Bermuda

Bermuda

Overview
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. Located off the east coast of the United States
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

, its nearest landmass
Landmass
A landmass is a contiguous area of land surrounded by ocean. Although it may be most often written as one word to distinguish it from the usage "land mass"—the measure of land area—it is also used as two words.Landmasses include:*supercontinents...

 is Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras is a cape on the coast of North Carolina. It is the point that protrudes the farthest to the southeast along the northeast-to-southwest line of the Atlantic coast of North America...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, about 1030 kilometres (640 mi) to the west-northwest. It is about 1373 kilometres (853.1 mi) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and 1770 kilometres (1,099.8 mi) northeast of Miami, Florida. Its capital city is Hamilton
Hamilton, Bermuda
Hamilton is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is the territory's financial centre and a major port and tourist destination.-Geography:...

.

Bermuda was discovered in 1505 by Spanish navigator Juan de Bermúdez
Juan de Bermudez
Juan de Bermúdez was a Spanish navigator of the 16th century. In 1505, while sailing back to Spain from a provisioning voyage to Hispaniola in the ship La Garça , he discovered Bermuda, which was later named after him. Legatio Babylonica, published in 1511 by Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, lists "La...

 (who claimed to find the island inhabited only by pigs) after whom the islands are named, who claimed it for the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

.
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Encyclopedia
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. Located off the east coast of the United States
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

, its nearest landmass
Landmass
A landmass is a contiguous area of land surrounded by ocean. Although it may be most often written as one word to distinguish it from the usage "land mass"—the measure of land area—it is also used as two words.Landmasses include:*supercontinents...

 is Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras is a cape on the coast of North Carolina. It is the point that protrudes the farthest to the southeast along the northeast-to-southwest line of the Atlantic coast of North America...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, about 1030 kilometres (640 mi) to the west-northwest. It is about 1373 kilometres (853.1 mi) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and 1770 kilometres (1,099.8 mi) northeast of Miami, Florida. Its capital city is Hamilton
Hamilton, Bermuda
Hamilton is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is the territory's financial centre and a major port and tourist destination.-Geography:...

.

Bermuda was discovered in 1505 by Spanish navigator Juan de Bermúdez
Juan de Bermudez
Juan de Bermúdez was a Spanish navigator of the 16th century. In 1505, while sailing back to Spain from a provisioning voyage to Hispaniola in the ship La Garça , he discovered Bermuda, which was later named after him. Legatio Babylonica, published in 1511 by Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, lists "La...

 (who claimed to find the island inhabited only by pigs) after whom the islands are named, who claimed it for the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. Unoccupied, the island was settled by Britain in 1609, making it the oldest and most populous remaining British overseas territory. Its first capital, St George's
St. George's, Bermuda
St. George's , located on the island and within the parish of the same names, was the first permanent settlement on the islands of Bermuda, and is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia. However, St...

, was established in 1612 and is the oldest continuously inhabited British town in the Americas.

Bermuda has an affluent economy, with off-shore finance
Finance
"Finance" is often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created...

 as its largest sector followed by tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

. In 2005, Bermuda claimed to have the world's highest GDP per capita, yet these statistics are hard to verify as Bermuda is not classified as a country but rather as a territory of the U.K. It has a subtropical
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

 climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

. Bermuda makes up the easternmost point of the so-called "Bermuda Triangle
Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and surface vessels allegedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances....

," a region of sea in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels have allegedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Geography




Bermuda is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, near the western edge of the Sargasso Sea
Sargasso Sea
The Sargasso Sea is a region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ocean currents. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. This...

, roughly 580 nautical miles (1070 km, 670 mi) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
The Outer Banks is a 200-mile long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, beginning in the southeastern corner of Virginia Beach on the east coast of the United States....

 of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and roughly 590 nautical miles (1100 km, 690 mi) southeast of Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard is an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, known for being an affluent summer colony....

. The island lies due east of Fripp Island, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. It has 103 km (64 mi) of coastline. There are two incorporated
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 municipalities in Bermuda: the City of Hamilton
Hamilton, Bermuda
Hamilton is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is the territory's financial centre and a major port and tourist destination.-Geography:...

 and the Town of St George. Bermuda is divided into various "parishes," in which there are some localities called "villages," such as Flatts Village
Flatts Village, Bermuda
Flatts Village is a small settlement in Bermuda, lying on the southern bank of Flatt's Inlet in Hamilton Parish, almost exactly between the territory's two incorporated municipalities, Hamilton and St. George's.-History:...

 and Somerset Village.

Although usually referred to in the singular, the territory consists of 181 islands, with a total area of 53.3 square kilometres (20.6 sq mi). The largest island, Main Island, sometimes itself called Bermuda. Compiling a list of the islands is often complicated, as many have more than one name (as does the entire archipelago, which has also been known historically as La Garza, Virgineola, and the Isle of Devils. 'Somers Isles' is often rendered 'Somers Islands', or mistaken for 'Summer Isles'). Despite its small land mass, there has been a tendency for place names to be repeated; there are, for example, two islands named Long Island, and St George's Town
St. George's, Bermuda
St. George's , located on the island and within the parish of the same names, was the first permanent settlement on the islands of Bermuda, and is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia. However, St...

is located on St George's Island
St. George's Island, Bermuda
St. George's Island is one of the main islands of the territory of Bermuda. It lies in the northeast of the territory. It is divided between the town of St. George's and St. George's Parish...

within St George's Parish
St. George's Parish, Bermuda
St. George's Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named after the founder of the Bermuda colony, Admiral Sir George Somers.It is located in the north-easternmost part of the island chain, containing a small part of the main island around Tucker's Town and the Tucker's Town...

(each known as St George's).

Climate



Bermuda has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 on the border of tropical climate
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

. It's warmed by the nearby Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

, due to the westerlies
Westerlies
The Westerlies, anti-trades, or Prevailing Westerlies, are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude, blowing from the high pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the poles. These prevailing winds blow from the west to the east, and steer extratropical...

, which carry warm, humid air eastwards over Bermuda, helping to keep winter temperatures above freezing. The climate is humid and, as a result, the summertime heat index can be high, even though mid-August temperatures rarely exceed 30 °C (86 °F). Winters are mild, with average daytime temperatures in January and February around 20 °C (68 °F), although cold front
Cold front
A cold front is defined as the leading edge of a cooler mass of air, replacing a warmer mass of air.-Development of cold front:The cooler and denser air wedges under the less-dense warmer air, lifting it...

s bring Arctic air mass
Air mass
In meteorology, an air mass is a volume of air defined by its temperature and water vapor content. Air masses cover many hundreds or thousands of square miles, and adopt the characteristics of the surface below them. They are classified according to latitude and their continental or maritime...

es that can result in rapid temperature drops. Atlantic winter storms, often associated with these cold fronts, can produce powerful, gusting winds and heavy rain. Factoring in the wind chill
Wind chill
Wind chill is the felt air temperature on exposed skin due to wind. The wind chill temperature is always lower than the air temperature, and the windchill is undefined at the higher temps...

, the felt air temperature
Felt air temperature
Felt air temperature is a quantitative measure that indicates the amount of heat the human body loses outdoors in a given time and place....

 in winter can fall below freezing, 0 °C (32 °F), even though the actual temperature rarely drops below 10 °C (50 °F). The lowest temperature recorded between 1949 and 1999 was 6.7 °C (44.0 °F), in February 1950.

Bermuda is very susceptible to hurricanes
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

. Its position along the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

 means that it is often directly in the path of hurricanes recurving in the westerlies
Westerlies
The Westerlies, anti-trades, or Prevailing Westerlies, are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude, blowing from the high pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the poles. These prevailing winds blow from the west to the east, and steer extratropical...

, although they have usually begun to weaken as they approach the island. It is often affected by these hurricanes, although the island's small size means that direct landfalls
Landfall (meteorology)
Landfall is the event of a tropical cyclone or a waterspout coming onto land after being over water. When a waterspout makes landfall it is reclassified as a tornado, which can then cause damage inland...

 are rare. The last hurricane to cause significant damage to Bermuda was category 3
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

 Hurricane Fabian
Hurricane Fabian
Hurricane Fabian was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that hit Bermuda in early September during the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. Fabian, the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and first major hurricane of the season, developed from a tropical wave in the tropical Atlantic Ocean on August 25...

 on 5 September 2003.

The only source of fresh water in Bermuda is rainfall, which is collected on roofs and catchments (or drawn from underground lenses) and stored in tanks. Each dwelling usually has at least one of these tanks forming part of its foundation.

Flora and fauna



When discovered, Bermuda was dominated by forests of the Bermuda cedar (Juniperus bermudiana)
Juniperus bermudiana
Juniperus bermudiana is a species of juniper endemic to Bermuda. This species is most commonly known as Bermuda cedar although, like most "cedars" it is not a true cedar ; a more botanically accurate name would be Bermuda juniper, but this term is extremely rare.It is an evergreen tree growing up...

