Oceania History

Oceania History

Oceania (Prehistory & History – Prehistoric Communities)

The pre-European communities in Oceania were unscrupulous and consistently small. Aborigines in Australia lived in egalitarian groups where only older men played a leading role. In most Melanesian village communities, informal leaders competed for power and influence, but in the Polynesian and Micronesian territories there was a hereditary ranking that could take the form of powerful chief judges. As a result of the European influence, the 1800s developed. states with kings in Hawaii, Tahiti and Tonga.

Apart from Australia, where hunting and gathering was the main basis, subsistence economies in Oceania were based on root crops and tree crops combined with coastal fisheries as well as in many places pig farming and hunting. The technology was based on hand power and rocks or shells from marine animals. Migratory animals, cattle, grains and metals were first introduced by Europeans. The wide spread of communities in diverse natural environments led to political fragmentation and a diversity of cultural adaptations, but at the same time social and cultural communities based on trade and marriage exchanges were created within larger regions. A famous example is the ceremonial bullet exchange system, which integrated the Trobrians and other islands of New Guinea NE into a community.

Oceania (Prehistory & History – Migrations)

There is still a great deal of uncertainty about Oceania’s prehistory, but some probable headlines can be drawn. More than 40,000 years ago, Australian hunters and gatherers in simple vessels forced the waters around the Wallac line between Borneo and Sulawesi and settled in New Guinea and Australia. The descendants of these people have gradually spread throughout most of Melanesia. Around 3000 BC the first Mongolian and Austronesian-speaking people from the Southeast Asian islands penetrated Melanesia. Their culture included agricultural cultivation with simple tools and pig teams, forms of business, which also the Australians in the Melanesian area seem to have developed. The Austronesians spread to most of the Melanesian islands, and there was cultural contact with the Papuan peoples. through poisoning. According to Countryaah.com, Australia is the largest countries in the continent of Oceania.

Austronesian coastal settlements in the Melanesian area, particularly characterized by distinctive lapita clays and the ability to build and sail canoes, are dated to ca. 1500 BC From these peoples came the first who settled on Fiji and in Western Polynesia around 1300 BC. Starting with Tonga and Samoa, the gradual spread of people to all other parts of Polynesia continued. Easter Island was reached 300-500 AD, Hawaii approx. 650, and New Zealand approx. 700. It is likely that the peoples of Central and Eastern Micronesia are also direct descendants of Austronesian lapite peoples from Melanesia or Western Polynesia, while Western Micronesia has probably been populated from the islands of Southeast Asia.

Marshall Islands History

The Marshall Islands were gradually populated some 2,000 to 1,800 years ago, shortly after the country’s rise as a result of falling sea levels. The settlement of the Marshall Islands was part of the expansion of population in far-off Oceania, and the early settlers probably came from the northern Solomon Islands via Central Micronesia. In 1526 the Spanish Alonso de Salazar came to the islands, but Spain did not colonize them. The islands were named after British Captain John Marshall in 1788. Whalers and traders visited the islands in the early 1800s. The Marshall Islands were officially annexed by Germany in 1885, and were incorporated into German New Guinea in 1906.

Japan occupied the Marshall Islands during World War I and colonized the islands. In 1919, the islands became a Japanese mandate area, as a Class C mandate, through the League of Nations. During the 1930s, the Japanese built airports on several atolls. In 1944, US forces occupied the Marshall Islands.

In 1947, the archipelago was a member of the United States Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. In the years 1946-1958, the United States used the atolls Bikini and Enewetak as test fields for nuclear explosions. The first hydrogen bomb was tested in the Enewetak Atoll in 1952, and the Americans established a military base on the Kwajalein Atoll.

Marshall Islands gained internal autonomy in 1979 and US supervision ceased when the islands gained full independence in 1986. The Marshall Islands joined the UN in 1991.

Palau History

Palau was populated more than 2,000 years ago probably by people from the Philippines. Palau was possibly seen by Europeans in 1543 and proven to be discovered in 1696. Palau was subject to the General Captain’s Philippines (Spanish East India) from 1574. In 1885, Spanish supremacy over Spanish East India was officially proclaimed and internationally recognized. After the defeat of the Spanish-American War, Spain sold Palau and most of the other Carolines to the German Empire in 1899.

Palau was occupied by Japan in 1914. The United States conquered the islands during World War II after the Battle of Peleliu in 1944. From 1947, Palau was part of the United States Pacific Oversight Area. When Micronesia’s United States was formed in 1979, Palau stayed away and became the Republic of Palau in 1981. An association agreement with the United States secured US financial assistance. Palau became an independent nation on October 1, 1994; the country also joined the UN.

Palau was negatively affected by the Asian financial crisis in 1997. In 2009, Palau created the world’s first shark rescue area, at 600,000 square kilometers.

Cook Islands

Cook Islands [kuʹk-], Cook Islands, PacificIsland Group, 3,000 km northeast of New Zealand;237 km2, 17 900 residents (2018).The Cook Islands are formally an independent country, but the archipelago is freely connected to New Zealand (mainly in foreign policy and military matters).

The archipelago consists of 15 larger islands, divided into two groups. The southern group includes 8 islands, both volcanic islands such as Rarotonga and Mangaia and coral atolls, while the northern group consists of only atolls, e.g. Penrhyn, Manihiki and Rakahanga. The climate is very rainy, and the islands have plenty of marshland. The volcanic islands have a rich plant life and are quite high. Tea Manga on Rarotonga reaches 652 m above sea level. The population is Polynesian. Maori is the native language, but English is also used. The economy is based on agriculture, i.e. cultivation of copra, southern fruits and cotton for export, as well as fishing and tourism. At Rarotonga, where the main town of Avarua is located, there are among other things. fruit canning and clothing factories.

The Cook Islands were populated by Polynesians from Tonga and Samoa. The islands were sifted in 1595 by Spanish mariners and charted by James Cook in 1773. They were ruled by British missionaries during the 19th century; In 1888 they became British protectors, and in 1901 they were incorporated with New Zealand. Since 1962, the Cook Islands have had a gradually expanded internal self-government.

Cook Islands yearbook 2019

Cook Islands. In October, the government announced that the issue of a UN membership would be shelved for the time being. Instead, the focus should be on development work. The Cook Islands are formally an independent country but are connected to New Zealand, whose government decides mainly on foreign policy issues and has so far refused to support the Cook Islands’ efforts to be admitted into the UN.

During the year, a change of name was taken when a committee to prepare a new name proposal was formed on the initiative of Chief Pa Marie Ariki. The Cook Islands are named after the British explorer James Cook. Voices have been raised to allow the archipelago to have a name for the variant of the Maori language spoken on the islands. The idea of a name change was gently supported by both the government and the opposition. In a 1994 referendum, a majority voted to retain the name Cook Islands.

One of the most discussed issues during the year was whether to allow chlorination of the drinking water on the main island of Rarotonga.

Cook Islands yearbook 2018

Cook Islands. Parliamentary elections were held in June and resulted in an unclear parliamentary position. The Cook Islands Party (CIP), led by incumbent Prime Minister Henry Puna, did not become the largest party but received a smaller mandate (10 of 24) than the Democratic Party (DP). Thus, none of the parties gained a majority. The Unified Cook Islands Movement (OCI) was given a mandate and in addition two independent candidates were elected to Parliament. The situation was further complicated by the fact that DP’s party leader, Tina Browne, failed to win in her constituency and thus got no parliamentary seat. In several constituencies where the candidates were even, the votes were recalculated. By cooperating with the OCI member and the two independent parliamentarians, Puna and CIP were able to retain government power.

In January, Ada Rongomatane Ariki, the traditional queen on the island of Atiu, passed away on one of the islands that are part of the state.

Cook Islands yearbook 2017

Cook Islands. In January, a record number of tourists reported to the island nation last year. The almost 150,000 visitors were up 17%. The majority of tourists came from New Zealand. As part of the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, about 70 women participated in “exercise parliament”. The event aimed to increase women’s will and ability to participate in political life. The Cook Islands have a stated goal of increasing female representation in Parliament to 50% by 2030.

In July, a law was established that made the Marae Moana area one of the world’s largest marine nature reserves. During the year, a process was also started to decriminalize homosexuality in the country. Gay acts between men have been prohibited by law since 1969.

Cook Islands yearbook 2016

Cook Islands. The year was marked by conflicts both between the opposition and the government and within the opposition. In March, Teina Bishop was elected new opposition leader, but in July he was sentenced to court, charged with corruption, and sentenced to 28 months in prison. He was replaced as leader of the opposition by Rose Brown, who thus became the first woman in this position.

In June, Parliament assembled for the first time during the year. At a parliamentary session that was not recognized by the government, Prime Minister Henry Puna lost a vote of confidence and Rose Brown was appointed new head of government. As a result, the parliament building was closed to prevent opposition politicians from entering. The Cook Islands, which are formally independent but freely connected to New Zealand, are part of the Commonwealth, which is why a representative of the British Queen is in the country. Tom Marsters, the Queen’s representative since 2013, rejected the vote of confidence, a decision accepted by the opposition. In July, Marster’s assignment was extended for another three years. In September, Peter Marshall was named New Zealand’s High Commissioner in the Cook Islands. He was expected to take office in January 2017.

In October, a new fisheries agreement was signed that gives EU vessels the exclusive right to fish in the Cook Islands’ waters for four years. The agreement has been harshly criticized by environmental activists in the Cook Islands, and in May MPs from the opposition asked Sweden’s then Deputy Minister of Development, Isabella Lövin, known for her involvement in fisheries, to lobby in the EU against the agreement.

Country Proportion of energy from renewable sources (percent) Proportion of the population who have access to electricity (percent)
Australia 9.2 (2015) 100 (2016)
Fiji 31.3 (2015) 99 (2016)
Kiribati 4.3 (2015) 85 (2016)
Marshall Islands 11.2 (2015) 93 (2016)
Micronesia Federation 1.2 (2015) 75 (2016)
Nauru 0.1 (2015) 99 (2016)
New Zealand 30.8 (2015) 100 (2016)
Palau 0.0 (2015) 99 (2016)
Papua New Guinea 52.5 (2015) 23 (2016)
Solomon Islands 63.3 (2015) 48 (2016)
Samoa 34.3 (2015) 100 (2016)
Tonga 1.9 (2015) 97 (2016)
Tuvalu 0.0 (2015) 99 (2016)
Vanuatu 36.1 (2015) 58 (2016)

Cook Islands yearbook 2015

Cook Islands. In August, the Cook Islands celebrated the 50th anniversary of the archipelago’s independence. However, the Cook Islands are freely connected to New Zealand, and a delegation from this country attended the solemn ceremony to confirm the special condition of the states.

In the same month, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna was re-elected as party leader for the Cook Islands party. He defeated the challenger over the post of Teariki Heather, who, after the loss, still remained as Deputy Prime Minister. On the other hand, there was a shift on the party leader post in Parliament’s second largest party, the Democratic Party, when Wilkie Rasmussen resigned in April. He was replaced by William “Smiley” Heather, older brother of Teariki Heather.

In June, the Cook Islands became a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which was welcomed by union leader Anthony Turua, who called membership a milestone.

Oceania History