History by Country . A . B . C . D . E . F . G . HI . JK . L . M . N . OP . QR . S . TUV . WXYZ

First posted on May 13th 2008







The Pacific Region : Decolonization


1914 By the time World War I broke out, Australia (unified in 1901; individual states from an earlier date) and New Zealand (since 1856) enjoyed self government
1946 French Polynesia declared French Overseas Territory
1959 Hawaii was elevated from U.S. Territory to U.S. State
1962 Western Samoa (hitherto administrated by New Zealand) became independent
1965 Cook Islands became self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand
1967 Constitution provided for self-government of American Samoa
1968 New Zealand : Boycott of Waitangi Day marks beginning of Maori Protest Movement
1970 Fiji and Tonga (hitherto British colony respectively protectorate) became independent
1975 PNG (Papua-New Guinea, Papua Niugini; hitherto under Australian administration) became independent
1975 Northern Mariana Islands (since 1945 U.S. Trust Territory) granted of status of a Commonwealth in free association with the U.S.
1977 French Polynesia granted internal autonomy
1978 Tuvalu (in colonial times referred to as Ellice Islands; hitherto British) and the Solomon Islands (hitherto British) became independent
1979 Kiribati (in colonial times referred to as Gilbert Islands; hitherto British) became independent
1980 Vanuatu (in colonial times referred to as the New Hebrides, an Anglo-French condominium) became independent
1984 French Polynesia's internal autonomy expanded
1985 Begin of agitation for independence of New Caledonia (French) by FLNKS
1986 Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands (since 1945 U.S. Trust Territory) became independent
1986 Palau (since 1945 U.S. Trust Territory) became independent
1988 Following the outbreak of violence, the Matignon Accords foresee increased autonomy for (French) New Caledonia
2004 French Polynesia declared Overseas Collectivity of France


Activities :
1.)    compare the populations of independent states (Fiji, Western Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, PNG) with those of dependent territories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, American Samoa)
2.)    what challenges did the governments of Fiji, the Solomon Islands, PNG, Tonga face since independence ? How successful were they in overcoming them ?
3.)    examine the movement for independence / cultural autonomy of the indigenous movement in New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Hawaii, American Samoa







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