, with mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

 swamps along its shores. Only 165 of the island's current 1000 vascular plant
Vascular plant
Vascular plants are those plants that have lignified tissues for conducting water, minerals, and photosynthetic products through the plant. Vascular plants include the clubmosses, Equisetum, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms...

 species are considered native
Indigenous (ecology)
In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

, and of those 15, including the cedar, are endemic.

The only indigenous mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s of Bermuda are five species of bats, all of which also occur in the eastern United States—Lasionycteris noctivagans, Lasiurus borealis, Lasiurus cinereus, Lasiurus seminolus, and Perimyotis subflavus. Other commonly known fauna of Bermuda includes its national bird, the Bermuda Petrel
Bermuda Petrel
The Bermuda Petrel, Pterodroma cahow, is a gadfly petrel. Commonly known in Bermuda as the Cahow, a name derived from its eerie cries, this nocturnal ground-nesting seabird is the national bird of Bermuda, and a symbol of hope for nature conservation. It was thought extinct for 330 years...

, and the Bermuda Rock Skink
Bermuda Rock Skink
The Bermuda Rock Skink or Rock Lizard is the only endemic terrestrial vertebrate animal of the Bermudas...

. The skink was long thought to have been the only indigenous land vertebrate of Bermuda, discounting the marine turtles that lay their eggs on its beaches. It has recently been discovered, however, that a species of terrapin, which had been assumed to have been introduced, predated the arrival of humans on the archipelago. As this species spends most of its time in brackish ponds, there is some question as to whether it negates the skink's claim to be the only indigenous land vertebrate.

Pre-settlement


Bermuda was discovered in 1505 by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez
Juan de Bermudez
Juan de Bermúdez was a Spanish navigator of the 16th century. In 1505, while sailing back to Spain from a provisioning voyage to Hispaniola in the ship La Garça , he discovered Bermuda, which was later named after him. Legatio Babylonica, published in 1511 by Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, lists "La...

. It is mentioned in Legatio Babylonica, published in 1511 by historian Pedro Mártir de Anglería, and was also included on Spanish charts of that year. Both Spanish and Portuguese ships used the islands as a replenishment spot for fresh meat and water, but legends of spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

s and devils, now thought to have stemmed only from the callings of raucous birds (most likely the Bermuda Petrel
Bermuda Petrel
The Bermuda Petrel, Pterodroma cahow, is a gadfly petrel. Commonly known in Bermuda as the Cahow, a name derived from its eerie cries, this nocturnal ground-nesting seabird is the national bird of Bermuda, and a symbol of hope for nature conservation. It was thought extinct for 330 years...

, or Cahow), also the loud noise heard at night from wild hogs and of perpetual, storm-wracked conditions (most early visitors arrived under such conditions) and a surrounding ring of treacherous reefs, kept them from attempting any permanent settlement on the Isle of Devils.

Settlement by the English



For the next century, the island is believed to have been visited frequently but not permanently settled. The first two English colonies in Virginia had failed, and a more determined effort was initiated by King James I of England
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 (James VI of Scotland), who granted a Royal Charter to the Virginia Company
Virginia Company
The Virginia Company refers collectively to a pair of English joint stock companies chartered by James I on 10 April1606 with the purposes of establishing settlements on the coast of North America...

. In 1609, a flotilla
Flotilla
A flotilla , or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. A flotilla is usually composed of a homogeneous group of the same class of warship, such as frigates, destroyers, torpedo boats, submarines, gunboats, or minesweepers...

 of ships left England under the Company's Admiral, Sir George Somers
George Somers
This article is about the English naval hero. For the American football player, see George Somers Admiral Sir George Somers was an English naval hero. Born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, the son of John Somers, his first fame came as part of an expedition led by Sir Amyas Preston against the Spanish...

, and the new Governor of Jamestown, Sir Thomas Gates
Thomas Gates (governor)
Sir Thomas Gates , followed George Percy as governor of Jamestown, the English colony of Virginia . Percy, through inept leadership, was responsible for the lives lost during the period called the Starving Time...

, to relieve the colony of Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

, settled two years before. Somers had previous experience sailing with both Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 and Sir Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England....

. The flotilla was broken up by a storm, and the flagship, the Sea Venture
Sea Venture
The Sea Venture was a 17th-century English sailing ship, the wrecking of which in Bermuda is widely thought to have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest...

, was wrecked off Bermuda (as depicted on the territory's coat of arms
Coat of arms of Bermuda
The coat of arms of Bermuda depicts a red lion holding a shield that has a depiction of a wrecked ship upon it. The red lion is a symbol of England and alludes to Bermuda’s relationship with that country. The wrecked ship is the Sea Venture, the flagship of the Virginia Company...

), leaving the survivors in possession of a new territory. (William Shakespeare's play The Tempest is thought to have been inspired by William Strachey
William Strachey
William Strachey was an English writer whose works are among the primary sources for the early history of the English colonisation of North America...

's account of this shipwreck.) The island was claimed for the English Crown, and the charter of the Virginia Company was extended to include it.

Most of the survivors of the Sea Venture had carried on to Jamestown in 1610 aboard two Bermuda-built ships. Among them was John Rolfe
John Rolfe
John Rolfe was one of the early English settlers of North America. He is credited with the first successful cultivation of tobacco as an export crop in the Colony of Virginia and is known as the husband of Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Confederacy.In 1961, the Jamestown...

, who left a wife (Sarah Hacker) and child buried in Bermuda, but in Jamestown, married Pocahontas
Pocahontas
Pocahontas was a Virginia Indian notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. She was the daughter of Chief Powhatan, the head of a network of tributary tribal nations in Tidewater Virginia...

, a daughter of Powhatan
Chief Powhatan
Chief Powhatan , whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh , was the paramount chief of Tsenacommacah, an alliance of Algonquian-speaking Virginia Indians in the Tidewater region of Virginia at the time English settlers landed at Jamestown in 1607...

. Intentional settlement of Bermuda began with the arrival of the Plough, in 1612.
St George's was settled in 1612 and made Bermuda's first capital. It is the oldest continually inhabited English town in the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

.

In 1615, the colony was passed to a new company, the Somers Isles Company
Somers Isles Company
The Somers Isles Company was formed in 1615 to operate the English colony of the Somers Isles, also known as Bermuda, as a commercial venture. It held a royal charter for Bermuda until 1684, when it was dissolved, and the Crown assumed responsibility for the administration of Bermuda as a royal...

 (The Somers Isles remains an official name for the colony, named after Admiral Somers, just as Gate's Bay and Fort Gates are named after Sir Thomas Gates), formed by the same shareholders. The close ties with Virginia were commemorated even after Bermuda's separation by reference to the archipelago in many Virginian place names, such as Bermuda City, and Bermuda Hundred
Bermuda Hundred, Virginia
Bermuda Hundred was the first incorporated town in the English colony of Virginia. It was founded by Sir Thomas Dale in 1613, six years after Jamestown. At the southwestern edge of the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers opposite City Point, annexed to Hopewell, Virginia in 1923, ...

. The first British coins in America were struck here.

Company colony


Because of its limited land area, Bermuda has had difficulty with over-population. In the first two centuries of settlement it relied on steady human emigration to keep the population manageable. It is often claimed that, before the American Revolution more than ten thousand Bermudians (over half of the population) emigrated, primarily to the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, where Great Britain was displacing Spain as the dominant European imperial power. A steady trickle of outward migration continued. With seafaring being the only real industry, by the end of the 18th century at least a third of the island's manpower was at sea at any one time.

The archipelago's limited land area and resources led to the creation of what may be the earliest conservation laws of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. In 1616 and 1620 acts were passed banning the hunting of certain birds and young tortoises.

In 1649, the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 raged and King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 was beheaded in Whitehall, London. The execution resulted in the outbreak of a Bermudian civil war; it was ended by militias. This created a strong sense of devotion to the crown for the majority of colonists and it forced those who did not swear allegiance, such as Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

s and independents, into exile in the Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

.

In the 17th century the Somers Isles Company suppressed shipbuilding, as it needed Bermudians to farm in order to generate income from the land. Agricultural production met with only limited success, however. The Bermuda cedar boxes used to ship tobacco to England were reportedly worth more than their contents. The colony of Virginia far surpassed Bermuda in both quality and quantity of tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 produced. Bermudians began to turn to maritime trades relatively early in the 17th century, but the Somers Isles Company used all its authority to suppress turning away from agriculture. This interference led to the islanders demanding, and receiving, the revocation of the Company's charter in 1684; the Company itself being dissolved.

Maritime economy


After the dissolution of the Somers Isle Company, Bermudians rapidly abandoned agriculture for shipbuilding, replanting farmland with the native juniper (Juniperus bermudiana
Juniperus bermudiana
Juniperus bermudiana is a species of juniper endemic to Bermuda. This species is most commonly known as Bermuda cedar although, like most "cedars" it is not a true cedar ; a more botanically accurate name would be Bermuda juniper, but this term is extremely rare.It is an evergreen tree growing up...

, called Bermuda cedar) trees that grew thickly over the whole island. Establishing effective control over the Turks Islands, Bermudians deforested their landscape to begin the salt trade that became the world's largest and remained the cornerstone of Bermuda's economy for the next century.
Bermudian sailors relied on more than salt, however. They vigorously pursued whaling, privateering, and the merchant trade. Vessels sailed the normal shipping routes, but were required to engage an enemy vessel no matter the size or strength, and as a result many ships were destroyed.
The Bermuda sloop
Bermuda sloop
The Bermuda sloop is a type of fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel developed on the islands of Bermuda in the 17th century. In its purest form, it is single-masted, although ships with such rigging were built with as many as three masts, which are then referred to as schooners...

 became highly regarded for speed and maneuverability. The Bermuda sloop , one of the fastest vessels in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, brought the news of the victory at Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

 and the death of Admiral Nelson back to England.

Fortress Bermuda



After the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 began improving the harbours and in 1811 started building the large dockyard
Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda
HMD Bermuda was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War. Bermuda had occupied a useful position astride the homeward leg taken by many European vessels from the New World since before its settlement by England in 1609...

 on Ireland Island
Ireland Island, Bermuda
Ireland Island is the northwesternmost island in the chain which comprises Bermuda. It forms a long finger of land pointing northeastwards from the main island, the last link in a chain which also includes Boaz Island and Somerset Island. It lies within Sandys Parish, and forms the northwestern...

, in the west of the chain, to serve as its principal naval base guarding the western Atlantic Ocean shipping lanes. During the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 between Britain and the United States, the British attacks on Washington, D.C. and the Chesapeake
Burning of Washington
The Burning of Washington was an armed conflict during the War of 1812 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America. On August 24, 1814, led by General Robert Ross, a British force occupied Washington, D.C. and set fire to many public buildings following...

 (which prompted the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships...

) were planned and launched from Bermuda where the headquarters of the Royal Navy's 'North American Station' had recently been moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It was here that the British soldiers assembled before being sent to attack Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 and Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. In 1816, James Arnold, the son of Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold V was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces...

, fortified Bermuda's Royal Naval Dockyard against possible U.S. attacks. Today, the "Maritime Museum" occupies the Keep
Keep
A keep is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the...

 of the Royal Naval Dockyard, including the Commissioner's House, and exhibits artefacts of the base's military history.

As a result of Bermuda's proximity to the southeastern U.S. coast, it was regularly used by Confederate States blockade runners during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 to evade Union naval vessels and bring desperately needed war goods to the South from England. The old Globe Hotel in St George's, which was a centre of intrigue for Confederate agents, is preserved as a museum open to the public.

Economic and political development


In the early 20th century, as modern transport and communication systems developed, Bermuda became a popular destination for wealthy American, Canadian and British tourists arriving by frequent steamship service. In addition, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
The Tariff Act of 1930, otherwise known as the Smoot–Hawley Tariff was an act, sponsored by United States Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley, and signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels.The overall level tariffs...

 enacted by the United States against its trading partners in 1930, cut off Bermuda's once-thriving agricultural export trade (primarily lilies and fresh vegetables to the U.S.), spurring the overseas territory to develop its tourist industry.

After several failed attempts, in 1930 the first aeroplane reached Bermuda. A Stinson Detroiter
Stinson Detroiter
|-See also:...

 seaplane flying from New York, it had to land in the ocean once because of darkness and then again to refuel. Navigation and weather forecasting improved in 1933 when the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 established a station at Bermuda and operated float planes from the harbour in coordination with the British fleet. In 1936 Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. was a German airline, serving as flag carrier of the country during the later years of the Weimar Republic and throughout the Third Reich.-1920s:Deutsche Luft Hansa was founded on 6 January 1926 in Berlin...

 began to experiment with seaplane flights from Berlin via the Azores with continuation to New York City. In the late 1930s, Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but especially the Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East...

 and Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 began operating scheduled flying-boat airline services from New York and Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 to Darrell's Island, Bermuda
Darrell's Island, Bermuda
Darrell's Island is a small island within the Great Sound of Bermuda. It lies in the southeast of the sound, and is in the north of Warwick Parish. it is owned by the Bermuda Government....

. In 1948, regularly scheduled commercial airline service by land-based aeroplanes began to Kindley Field
Kindley Air Force Base
Kindley Air Force Base was a United States Air Force base in Bermuda from 1948–1970, having been operated from 1943 to 1948 by the United States Army Air Force as Kindley Field.-World War II:...

 (now L.F. Wade International Airport), helping tourism to reach its peak in the 1960s–1970s. By the end of the 20th century, international business had supplanted tourism as the dominant sector of Bermuda's economy (see Economy of Bermuda).



The Royal Naval Dockyard, and the attendant military garrison continued to be an important component of Bermuda's economy until the mid-20th century. In addition to considerable building work, the armed forces needed to source food and other materials from local vendors. Beginning in World War II, U.S. military installations also were located in Bermuda (see "Military" section, below, and Military of Bermuda
Military of Bermuda
The defence of Bermuda remains the responsibility of the National Government, rather than of the Bermudian Government, which is effectively a local authority. Despite this, the Bermuda Government was historically responsible for maintaining Militia for the defence of the Colony...

).

Universal adult suffrage and the development of a two-party political system occurred in the 1960s. Before universal suffrage, adopted as part of Bermuda's Constitution in 1967, voting was based on property ownership (see "Politics" section, below, and Politics of Bermuda
Politics of Bermuda
Bermuda is a parliamentary representative democratic dependency. The Premier is the head of government, and there is a multi-party system.Bermuda is the oldest self-governing British Overseas Territory and has a great degree of internal autonomy. Its parliament held its first session in 1620,...

). On 10 March 1973, then-Governor of Bermuda Richard Sharples
Richard Sharples
Major Sir Richard Christopher Sharples KCMG OBE MC , St. George, Bermuda) was a British politician and Governor of Bermuda from late 1972 to 10 March 1973 when he was shot dead by assassins linked to the militant Black Beret Cadre, a small Bermudian Black Power group.-Career:Sharples passed out...

 was assassinated by local Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

 militants during a period of civil unrest in the 1970s.

Parishes and municipalities



Bermuda is divided into nine parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

es and two municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

.

Bermuda's nine parishes:
  • Devonshire
    Devonshire Parish, Bermuda
    -Location:It is located in the centre of the territory, close to the junction between the main part of the main island and the peninsula containing the capital, Hamilton, and Pembroke Parish . To the northeast, it is joined to Smith's Parish, and to the southwest it borders Paget Parish. As with...

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
    Hamilton Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It was renamed for Scottish aristocrat James Hamilton, 2nd Marquess of Hamilton when he purchased the shares originally held in the Virginia Company by Lucy, Countess of Bedford.It is located in the northwest of the island chain, and is...

  • Paget
    Paget Parish, Bermuda
    Paget Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named for William Paget, 4th Baron Paget de Beaudesert .The parish is located in the central south of the island chain, immediately south of Hamilton Harbor on the main island. It is joined to Warwick Parish in the southwest, and Devonshire...

  • Pembroke
    Pembroke Parish, Bermuda
    Pembroke Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named after English aristocrat William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke ....

  • St George's
    St. George's Parish, Bermuda
    St. George's Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named after the founder of the Bermuda colony, Admiral Sir George Somers.It is located in the north-easternmost part of the island chain, containing a small part of the main island around Tucker's Town and the Tucker's Town...

  • Sandys
    Sandys Parish, Bermuda
    Sandys Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named for English aristocrat Sir Edwin Sandys , and hence there is no apostrophe in the name, which is pronounced "Sands"....

  • Smith's
    Smith's Parish, Bermuda
    Smith's Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named for English aristocrat Sir Thomas Smith/Smythe .-Description:...

  • Southampton
    Southampton Parish, Bermuda
    Southampton Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named for Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton .It is located in the southwest of the island chain, occupying all of the western part of the main island, except for the westernmost tip...

  • Warwick
    Warwick Parish, Bermuda
    Warwick Parish is one of the nine parishes of Bermuda. It is named for Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick .It is located in the central south of the island chain, occupying part of the main island to the southeast of the Great Sound, the large expanse of water which dominates the geography of western...


Bermuda's two incorporated municipalities:
  • Hamilton
    Hamilton, Bermuda
    Hamilton is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is the territory's financial centre and a major port and tourist destination.-Geography:...

     (city)
  • St George
    St. George's, Bermuda
    St. George's , located on the island and within the parish of the same names, was the first permanent settlement on the islands of Bermuda, and is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia. However, St...

     (town)


Bermuda's two informal villages:
  • Flatts Village
    Flatts Village, Bermuda
    Flatts Village is a small settlement in Bermuda, lying on the southern bank of Flatt's Inlet in Hamilton Parish, almost exactly between the territory's two incorporated municipalities, Hamilton and St. George's.-History:...

  • Somerset Village


Despite their names, Jones Village (in Warwick), Cashew City (St. George's), Claytown (Hamilton), Middle Town (Pembroke) and Tucker's Town (St. George's) are merely neighborhoods; Dandy Town and North Village are sports clubs and Harbour View Village is a small public housing
Public housing
Public housing is a form of housing tenure in which the property is owned by a government authority, which may be central or local. Social housing is an umbrella term referring to rental housing which may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organizations, or by a combination of the...

 development.

Politics



Executive authority in Bermuda is vested in the monarch
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor
Governor of Bermuda
The Governor of Bermuda is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Bermuda. The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government...

. The governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. The current governor is Sir Richard Hugh Turton Gozney KCMG CVO
Richard Gozney
Sir Richard Hugh Turton Gozney KCMG CVO KStJ is a British career diplomat. He has been Governor and Commander in Chief of Bermuda since 12 December 2007.-Background and education:...

; he was sworn in on 12 December 2007. There is also a Deputy Governor (currently David ArkleyJP
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

). Defence and foreign affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom, which also retains responsibility to ensure good government. It must approve any changes to the Constitution of Bermuda. Bermuda now exists as an overseas territory of Britain, but it is the oldest British colony. In 1620, a Royal Assent granted Bermuda limited self-governance, thus making the Parliament of Bermuda
Parliament of Bermuda
Parliament has two chambers. Originally, there was only one, the House of Assembly, which held its first session in 1620, making Bermuda's Parliament amongst the World's oldest legislatures. An appointed Privy Council originally performed roles similar to that of an upper house, and of a cabinet...

 the fifth oldest in the world, behind only the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, the Tynwald
Tynwald
The Tynwald , or more formally, the High Court of Tynwald is the legislature of the Isle of Man. It is claimed to be the oldest continuous parliamentary body in the world, consisting of the directly elected House of Keys and the indirectly chosen Legislative Council.The Houses sit jointly, for...

 of the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

, the Althing
Althing
The Alþingi, anglicised variously as Althing or Althingi, is the national parliament of Iceland. The Althingi is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world still extant...

 of Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 and Sejm of the Republic of Poland. Of these, it is the only one to have met continuously as a legislature since its inception through to today.
The Constitution of Bermuda came into force on 1 June 1967 and was amended in 1989 and 2003. The head of government is the premier. A cabinet is nominated by the premier and appointed officially by the governor. The legislative branch consists of a bicameral parliament modelled on the Westminster system
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

. The Senate
Senate of Bermuda
The Senate is one of two parts of the Parliament of Bermuda, the other being the House of Assembly. Both are overseen by the Governor. The Senate is the Upper House of the Parliament, and serves as a House of Review....

 is the upper house consisting of 11 members appointed by the governor on the advice of the premier and the leader of the opposition. The House of Assembly
House of Assembly of Bermuda
The House of Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of Bermuda. The house has 36 members, each elected for a five year term in a single seat constituencies....

, or lower house, has 36 members elected by the eligible voting populace in secret ballot to represent geographically defined constituencies. Elections
Elections in Bermuda
Elections in Bermuda have been taking place since 1968. Bermuda elects on territorial level a legislature. Parliament has two chambers. The House of Assembly has 36 members, elected for a five year term in single seat constituencies...

 must be called at no more than five-year intervals. The Progressive Labour Party
Progressive Labour Party (Bermuda)
The Progressive Labour Party is a political party in Bermuda. It has been in power since 1998, winning subsequent elections in 2003 and 2007.- Formation :...

 won the most recent general election held on 18 December 2007, winning 22 of 36 seats in the House of Assembly.

Following her victory at the Progressive Labour Party delegates' conference in October 2010, the current premier is Paula Cox
Paula Cox
Paula Cox is the current Premier of Bermuda, and leader of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party . The Hon. Paula A. Cox JP, MP was elected as Leader of the Progressive Labour Party on Thursday, 28 October 2010...

. The One Bermuda Alliance
One Bermuda Alliance
The One Bermuda Alliance is a political party in Bermuda. It is a result of a May 2011 merger of most members of Bermuda's two main opposition parties, the United Bermuda Party and the Bermuda Democratic Alliance. - History :...

 serves in opposition
Opposition (politics)
In politics, the opposition comprises one or more political parties or other organized groups that are opposed to the government , party or group in political control of a city, region, state or country...

.
The Progressive Labour Party leadership favours independence from the United Kingdom, although polls have indicated that this is not supported by the population. While a referendum in 1995 on independence was defeated by a substantial margin, the Bermuda Industrial Union
Bermuda Industrial Union
The Bermuda Industrial Union is a general trade union in Bermuda. It was founded in 1946 and has a membership of 4200.The BIU is affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation, and Public Services International....

 and the Progressive Labour Party (then in the Opposition) had called for a boycott of the referendum, having an unquantified impact on the result.

There are few accredited diplomats in Bermuda. The United States maintains the largest diplomatic mission in Bermuda, comprising both the United States Consulate and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

 Services at the L.F. Wade International Airport. The current U.S. Consul General is Grace Shelton, who replaced Gregory W. Slayton
Gregory W. Slayton
Gregory Winston Slayton is an American author, diplomat, professor, businessman, and philanthropist.Born in Ohio, Slayton now resides in Hanover, New Hampshire with his wife and children. His next book "Be A Better Dad Today!" is being published by Regal Publishing for Father's Day 2011...

 as the U.S. Chief of Mission in Bermuda in August 2009. Given that the United States is by far Bermuda's largest trading partner (providing over 71% of total imports, 85% of tourist visitors, and an estimated $163 billion of U.S. capital in the Bermuda insurance/re-insurance industry alone, and the fact that an estimated 5% of Bermuda residents are U.S. citizens, which represents 14% of all foreign-born persons), American diplomatic presence is seen as an important element in the Bermuda political landscape.

A General Election
General election
In a parliamentary political system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.The term...

 must be held in Bermuda every five years. Following the PLP's re-election in 2007, the next election must be held no later than 2012.

Role in international relations


As a British Overseas Territory, Bermuda has no seat in the United Nations and is represented by Britain in matters of foreign affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

. To promote its economic interests abroad Bermuda maintains representative offices in key influential cities such as London and Washington D.C..

Bermuda's proximity to the United States has made it the site of past summit conferences between British Prime Ministers and U.S. Presidents. The first summit was held in December 1953, at the insistence of Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, to discuss relations with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. Participants at the conference included Churchill, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 and French Premier Joseph Laniel
Joseph Laniel
Joseph Laniel was a French conservative politician of the Fourth Republic, who served as Prime Minister for a year from 1953 to 1954. During the middle of his tenure as Prime Minister Laniel was an unsuccessful candidate for the French Presidency, a post won by René Coty...

. In 1957, a second summit conference was held; this time British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963....

 arrived earlier than President Eisenhower, to make it clear that they were meeting on British territory, as tensions were still high regarding the previous year's conflict over the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

. It was said the two discussed the general situation of the world. Macmillan returned in 1961 for the third summit with President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, who was familiar with Bermuda, having made numerous personal visits. The meeting was called to discuss Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 tensions arising from construction of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

. The most recent summit conference in Bermuda between the two powers occurred in 1990, when British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher met U.S. President George Bush.

Direct meetings between the President of the United States and the Premier of Bermuda have been rare. The most recent meeting was on 23 June 2008, between Premier Ewart Brown
Ewart Brown
Ewart Frederick Brown, Jr. was Premier of Bermuda and leader of the Progressive Labour Party from 2006 and 2010. He served as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Warwick South Central for 17 years until his retirement from politics in October 2010.Brown was elected leader of the ruling...

 and President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. Prior to this, the leaders of Bermuda and the United States had not met at the White House since a 1996 meeting between Premier David Saul and President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

.

Asylum offered to four former Guantánamo detainees



On 11 June 2009, four Uyghurs
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

 who had been held in extrajudicial detention
Extrajudicial detention
Arbitrary or extrajudicial detention is the detention of individuals by a state, without ever laying formal charges against them.Although it has a long history of legitimate use in wartime , detention without charge, sometimes in secret, has been one of the hallmarks of totalitarian states...

 in the United States Guantánamo Bay detention camp, in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 were deported to Bermuda.
The four men were among 22 Uyghurs who claimed to be refugees, who were captured in 2001 in Pakistan after fleeing the American aerial bombardment of Afghanistan. They were suspected of training to assist Taliban's military. They were cleared as safe for release from Guantánamo in 2005 or 2006. But U.S. domestic law prohibited deporting them back to China, their country of citizenship, because the U.S. government determined that China was likely to abuse their human rights.

In September 2008 the men were cleared of all suspicion, and Judge Ricardo Urbina in Washington ordered their release. However domestic opposition to their admittance to the United States was very strong, and, until Bermuda and Palau
Palau
Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

 agreed to accept them in June 2009, the U.S. had failed to find a home for them.

