The Bahamas, officially the Tropican Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an island nation in the extreme north of the Caribbean Sea. It is located to the north of Cuba and to the west of the Floridian Peninsula. It is a member state in the East Caribbean Federation.
Prior to the events of Doomsday, the Bahamas were a prospering nation, with an economy founded on the principles of international finance and tourism. Having recently gained independence in 1973 as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the nation was quickly becoming one of the richest in the region.
Immediately following the events of Doomsday, the financial pillars of the Bahamian economy began to crumble. Fears of radioactive fallout reaching the islands from nearby Florida were widespread, but the prevailing winds of the region pushed the fallout west, away from the islands. Some fallout did arrive in the Bahamas from Cuba, however, doing the most harm to fish stocks in the nation's waters, as well as spreading sickness in the Family Islands. Without primary or secondary industry to fully support its needs, the Bahamas were forced to seek aid from other nations.
Most nations were unable to assist the Bahamas, most notably including the former United Kingdom. Believing the British monarchy to have died in the attacks and recognizing the inability of the wider world to help, the island passed the Memorial Act, granting immediate citizenship to any British refugee in the country who desired it. The act also provided a slightly longer path to citizenship to stranded tourist refugees from all other countries.
In November 1983, the Bahamas passed an act creating the Contamination Containment Office, a directorate of the Ministry of Works and Transport, with the stated goal of cleaning the environmental contamination in the Bahamas caused by the Cuban fallout.
In February 1985, the NIFTA (Northern Islands Free Trade Agreement) was signed between The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, establishing common trade and travel regulations between the two nations. The two grew economically close as a result, with the Turks and Caicos becoming dependent on Bahamian trade.
In October of that year, the Bahamas secured a trade agreement with the Republic of Mexico, receiving a wide variety of products at favourable import rates. The nation's economy began to stabilize beyond that point, greatly reduced from the loss of its primary industries.
In 1990, the first elections since Doomsday occurred, called as a result of an embezzlement scandal involving Prime Minister Lynden Pindling. Henry Taylor was elected as the new Prime Minister, leading a minority government of the Free National Movement party.
In 1996, The Bahamas agreed to join the East Caribbean Federation, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In 1997, an experimental 50 KW Solar Station was constructed in Freeport. A joint venture between BES, a native Bahamian start-up company, and Sistemas Solares, a Mexican energy corporation, the construction was mainly paid for by Sistemas Solares as a proof of concept.
In 2000, the North Federation University (NFU) was founded in Nassau. The school attracted some of the brightest scientific minds in the Caribbean to teach, becoming a highly-respected institution for meteorological and oceanographic research.
In 2002, Prime Minister Taylor was unseated by Marguerite McKenzie, the former wife of Lynden Pindling. She was elected as leader of a majority government, formed by the United Republican Party.
In 2004, The Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CARI-MO) was founded as a national weather service for the ECF. It was established and headquartered in Nassau, adjacent to North Federation University. It was formed primarily as a response to the poor communication between various government weather organizations seen during Hurricane Francis.
In 2006, the East Caribbean Federation agreed to fund an expansion of the Freeport Solar Station, as part of an initiative to promote energy self-sufficiency in member states. The panel field is expanded to a capacity of 400 KW. It became fully operational in the following year.
As of 2011, private and public solar energy accounted for 7% of all power consumption in the Bahamas.
The Tropican Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a unitary parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with power vested in a Governor General, representing the British monarch, and led by a Prime Minister. There are fifty seats in Parliament, fifteen of which are permanently assigned to an area and the rest assigned by proportional representation of the population.
The government is currently formed by the United Republican Party, with Marguerite McKenzie as Prime Minister. The Opposition is formed by the Progressive Liberal Party, led by Perry Christie. The Governor General is currently Arthur Hanna.
The Bahamian economy has recovered rapidly since Doomsday, becoming a centre of business and finance in the Caribbean. Due to its strategic location along shipping lanes, Nassau in particular attracted a large deal of trade from the surrounding islands and nations. It also attracted a great deal of start-up companies and venture capitalists, due to government policies favourable to small business and scientific research. Salt mining is also a small, but profitable, industry.
Immigration was a powerful factor in the growth of the Bahamas, with it being seen as a prime destination for refugees from Cuba, and the Atlantic United States (notably Florida) to escape to, and has received an influx of primarily English-speaking refugees over the years.
In 2012, the island nation boasted a GDP (PPP) of 6.32 Billion.
The Bahamas has no formal military of its own. It is instead serviced and protected by the East Caribbean Navy. Specifically, the protection of the Bahamas is under the mandate of ECN 1st Task Force, based out of Port Antonio, Jamaica.
For many years, originating in 1988, a steadily growing portion of the Bahamian population has rejected the terms 'Caribbean' and 'Afro-Caribbean' to describe themselves. Both terms are now commonly decried as inaccurate, neo-colonial, and racist in the Bahamas. The term 'Caribbean' became acceptable only in a strictly geographic sense.
In 1991, the term 'Tropican' came into vogue, as a way for Bahamians to separate themselves from the post-slavery neo-colonialism that pervaded the Caribbean in the years before Doomsday. In 2002, Prime Minister McKenzie's election caused shock waves in the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean, due to a side-plank of her platform being the promotion of 'Tropican' as an official term. By 2012, roughly 63% of the Bahamian community considered themselves to be 'Tropican' rather than 'Caribbean,' a trend spreading throughout the wider Caribbean.