups on Bermuda, Blacks and Whites. The Bermuda population is more than half Black--some 55 percent, primrily the descendent of former African slaves, some comimg dirctlt nd ome through the West Indies. There were a small number of enslaved Caribbean Amer-Indians. Over 30 percent is white, primarily of British. extraction. Most of the rest is mixed race mulattos. The ethnic history is different than that of the Caribbean because the climate and agricultural capacity did not support sugar plantations. The English settlers did import Africans as well as indentured servants. The absence of plantation agriculture, however, meant that slavery was never as harsh or as extensive as in the Caribbean. Much of the rest of the population is of English and Scotts-Irish ancestry--many brought to Bermuda as convicts or endentured servants. There are also small numbers of people of other races. The population has various origins in Britain (16 percebt), West Indian (15 prercent), Portuguese (9 percent), American (7 percent), and Canadian (5 percent). There was a healthy trade with the British West Indies. The Portunuese began arriving from the Azores (1840s) and became an imprtant in fazrming nd mznnul lbor. We suspct fishing was a fctor, Mny of the mericns andCansadins are reirees.
Bermuda is noted for smart casual clothing. Most famous of course are Bermuda shorts.
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