The secret bilateral discussions that led to prisoner transfers between the U.S. and the devolved Bermuda government sparked diplomatic ire from the United Kingdom, which was not consulted on the move despite Bermuda being a British territory. The British Foreign Office issued the following statement: "We've underlined to the Bermuda Government that they should have consulted with the United Kingdom as to whether this falls within their competence or is a security issue, for which the Bermuda Government do not have delegated responsibility. We have made clear to the Bermuda Government the need for a security assessment, which we are now helping them to carry out, and we will decide on further steps as appropriate."

Caribbean Community


Despite its location well north of the Caribbean, Bermuda became an associate member of the Caribbean Community
Caribbean Community
The Caribbean Community is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy...

 (CARICOM) in 2003 . This is a socio-economic bloc of nations in the Caribbean, or near the Caribbean—such as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, the Republic of Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, and Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

 in Central America as full members. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the Caribbean, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre.The Turks and...

 which are in the Atlantic Ocean as Associate members of CARICOM, and the same goes for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 which is a full member of the Caribbean Community and also in the Atlantic. Among scholars, “the Caribbean” can be a socio-historical category, commonly referring to a cultural zone characterised by the legacy of slavery and the plantation system. It embraces the islands and parts of the adjoining mainland—and may be extended to include the Caribbean Diaspora overseas.

Armed forces


Once known as the Gibraltar of the West, the defence of Bermuda remains the responsibility of the British government. After the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, Bermuda became the Royal Navy's Western Atlantic headquarters, before which the Bermuda government had maintained militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 for the defence of the colony. Once the Royal Navy established a base and dockyard defended by regular soldiers, however, these militias became superfluous and were disbanded following the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. At the end of the 19th century, the colony did raise volunteer units
Bermuda Volunteer/Territorial Army Units 1895-1965
The Volunteer Army units raised in Bermuda were created as part of an Imperial military garrison that existed primarily to protect the Royal Naval base, centred about the HM Dockyard on Ireland Island....

 to form a reserve for the military garrison.

Due to its strategic location in the North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda was vital to the Allies' war effort during both world war
World war
A world war is a war affecting the majority of the world's most powerful and populous nations. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters....

s of the 20th century, serving as a marshalling point for trans-Atlantic convoys, as well as a naval and air base (during the Second World War).

In May 1940, the U.S. requested base rights in Bermuda from the United Kingdom, but British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 was initially unwilling to accede to the American request without getting something in return. In September 1940, as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement
Destroyers for Bases Agreement
The Destroyers for Bases Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom, September 2, 1940, transferred fifty mothballed destroyers from the United States Navy in exchange for land rights on British possessions...

, the United Kingdom granted the U.S. base rights in Bermuda. Bermuda and Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 were not originally included in the agreement, but both were added to it, with no war material received in exchange. However, one of the terms of the agreement was that the airfield the U.S. Army built would be used jointly by the U.S. and the U.K. (which it was for the duration of the war, with RAF Transport Command relocating there from Darrell's Island
Royal Air Force, Bermuda, 1939-1945
The Royal Air Force operated from two locations in Bermuda during the Second World War. Bermuda's location had made it an important naval station since US independence, and, with the advent of the aeroplane, had made it as important to trans-Atlantic aviation in the decades before the Jet Age...

 in 1943). Construction began in 1941 of two airbases consisting of 5.8 km² (2¼ sq mi, 1,400 acres) of land, largely reclaimed from the sea. For many years, Bermuda's bases were used by U.S. Air Force transport and refuelling aircraft and by U.S. Navy aircraft patrolling the Atlantic for enemy submarines, first German
German Navy
The German Navy is the navy of Germany and is part of the unified Bundeswehr .The German Navy traces its roots back to the Imperial Fleet of the revolutionary era of 1848 – 52 and more directly to the Prussian Navy, which later evolved into the Northern German Federal Navy...

 and, later, Soviet
Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...

. The principal installation, Kindley Air Force Base
Kindley Air Force Base
Kindley Air Force Base was a United States Air Force base in Bermuda from 1948–1970, having been operated from 1943 to 1948 by the United States Army Air Force as Kindley Field.-World War II:...

 on the eastern coast, was transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1970 and redesignated Naval Air Station Bermuda
Naval Air Station Bermuda
Naval Air Station Bermuda , was located on St. David's Island, Bermuda from 1970 to 1995, on the former site of Kindley Air Force Base...

. As a naval air station, the base continued to host both transient and deployed USN and USAF aircraft, as well as transitioning or deployed Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 aircraft.

The original NAS Bermuda on the west side of the island, a seaplane base until the mid-1960s, became the Naval Air Station Bermuda Annex and provided optional anchorage and/or dockage facilities for transiting U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and NATO vessels, depending on size.. An additional U.S. Navy compound known as Naval Facility Bermuda (NAVFAC Bermuda), a SOSUS
SOSUS
SOSUS, an acronym for Sound Surveillance System, is a chain of underwater listening posts across the northern Atlantic Ocean near Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom — the GIUK gap. It was originally operated by the United States Navy for tracking Soviet submarines, which had to pass...

 station, was located to the west of the Annex near a Canadian Forces communications facility. Although leased for 99 years, U.S. forces withdrew in 1995, as part of the wave of base closures following the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

Canada, which had operated a war-time naval base, HMCS Somers Isles
HMCS Somers Isles
HMCS Somers Isles was a temporary training facility for the Royal Canadian Navy in Bermuda from 1944 to 1945.The base was located at Convict's Bay, St. George's Parish...

, on the old Royal Navy base at Convict Bay, St George's, also established a radio-listening post at Daniel's Head, in the West End of the islands during this time.

In the 1950s, after the end of World War II, the Royal Naval dockyard and the military garrison were closed. A small Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 supply base, HMS Malabar, continued to operate within the dockyard area, supporting transiting Royal Navy ships and submarines until it, too, was closed in 1995, along with the American and Canadian bases.

In both World War I and World War II, Bermudians served in the British armed forces. Amongst the latter was Major-General Glyn Charles Anglim Gilbert
Glyn Gilbert
Major-General Glyn Charles Anglim Gilbert CB MC was a 20th century British military officer who served during World War II...

, Bermuda's highest ranking soldier. After the war, he was instrumental in developing the Bermuda Regiment. A number of other Bermudians and children of Bermudians had preceded him into senior ranks, including Bahamian-born Admiral Lord Gambier
James Gambier, 1st Baron Gambier
Admiral of the Fleet James Gambier, 1st Baron Gambier GCB was an admiral of the Royal Navy, who served as Governor of Newfoundland, and as a Lord of the Admiralty, but who gained notoriety for his actions at the Battle of the Basque Roads.-Early career:Gambier was born in New Providence, The...

, and Bermudian-born Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 Brigadier Harvey, who, when promoted to that rank at age 39, following his wounding at the Anzio landings, became the youngest-ever Royal Marine Brigadier. The Cenotaph
Cenotaph
A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion...

 in front of the Cabinet Building (in Hamilton) was erected in tribute to Bermuda's Great War dead (the tribute was later extended to Bermuda's Second World War dead) and is the site of the annual Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 commemoration.

Today, the only military unit remaining in Bermuda is the Bermuda Regiment
Bermuda Regiment
The Bermuda Regiment is the home defence unit of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is a single territorial infantry battalion that was formed by the amalgamation in 1965 of two originally voluntary units, the all white Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and the mostly black Bermuda Militia...

, an amalgam of the voluntary units originally formed toward the end of the 19th century. Although the Regiment's predecessors were voluntary units, the modern body is formed primarily by conscription in which balloted males are required to serve for three years, two months part time, once they turn 18.

Economy



Since switching from the Bermudian pound in 1970, Bermuda's currency has been the Bermudian dollar, which is pegged
Fixed exchange rate
A fixed exchange rate, sometimes called a pegged exchange rate, is a type of exchange rate regime wherein a currency's value is matched to the value of another single currency or to a basket of other currencies, or to another measure of value, such as gold.A fixed exchange rate is usually used to...

 to the US dollar. US notes and coins are used interchangeably with Bermudian notes and coins within the islands for most practical purposes; however, banks levy a small exchange rate for the purchase of US dollars with Bermudian dollars. Bermudian notes carry the image of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Bermuda Monetary Authority is the issuing authority for all banknotes and coins, as well as being responsible for the regulation of financial institutions. There is a permanent exhibition of Bermuda notes and coins at the Royal Naval Dockyard Museum.

According to the Bermuda Government's Economic Statistics Division, Bermuda's GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 was $5.85 billion in 2007, or $91,477 per-capita, giving Bermuda the highest GDP per capita in the world. According to the Bermuda Stock Exchange in 2009 Bermuda the median per capita income is much lower as these statistics represent a small number of high earners and its "public debt ratios still compare quite favourably with those of €˜AA' peers".

