Difficulties were eventually conquered on Eleuthera, and the roots of modern Bahamian history were planted by these "Adventurers," who established what was arguably the first true democracy in the western world more than 300 years ago.  Much of the early colonial atmosphere is preserved in the tiny fishing villages and sprawling farming areas.  Eleuthera and Abaco to the north played a major role in the history of the area and today the Loyalist colonial architecture and ambiance is especially visible in Harbour Island and Spanish Wells, both small islands just off the northern shores of  Eleuthera.