The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and
dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently
Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture
fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent
successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians,
After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific
under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline
Islands opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated
States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was
approved in 1986 but not ratified until 1993....
The September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim
Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of
Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under a
series of agreements signed between May 1994 and September 1999, Israel
transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian
responsibility for many Palestinian-populated...
Atoll Palmyra Atoll: The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862,
and the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the
archipelago in 1898. The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include
Palmyra Atoll, which is now partly privately owned by the Nature
Conservancy with the rest owned...
Read more →
Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke
with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and
Venezuela – named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter
dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing,
Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and...
New Guinea The eastern half of the island of New Guinea – second
largest in the world – was divided between Germany (north) and the UK
(south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902,
which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to
administer the combined...
Read more →
Islands The Paracel Islands are surrounded by productive fishing
grounds and by potential oil and gas reserves. In 1932, French
Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Pattle
Island; maintenance was continued by its successor, Vietnam. China has
occupied all the Paracel Islands since 1974, when its troops seized...
Read more →
Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the
disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) – between Paraguay and
Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay – Paraguay lost two-thirds of all adult
males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for
the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35...
Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations,
most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish
conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and
remaining Spanish forces were defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of
military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in...
The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century;
they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War.
In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel
QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country
for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands...
Islands Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and
settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.
Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in
1838) and today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South
Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand,...
Read more →
Poland’s history as a state begins near the middle of the 10th century.
By the mid-16th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled a
vast tract of land in central and eastern Europe. During the 18th
century, internal disorders weakened the nation, and in a series of
agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and...
Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and
16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the
destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the
Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of its wealthiest colony of
Brazil in 1822. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy;...
Rico Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was
claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Christopher COLUMBUS’ second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial
rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African
slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as...