The affordability of housing has become a prominent issue over the past few years. The CIA World Factbook lists the average cost of a house in June 2003 as $976,000, while real estate agencies have claimed that this figure had risen to $1.6 million by 2006 but has significantly been devalued since the financial crisis as large percentage of foreigners have left Bermuda for Switzerland as well as other tax havens, and to $1.845 million by early 2007, though such high figures have been disputed.

Bermuda is an offshore financial centre
Offshore financial centre
An offshore financial centre , though not precisely defined, is usually a small, low-tax jurisdiction specializing in providing corporate and commercial services to non-resident offshore companies, and for the investment of offshore funds....

, which results from its low direct taxation on personal or corporate income. The local tax system is based upon import duties, payroll taxes and consumption tax
Consumption tax
A consumption tax is a tax on spending on goods and services. The tax base of such a tax is the money spent on consumption. Consumption taxes are usually indirect, such as a sales tax or a value added tax...

es. The legal system is derived from that of the United Kingdom, with recourse to English courts of final appeal. However, foreign private individuals cannot easily open bank accounts or subscribe to mobile phone or internet service.

As the offshore domicile of many foreign companies, Bermuda has a highly developed international business economy; it is a financial export
Financial export
A financial export is a business service provided by a domestic firm to a foreign firm within the scope of financial services...

er of financial services, primarily insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

, reinsurance
Reinsurance
Reinsurance is insurance that is purchased by an insurance company from another insurance company as a means of risk management...

, investment funds and special purpose vehicles (SPV). Finance and international business now constitute the largest sector of Bermuda's economy. However in September 2009, it was reported that a growing number of companies were moving from Bermuda to Ireland as part of a search for "a more stable environment".
Large numbers of leading international insurance companies are based in Bermuda, making the territory one of the world's largest reinsurance centres. Those internationally owned and operated businesses that are physically based in Bermuda—of which there are around four hundred—are represented by the Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC). In total, over 1,500 exempted or international companies are currently registered with the Registrar of Companies
Registrar of Companies
The Registrar of Companies for England, Wales & Scotland is the official responsible for Companies House, which deals with all filings relating to the Companies Act 1985 to 2006, ensuring the document filings are kept up-to-date and deals with any breaches of the Companies Act.The Registrar Of...

 in Bermuda.

Thanks to its favourable tax regime and a highly reactive regulatory framework Bermuda is the domicile of choice for the implementation of insurance-related innovative solutions also known as Alternative Risk Transfer
Alternative Risk Transfer
Alternative Risk Transfer is the use of techniques other than traditional insurance and reinsurance to provide risk bearing entities with coverage or protection...

 (ART). ART includes captive insurance
Captive insurance
Captive insurance companies are insurance companies established with the specific objective of financing risks emanating from their parent group or groups, but they sometimes also insure risks of the group's customers as well...

s, Finite Risk insurance
Finite Risk insurance
Finite risk insurance is the term applied within the insurance industry to describe an alternative risk transfer product that is typically a multi-year insurance contract where the insurer bears limited underwriting, credit, investment and timing risk. The assessment of risk is often conservative...

 and insurance securitisation such as Cat bonds.

The Bermuda Stock Exchange
Bermuda Stock Exchange
The Bermuda Stock Exchange , established in 1971, is currently the world’s leading fully electronic offshore securities market. The 2010 BSX 'Year End Review' report stated that the exchange's aggregate market capitalization stood at $USD319 billion.A breakdown of the securities listed on the BSX...

 (BSX), established in 1971, is now the world's largest fully electronic offshore securities market, with a current market capitalisation (excluding mutual funds) in excess of US$330 billion. There are four hundred securities listed on the stock exchange, of which almost three hundred are offshore funds and alternative investment structures attracted by Bermuda's regulatory environment. The Exchange specialises in listing and trading of capital market instruments such as equities, debt issues, funds (including hedge fund structures) and depository receipt programmes.

The BSX is a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges
World Federation of Exchanges
The World Federation of Exchanges , formerly FIBV - Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs , is an international organization for securities and derivative markets such as stock exchanges....

 and is located in an OECD member nation. It also has Approved Stock Exchange status under Australia's Foreign Investment Fund (FIF) taxation rules and Designated Investment Exchange status by the UK's Financial Services Authority.

Tourism is Bermuda's second largest industry, with the island attracting over one-half million visitors annually, of whom more than 80% are from the United States. Other significant sources of visitors are from Canada and the United Kingdom. Tourists arrive either by cruise ship or by air at L.F. Wade International Airport, the only airport on the island.

Education


The Bermuda Education Act 1996 requires that only three categories of schools can operate in the Bermuda Education system:
  • aided school, has all or a part of its property vested in a body of trustees or board of governors and is partially maintained by public funding or, since 1965 and the desegregation of schools, has received a grant-in-aid out of public funds.

  • maintained school, has the whole of its property belonging to the Government and is fully maintained by public funds.

  • private school, not maintained by public funds and has not, since 1965 and the desegregation of schools, received any capital grant-in-aid out of public funds. The private school sector consists of 6 traditional private schools, two of which are religious schools, and the remaining four are secular with one of these being a single gender school and another a Montessori school
    Montessori method
    Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. Montessori education is practiced in an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old.-Overview:...

    . Also, within the private sector there are a number of home schools which must be registered with the government and receive minimal government regulation. The only boys’ school opened its doors to girls in the 1990s and in 1996, one of the maintained public schools became a private school.


Prior to 1965, the Bermuda school system was racially segregated and when the desegregation of schools was enacted in 1965, two of the formally maintained "white" schools and both single-sex schools opted to become private schools. The rest became part of the public school system and were either aided or maintained.

At present there are 26 schools in the Bermuda Public School System, 18 of which are primary schools, five are middle schools, two senior schools and one special school. There is also an Alternative Programme provided for students with behavioural challenges who cannot function in the public mainstream. There are two aided primary schools, two aided middle schools and one aided senior school.

For higher education, the Bermuda College
Bermuda College
Bermuda College is a community college in Paget Parish, Bermuda. The only post-secondary educational institution in Bermuda, Bermuda College offers a variety of academic, technical and professional courses in the Divisions of Applied Science & Technology, Business Administration & Hospitality,...

 offers various associate degrees and other certificate programmes. Bermuda does not have any four-year colleges or universities.

In May 2009, Bermudian Government's application was approved to become a contributory member of the University of the West Indies
University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies , is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica,...

 (UWI). Bermuda's membership is slated to allow Bermudian students to enter the University at an agreed upon subsidised rate possibly as early as the 2009/2010 school year. UWI also agrees that their Open Campus (online degree courses) would become open to Bermudian students in the future, with Bermuda becoming the 13th country to have access to the Open Campus.

Main sights



Bermuda's pink sand beaches and clear, cerulean
Cerulean
Cerulean, also spelled caerulean, may be applied to a range of colors from deep blue, sky-blue, bright blue or azure color through greenish blue colors.The first recorded use of cerulean as a color name in English was in 1590...

 blue ocean waters are popular with tourists and many of Bermuda's hotels are located along the south shore of the island. In addition to its beaches, there are a number of sightseeing attractions. Historic St George's is a designated World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Scuba
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

 divers can explore numerous wrecks
Shipwreck
A shipwreck is what remains of a ship that has wrecked, either sunk or beached. Whatever the cause, a sunken ship or a wrecked ship is a physical example of the event: this explains why the two concepts are often overlapping in English....

 and coral reefs in relatively shallow water (typically 30–40 ft (9.1–12.2 ) in depth) with virtually unlimited visibility. Many nearby reefs are readily accessible from shore by snorkellers, especially at Church Bay
Church Bay, Bermuda
Church Bay is perhaps the most popular snorkelling beach in Bermuda. It is located in Church Bay Park off South Road in Southampton Parish on the main island. The reef is close to the shore and many colorful fish gather along it.-External links:...

.

Bermuda's most popular visitor attraction is the Royal Naval Dockyard, which includes the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Other attractions include the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is a facility located in Flatts Village, Bermuda, about 700 miles East of the United States and at the geographic center of Bermuda...

, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the Botanical Gardens, lighthouses, and the Crystal Caves with its impressive stalactites and underground saltwater pools.

It is not possible to rent a car on the island; however, visitors can hire scooters
Scooter (motorcycle)
A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier...

 for use as private transport, or use public transport.

Arts and culture



Bermuda's culture is a mixture of the various sources of its population, though little trace remains of the various African slaves, Spanish-Caribbean, Irish, or Scots cultures evident in the 17th century, with Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 culture becoming dominant. Today, the only language other than English that is spoken by any substantial part of the population is Portuguese, following one hundred and sixty years of immigration from Portuguese Atlantic islands (primarily the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

, though also from Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

 and the Cape Verde Islands). There are strong British influences, together with Afro-Caribbean
African diaspora
The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

. A second wave of immigration from the West Indies was sustained throughout the 20th century, although, unlike the Africans who immigrated to that area as indentured servants (or who were imported as slaves) in the 17th century, the more recent arrivals have mostly come from English speaking countries (albeit, most of the West Indian islands whose populations now speak English were then part of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

). This new infusion of West Indians has both accelerated social and political change, and diversified Bermuda's culture. West Indian musicians introduced Calypso music
Calypso music
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago from African and European roots. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of enslaved Africans, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song...

 when Bermuda's tourist industry was expanded with the increase of visitors brought by post Second World War aviation. While Calypso music appealed more to the visitors than to the locals, Reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 has been embraced since the 1970s with the influx of Jamaican immigration.

