Wednesday, May 30, 2012

50 Years of Samoan Independence

Not only is this week International Samoan Language Week, but the independent nation of Samoa will be celebrating 50 years of independence from New Zealand on June 1st.

At least three world powers have had major influence in Samoan politics since Western contact in the 18th century, and it hasn't always been nice for the Samoans.

Early on in the Samoans' modern political history Americans, the English, and Germans have all vied for, and obtained, control over parts of the archipelago.

The 1899 Tripartite Convention partitioned the islands between Germany and the United States. Then, in 1914, at the outset of World War I, New Zealand troops responded to a request from the British government to occupy German Samoa. New Zealand kept control in one form or another until 1962, when it granted Samoa its independence.

The United States still administers American Samoa as an unincorporated territory.

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