For other uses, see Bermuda (disambiguation).

Bermuda is an internally self-governing island Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, situated in the Atlantic Ocean. It has become one of the world's most important offshore financial centres. See Economy of Bermuda. Bermuda is often referred to as a tax haven or corporate haven. The United Nations Committee on Decolonization includes Bermuda on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.Template:Ref

Flag of Bermuda Missing image

(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Quo Fata Ferunt
(Latin: Whither the Fates carry [us])
Missing image

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Official languageEnglish
Political status Overseas territory of the UK
Capital Hamilton
Governor and
Sir John Vereker
Premier Alex Scott
Area 58.8 km²

-Total(2003 E)
 - Density

1 096/km²
Currency Bermuda dollar on par with US dollar
Time zone UTC -4
National anthem God Save the Queen
Internet TLD .bm
Calling Code 1 (Area code 441)


Main article: History of Bermuda

Bermuda was discovered by the early 1500s, probably in 1503, although the evidence for the exact year, and the identity of the discoverer, is sketchy. It was certainly known by 1511, when Peter Martyr published his Legatio Babylonica, which mentioned Bermuda. The discovery is attributed to a Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermudez. Both Spanish and Portugese ships used the islands as a replenishment spot for fresh meat and water, but legends of spirits, now thought to have stemmed only from the callings of raucous birds, kept them from attempting any permanent settlement. Then an unexpected shipwreck, the Sea Venture, on its way to the new colony in america left the first colonists in possession of a new territory. The land was claimed by the British Crown and control was granted to a company in order to produce tobbacco for the markets in London. The islands gained the name the Somers Isles, named after Sir George Somers, a leading investor in the company. Soon the colony of Virgina far surpassed Bermuda in both quality and quantity of tobbacco produced. After the decline of the Somers Isle Company, life peetered along until a period of boat building became prevelent on the island due to the large amounts of good juniper (Juniperus bermudiana) woods that grew thickly over the whole island. Soon afterward the British Royal Navy began improving the harbours and built a large dockyard on the western end of the island. Thereafter the navy used the bases as a strategic assest and later benefited the USA as well (see below).

In the early 20th century, as modern transport and communication systems developed, Bermuda became a popular destination for wealthy US, Canadian and British tourists. In addition, the tariff Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act enacted by the United States against its trading partners in 1930 cut off Bermuda's once-thriving agricultural export trade - primarily fresh vegetables to the US - spurring the overseas territory to develop its tourist industry, which is second behind international business in terms of economic importance to the island.

During World War II, Bermuda became important as a military base because of its location in the Atlantic Ocean. In 1941, the United States signed a lend-lease agreement with the United Kingdom giving the British surplus US Navy destroyers in exchange for 99-year lease rights to establish naval and air bases in Bermuda. The bases consisted of 5.8 square kilometres (2.25 sq. mi.) of land largely reclaimed from the sea. The US Naval Air Station was on St. David's Island, while the US Naval Air Station Annex was at the western end of the island in the Great Sound.

Both bases were closed on 1 September 1995, as were British and Canadian bases on the island. Unresolved issues concerning the 1995 withdrawal of US forces - primarily related to environmental factors - delayed the formal return of the base lands to the Government of Bermuda, which finally happened in 2002.

Led by Premier Alex Scott, some Bermudians are clamouring for independence from Britain, although as of 2005 it was quite clear that a majority was against independence. A number of polls have been taken in 2004-05 in which around 45+% of black voters are against and 90+% of white voters are against it. There are two incorporated municipalities in Bermuda; the City of Hamilton, and the Town of St George. There are also a number of localities which are sometimes termed villages, among them Flatts and Somerset.

See also

Famous Bermudians:


External links

  • Template:Wikitravel
  • ( - Complete Travel Guide
  • ( - A discussion forum focusing on environmental issues in Bermuda and around the world.
  • Bermuda 4U ( - A comprehensive and independent guide to Bermuda
  • A Limey In Bermuda ( - Life in Bermuda from the perspective of a British expat
  • Bermuda Online ( - A privately-maintained site which contains much useful material
  • Insiders Guide to Bermuda ( - A good visitor-oriented site
  • [ this site is a visitors and locals source for local poker events, results and info,

Countries in North America
Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas | Barbados | Belize | Canada | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | El Salvador | Grenada | Guatemala | Haiti | Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago | United States
Dependencies: Anguilla | Aruba | Bermuda | British Virgin Islands | Cayman Islands | Greenland | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Montserrat | Navassa Island | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Saint-Pierre and Miquelon | Turks and Caicos Islands | U.S. Virgin Islands

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
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Flag of the Caribbean Community

Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas¹ | Barbados | Belize | Dominica | Grenada | Guyana | Haiti | Jamaica | Montserrat | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Suriname | Trinidad and Tobago
Associate members: Anguilla | Bermuda | Cayman Islands | British Virgin Islands | Turks and Caicos Islands
Observer status: Aruba | Colombia | Dominican Republic | Mexico | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Venezuela
¹ member of the community but not the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy.
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