Bermuda's early literary history was largely limited to non-Bermudian writers commenting on the island. These included John Smith's The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles
The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles
The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles is a book written by Captain John Smith, first published in 1624. The book is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, histories of the territory administered by the Virginia Company....

 (1624), and Edmund Waller
Edmund Waller
Edmund Waller, FRS was an English poet and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1624 and 1679.- Early life :...

's poem, Battle of the Summer Islands (1645).

In the 20th century, a large number of books were written and published locally, though few were aimed at a wider market than Bermuda (most of these being scholarly reference books, rather than creative writing). One Bermudian novelist, Brian Burland, has achieved a degree of success and acclaim internationally, although the first (and undoubtedly the most important, historically) notable book credited to a Bermudian was the History of Mary Prince, a slave narrative by a Bermudian woman, Mary Prince
Mary Prince
Mary Prince was a Bermudian woman, born into slavery in Brackish Pond, now known as Devonshire Marsh, in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. Her autobiography, 'The History of Mary Prince', was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the United Kingdom...

, which helped to end slavery in the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. Bermuda's proximity to the United States means that many aspects of US culture are reflected or incorporated into Bermudian culture. Many non-Bermudian writers have also made Bermuda their home, or have had homes here, including A.J. Cronin and F. Van Wyck Mason
F. Van Wyck Mason
Francis Van Wyck Mason was an American historian and novelist. He had a long and prolific career as a writer spanning 50 years and including 78 published novels, many of which were best sellers and well received.- Life :Van Wyck Mason was born to a patrician Boston family which traced its roots...

, who wrote on Bermudian subjects.

Bermuda has produced, or been home, to actors (such as Earl Cameron
Earl Cameron (actor)
Earl Cameron, CBE is a Bermudian actor. He is known as one of the first black actors to break the "colour bar" in the United Kingdom, along with Cy Grant...

, Diana Dill
Diana Dill
Diana Love Dill is a Bermudian actress, active in the U.S., who has also appeared professionally under the names Diana Douglas and Diana Douglas Darrid.-Personal life:...

, Lena Headey
Lena Headey
Lena Headey is an English actress. Headey's performance in a one-off show when she was 17 caught the attention of a casting agent, who took a photo and asked her to audition and eventually she got a supporting role alongside Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke in the 1992 British drama film Waterland and...

, Will Kempe
Will Kempe (actor)
Will Kempe is a film and television actor. Born and raised on the island of Bermuda, Kempe was later educated in England...

, and most famously, Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards; first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the...

 and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones, CBE, is a British actress. She began her career on stage at an early age. After starring in a number of United Kingdom and United States television films and small roles in films, she came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as the 1998 action film The Mask of...

).

music
Music of Bermuda
The music of Bermuda is often treated as part of the Caribbean music area. Its musical output includes pop singer Heather Nova while Collie Buddz have also gained international success with reggae hits in the US and the UK....

 and dance are important in Bermuda. Noted musicians have included local icons The Talbot Brothers
The Talbot Brothers of Bermuda
The Talbot Brothers were a musical group based in Bermuda that were among the most popular calypso performers of the 1950s. They were brothers Archie , Austin , Bryan, a.k.a. "Dick" , Ross, a.k.a...

, who performed for many decades in both Bermuda and The United States (and appearing on Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan
Edward Vincent "Ed" Sullivan was an American entertainment writer and television host, best known as the presenter of the TV variety show The Ed Sullivan Show. The show was broadcast from 1948 to 1971 , which made it one of the longest-running variety shows in U.S...

's televised variety show), jazz pianist Lance Hayward
Lance Hayward
Lance Hayward, a jazz pianist, was born in Bermuda in 1916, where he lived until he moved to New York City at the age of 50. Blind since infancy, he received formal training in classical piano and was a self-taught jazz musician, eventually becoming one of Bermuda's best-known jazz artists...

, singer-songwriter Heather Nova
Heather Nova
Heather Nova, is a Bermudian singer-songwriter and poet. She has released eight full-length albums and has found lasting success in Germany where two of her albums South and Storm have made their way into the Top-5 of German official album chart.-Biography:Heather Nova was born in Bermuda...

, tenor
Tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

 Gary Burgess, classical musician and conductor Kenneth Amis
Kenneth Amis
Kenneth Amis is the tuba player with the Empire Brass. He is also the assistant conductor of the MIT Wind Ensemble, a group he has been involved with since its creation in 1999. In addition, as of 2005, Amis is an Affiliated Artist of MIT....

 and more recently dancehall artist Collie Buddz
Collie Buddz
Collie Buddz is a Bermudian reggae and dancehall artist best known for his single "Come Around". Although born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he was raised in Bermuda. He performed on Shaggy's 2007 album Intoxication on the track "Mad Mad World". In 2008, he performed the song "SOS" on WWE The Music,...

.

The dances of the colourful Gombey
Gombey
The Gombey is an iconic symbol of Bermuda, this folklife tradition reflecting the island’s blend of African, Native American, Caribbean and British cultures, incorporating them over time into a unique performance art full of colorful and intricate masquerade, dance and drumming.Dancers are usually...

 Dancers
, seen at many events, are heavily influenced by African, Caribbean, Native American and British cultural traditions.

In 1979, Gina Swainson was crowned "Miss World
Miss World
The Miss World pageant is the oldest surviving major international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951...

".

Every year Bermuda hosts an international film festival, which shows many independent films. One of the festival's founders is film producer and director Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Arthur Rankin, Jr. is an American-born, Bermudian director, producer and writer, mostly working in animation.The son of actor , in the early 1960s he founded the film production company Videocraft International with Jules Bass...

, co-founder of the Rankin/Bass
Rankin/Bass
Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc. , also known as Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment, was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop-motion animation. The pre-1974 library is currently owned by Classic Media,while the post-1974 library is...

 production company.

Bermuda water colours painted by local artists are sold at various galleries and elaborately hand-carved cedar sculptures are another speciality. One such 7 ft (2.1 m) sculpture created by Bermudian artisan Chesley Trott is on display at the airport's baggage claim area. Local artwork may also be viewed at several galleries around the island. Alfred Birdsey was one of the more famous and talented water colourists, his impressionistic landscapes of Hamilton
Hamilton, Bermuda
Hamilton is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is the territory's financial centre and a major port and tourist destination.-Geography:...

, St George's
St. George's, Bermuda
St. George's , located on the island and within the parish of the same names, was the first permanent settlement on the islands of Bermuda, and is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia. However, St...

 and the surrounding sailboats, homes, and bays of Bermuda are world-renowned.

Every Good Friday, Bermudians of all ages build kites, usually of a traditional Bermudian type, which are flown to symbolise Christ's ascent. A Bermudian kite
Bermuda kite
A Bermuda kite is a kite made using traditional, geometric designs, quite colorful, and is an art form as much as a recreational tool. They are traditionally flown in Bermuda only at Easter. The kites are typically hexagonal, though larger examples, particularly, may be octagonal, or have even more...

 is made to geometric designs, quite colourful, and is an art form as much as a recreational tool. Despite this, Bermudian kites are very airworthy, holding world records for altitude and duration of flight.

Sports


Bermuda's national cricket team participated in the Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies. Their most famous player is a 130 kilograms (286.6 lb) police officer named Dwayne Leverock
Dwayne Leverock
Russell Dwayne Mark Leverock is a former Bermudian cricketer.Known as 'Sluggo' and living above a curry house in Bermuda, Leverock is a policeman and also drives a prison van. At the 2007 Cricket World Cup he was the largest player to grace the pitch, weighing in at 20 stone...

. Bermuda's team holds the world record for conceding the highest number of runs
Run (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, a run is the basic unit of scoring. Runs are scored by a batsman, and the aggregate of the scores of a team's batsmen constitutes the team's score. A batsman scoring 50 or 100 runs , or any higher multiple of 50 runs, is considered a particular achievement...

 ever in the history of the World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

. They conceded 413 runs in a 50 overs, one-day international, game against India. Also very well known is David Hemp
David Hemp
David Lloyd Hemp is a Bermudian cricketer. He is a left-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler, he has domestic cricket for Glamorgan, Free State and Warwickshire. David has a younger brother, Tim, who has previously played for Glamorgan's second eleven. He has also played List A and...

