Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first
European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by
China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special
Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China on 20
December 1999. In this agreement, China...
Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Greece’s objection to the new state’s use of what it considered a
Hellenic name and symbols delayed international recognition, which
occurred under the provisional designation of “the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia.” In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo
and the two countries...
Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in
1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free
presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years
of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier
RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the
Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the
independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party
rule under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty
elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution that came into full
effect the following year. President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established
colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were
occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled
territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the
Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was
A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British
protectorate in 1887. It became a republic in 1968, three years after
independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands’ political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by
single-party referendums. Following political demonstrations in the
capital Male in August...
The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960
as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months,
what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by
dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup that
ushered in a period of...
Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island
staunchly supported the UK through both world wars and remained in the
Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta
became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has
transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial...
Islands After almost four decades under US administration as the
easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the
Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free
Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear
testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962....
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Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land
of 1,128 km2 (436 sq miles). Like Guadeloupe, it is an
of France. Location – north of St. Lucia and south of Dominica.
Alerts Leisure Information Australia Places to stay
Zealand Things to do Travel health UK...
Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third
of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but
relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla
front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed
TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania...
Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century,
Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and
subsequently settled by the Dutch – who named it in honor of Prince
Maurits van NASSAU – in the 17th century. The French assumed control in
Mayotte is an overseas department of France consisting of a
island, Grande-Terre (or Maore), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or
Pamanzi), and several islets around these two. The archipelago is
located in. Mayotte’s area is 374 square kilometres
(144 sq mi)
Location – Africa, northern Mozambique Channel in
the Indian Ocean,
between north western Madagascar and north
eastern Mozambique Travel
The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations – including the Olmec,
Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec – Mexico was conquered
and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the
Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved its
independence early in the 19th century. The global financial crisis
Federated States of In 1979 the Federated States of Micronesia, a UN
Trust Territory under US administration, adopted a constitution. In
1986 independence was attained under a Compact of Free Association with
the US, which was amended and renewed in 2004. Present concerns include
large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.
Islands Midway Islands: The US took formal possession of the islands in
1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the
islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947,
Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US
naval victory over a Japanese fleet off...
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Part of Romania during the interwar period, Moldova was incorporated
into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although the
country has been independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces
have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Nistru River supporting
a Transnistrian separatist region composed of a Slavic...
The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present day Monaco in 1215.
The current ruling Grimaldi family first seized temporary control in
1297, and again in 1331, but were not able to permanently secure their
holding until 1419. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th
century with a railroad linkup...
The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAAN
they established a huge Eurasian empire through conquest. After his
death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but
these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired
to their original steppe homelands and in the late...
The use of the name Crna Gora (Montenegro) began in the 13th century in
reference to a highland region in the Serbian province of Zeta. The
later medieval state of Zeta maintained its existence until 1496 when
Montenegro finally fell under Ottoman rule. Over subsequent centuries,
Montenegro, while a part of the Ottoman...
English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat
in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The
British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the
18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in
1783. The island’s sugar plantation economy...
In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, a
series of Moroccan Muslim dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the
16th century, the Sa’adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR
(1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age.
The Alaouite dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family...
Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with
independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on
South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the
country’s development until the mid 1990s. The ruling Front for the
Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) party formally abandoned Marxism in
(Burma) Various ethnic Burmese and ethnic minority city-states or
kingdoms occupied the present borders through the 19th century. Over a
period of 62 years (1824-1886), Britain conquered Burma and
incorporated the country into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered
as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate,