South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during
World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II,
when it annexed the territory. In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa
People’s Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of
independence for the area that became Namibia, but it...
The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear since their language does
not resemble any other in the Pacific. Germany annexed the island in
1888. A German-British consortium began mining the island’s phosphate
deposits early in the 20th century. Australian forces occupied Nauru in
World War I; it subsequently became a League of...
Island This uninhabited island was claimed by the US in 1857 for its
guano. Mining took place between 1865 and 1898. The lighthouse, built
in 1917, was shut down in 1996 and administration of Navassa Island
transferred from the US Coast Guard to the Department of the Interior.
A 1998 scientific expedition to...
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In 1951, the Nepali monarch ended the century-old system of rule by
hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government.
Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework
of a constitutional monarchy. An insurgency led by Maoist extremists
broke out in 1996. The ensuing 10-year civil war between insurgents
The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in
1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and
commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After
a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in
1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom....
Caledonia Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of
the 19th century, the island was made a French possession in 1853. It
served as a penal colony for four decades after 1864. Agitation for
independence during the 1980s and early 1990s ended in the 1998 Noumea
Accord, which over a...
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Zealand The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In
1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty
of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while
retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the
first organized colonial settlement. A series of land...
The Pacific coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from
Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared
in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain
occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but
gradually ceded control of the...
Niger became independent from France in 1960 and experienced
single-party and military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was
forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted
in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the
government to a standstill and in 1996 led to a coup by Col....
British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and
Africa’s most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series
of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy;
independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule,
a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition...
Niue’s remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences
between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the rest of the Cook
Islands, have caused it to be separately administered. The population
of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to an
estimated 1,311 in 2011) with substantial emigration...
Island Two British attempts at establishing the island as a penal
colony (1788-1814 and 1825-55) were ultimately abandoned. In 1856, the
island was resettled by Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty
mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Location – Oceania, island in
the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia Travel Alerts Leisure
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Mariana Islands Under US administration as part of the UN Trust
Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands
decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge
closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in
1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in...
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Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the
adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of
the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397,
Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than
four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession...