The country of The Bahamas (most formally The Commonwealth of the Bahamas) is the political unit formed on the geographical unit of some 700 islands, the Bahama islands, or the Bahamas - for geographical purposes, with a lower case 't-' - which lie roughly to the east of Cuba and Florida, between which they run.
- Etymological note: "The name is said to mean 'Shallow Sea' from the Spanish baja mar although there is some doubt about this; it is probably derived from a much older Lucayan word. Inhabited originally by the Lucayans, one of the Bahama islands (possibly San Salvador Island, Cat Island, or Samana Cay) was where Christopher Columbus first 'discovered' the New World on 12 October 1492. The Spanish did not try to settle, English migrants from Bermuda being the first Europeans to establish a colony in 1649. In 1717 the islands became a British crown colony and remained so until 1973" (Everett-Heath, 2012). The Bahamas (one of two nations in the modern world which have The as the first word of their official names - the other is The Gambia) is now an independent parliamentary democracy, and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.