, who is a former captain of Glamorgan
Glamorgan County Cricket Club
Glamorgan County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Glamorgan aka Glamorganshire . Glamorgan CCC is the only Welsh first-class cricket club. Glamorgan CCC have won the English County...

 in English first class cricket. The annual "Cup Match" cricket tournament between rival parishes St George's in the east and Somerset in the west is the occasion for a popular national holiday.

Bermuda has large amount of golf courses of which some were maintained by Uighur's refugees from Guantinamo Bay. In 2007 Bermuda hosted the 25th PGA Grand Slam of Golf
PGA Grand Slam of Golf
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is an annual off-season golf tournament contested by the year's winners of the four major championships of regular men's golf, which are the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship , and the PGA Championship...

. This 36-hole event was held on 16–17 October 2007, at the Mid Ocean Club
Mid Ocean Club
The Mid Ocean Club is a private 6,520 yard, 18-hole golf course in Tucker's Town, Bermuda. Designed by Charles Blair Macdonald in 1921, it was modified to its current design in 1953 by Robert Trent Jones. It is consistently placed highly among world courses and is ranked 45th by Golf Digest for...

 in Tucker's Town. This season ending tournament is between only four golfers – the winners of the Masters, U.S. Open
U.S. Open (golf)
The United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is the annual open golf tournament of the United States. It is the second of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour...

, British Open
The Open Championship
The Open Championship, or simply The Open , is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It is the only "major" held outside the USA and is administered by The R&A, which is the governing body of golf outside the USA and Mexico...

 and PGA Championship
PGA Championship
The PGA Championship is an annual golf tournament conducted by the PGA of America as part of the PGA Tour. It is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, and is the golf season's final major, usually played in mid-August, customarily four weeks after The Open Championship...

. The event returned to Bermuda again in 2008 and 2009. Bermudian Quinn Talbot was once the World one-armed golf champion.

The Government announced in 2006 that it will provide substantial financial support to Bermuda's cricket and football
Bermuda national football team
The Bermuda national football team is the national team of Bermuda and is controlled by the Bermuda Football Association. A member of CONCACAF, it is not among its strongest teams....

 teams. Bermuda's most prominent footballers include Clyde Best
Clyde Best
Clyde Cyril Best MBE is a Bermudian former football player who most notably played as a striker for West Ham United, and was one of the first black players in British football...

, Shaun Goater
Shaun Goater
Leonard Shaun Goater MBE is a Bermudian footballer who played as a striker for a number of English clubs in the 1990s and 2000s...

, Reggie Lambe
Reggie Lambe
Reginald Thompson-Lambe , more commonly known as Reggie Lambe, is a Bermudian professional footballer who is currently a free agent after being released by Ipswich Town...

, Sam Nusum
Sam Nusum
Sam Nusum is a retired soccer player from Bermuda who played at both professional and international levels as a goalkeeper.-Career:...

 and Ralph Bean
Ralph Bean (footballer)
Ralph Bean is a Bermudian international footballer who plays club football for North Village Community Club, as a midfielder.-External links:...

. In 2006, the Bermuda Hogges
Bermuda Hogges
Bermuda Hogges is a Bermudian soccer team based in Hamilton, Bermuda. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the USL Premier Development League , the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Mid Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference....

 were formed as the nation's first professional football team in order to raise the standard of play for the Bermuda national football team. The team plays in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division.

Sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, and equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 sports are popular with both residents and visitors alike. The prestigious Newport–Bermuda Yacht Race
Bermuda Race
The Bermuda Race, or Newport Bermuda Race, is a biennial yacht race from Newport, Rhode Island to the island of Bermuda, a distance of 635 nautical miles across open ocean. The first Bermuda Race started in 1906 from Gravesend Bay, N.Y. with three entries. The race was held several times in the...

 is a more than 100-year old tradition. In 2007, the 16th biennial Marion
Marion, Massachusetts
Marion is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 5,123 at the 2000 census.For geographic and demographic information on the village of Marion Center, please see the article Marion Center, Massachusetts.-History:...

-Bermuda yacht race occurred. A sport unique to Bermuda is racing the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy
Bermuda Fitted Dinghy
The Bermuda Fitted Dinghy is a type of racing-dedicated sail boat used for competitions between the yacht clubs of Bermuda. Although the class has only existed for about 130 years, the boats are a continuance of a tradition of boat and ship design in Bermuda that stretches back to the earliest...

. International One Design
International One Design
The International One Design is a class of sail boat developed for yacht racing. It is a 33-foot open cockpit day sailer used for day racing, rather than for overnight, or ocean races, such as the Newport–Bermuda Yacht Race...

 racing also originated in Bermuda.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics
Bermuda at the 2004 Summer Olympics
-Athletics:Men's 100 metres* Xavier James*Round 1 — 10.40 -Diving:Women's 3m Springboard* Katura Horton-Perinchief *Preliminary — 203.58 pts -Equestrian:Individual Eventing...

, Bermuda competed in sailing, athletics, swimming, diving, triathlon and equestrian events. In those Olympics, Bermuda's Katura Horton-Perinchief made history by becoming the first black female diver to compete in the Olympic Games. Bermuda has had one Olympic medallist, Clarence Hill
Clarence Hill (boxer)
Clarence Hill is a retired Bermudian boxer. At the 1976 Summer Olympics he won the Heavyweight bronze medal. He is Bermuda's first and so far only Olympic medallist.-Olympic results:*1st round bye*Defeated Parviz Badpa KO 3...

, who won a bronze medal in boxing. Bermuda also competed in Men's Skeleton
Skeleton (sport)
Skeleton is a fast winter sliding sport in which an individual person rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down, during which athletes experience forces up to 5g. It originated in St. Moritz, Switzerland as a spin-off from the popular British sport of Cresta Sledding...

 at the 2006 Winter Olympics
2006 Winter Olympics
The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Turin, Italy from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. This marked the second time Italy hosted the Olympic Winter Games, the first being the VII Olympic Winter...

 in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, Italy. Patrick Singleton placed 19th, with a final time of 1:59.81. Jillian Teceira competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2010. It is also tradition for Bermuda to march in the Opening Ceremony in Bermuda shorts, regardless of the summer or winter Olympic celebration. Bermuda also competes in the biennial Island Games
Island Games
The Island Games are an international multi-sports event organized by the International Island Games Association.- History :The Island Games began in 1985 as the Inter-Island Games, as part of the Isle of Man International Year of Sport, and were intended to be a one-off sporting celebration only...

, which it will host in 2013.

Demographics



A July 2005 estimate put Bermuda's population at 65,365. The ethnic makeup of Bermuda is 64.8% Black, 28.8% White, and 6.4% multiracial. A significant segment of the White population is also of Portuguese ancestry (10%), the result of immigration from Portuguese islands (especially the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

) during the past 160 years.

Some islanders, especially in St David's
St. David's Island, Bermuda
St. David's Island is one of the main islands of Bermuda. It is located in the far north of the territory, one of the two similarly sized islands that makeup the majority of St...

, trace their ancestry to Native Americans. Hundreds were shipped to Bermuda, possibly from as far as Mexico. The best known examples were the Algonquian peoples
Algonquian peoples
The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North American native language groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds. Today hundreds of thousands of individuals identify with various Algonquian peoples...

 who were exiled from the New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 colonies and sold into slavery in the 17th century, notably in the aftermaths of the Pequot War
Pequot War
The Pequot War was an armed conflict between 1634–1638 between the Pequot tribe against an alliance of the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies who were aided by their Native American allies . Hundreds were killed; hundreds more were captured and sold into slavery to the West Indies. ...

, and King Philip's War
King Philip's War
King Philip's War, sometimes called Metacom's War, Metacomet's War, or Metacom's Rebellion, was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day southern New England and English colonists and their Native American allies in 1675–76. The war is named after the main leader of the...

.

Several thousand expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 workers, principally from the UK, Canada, the West Indies, South Africa and the U.S., also reside in Bermuda, primarily engaged in specialised professions such as accounting, finance, and insurance. Others are employed in various trades, such as hotels, restaurants, construction, and landscaping services. Of the total workforce of 38,947 persons in 2005, government employment figures state that 11,223 (29 percent) are non-Bermudians.

Holidays



Date Holiday
1 January New Year's Day
Friday immediately preceding Easter Sunday Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 
24 May Bermuda Day
Bermuda Day
Bermuda Day is a public holiday in the islands of Bermuda. Like certain other public holidays, it is always celebrated on May 24, or the weekday nearest May 24 if that date falls on the weekend....

 
Second Monday in June National Heroes' Day 
Thursday before the First Monday in August Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates in observance of the emancipation of slaves of African origin. It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of...

 
Friday before the First Monday in August Somers' Day
First Monday in September Labour Day
Labour Day
Labour Day or Labor Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for...

 
11 November Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 
25 December Christmas Day 
26 December Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...

 

See also


  • British Overseas Territories
    British overseas territories
    The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...


  • List of Bermudians

External links



Travel


Miscellanea