Bermuda (also known as Bermuda Islands) is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the ► United States, it is situated around 1,100 miles northeast of Miami, Florida and 840 miles south-east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, ► Canada. It lies to the north of the ► Bahamas.
► British overseas territory, British (English) since 1610
This section holds a short summary of the history of the area of present-day Bermuda, illustrated with maps, including historical maps of former countries and empires that included present-day Bermuda.
The Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez discovers the island ca. 1512. For the next century it is a hazard to shipping, called the Isle of Devils. No one settles, though many are wrecked. In 1609, the London Company of Virginia's flagship, the Sea Venture is wrecked on Bermuda, beginning the permanent settlement of the archipelago by England. The islands are also named the Somers Isles, after the Admiral of the Virginia Company, Sir George Somers. The Charter of the Virginia Company is extended to officially include Bermuda within Virginia's boundaries, and a Governor and more settlers arrive in 1612. The Parliament of Bermuda holds its first session in 1620, and Bermuda is largelly self-governed and self-reliant thereafter. The Somers Isles Company, a spin-off of the Virginia Company which had overseen the colony from 1615, was dissolved in 1684, with the Crown taking over responsibility for appointing governors. The constitution of 1968 introduced an appointed upper house, the Senate of Bermuda, to the colony's parliament, universal adult suffrage, and party politics, with a Westminster-style government and opposition.
This section holds copies of original general maps older than 70 years of this entry.
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