Following the visits by Spanish vessels
in the 1500s, contact with European ships became frequent in the late
18th and early 19th century.
|German Period (1885 - 1914)
Germany bought the Marshall Islands off Spain in 1885.
It established a small administration, run first as a concession company
and later administered directly from Berlin. The main economic development
was the expansion of copra industry on the atolls and the commencement
of phosphate mining on Nauru.
|Japanese Period (19141945)
Japan acquired the Marshall Islands, with the exception
of Nauru, during World War I. It established a larger administration which
continued the expansion of the copra industry, but also developed fishing
and handicraft. During World War II many atolls were developed into formidable
JAPANESE MANDATE CIVILIAN ADMINISTRATION
JAPANESE MILITARY DEVELOPMENT AND WWII
While and Guam Wake Island had been under
US control since the Spanish-American War of 1898, the rest of Microneisa
came under US influence as a result of the Pacific War. Commencing in
1944 several islands were captured, with remainder coming under US control
with the surrender of the Japanese forces in September 1945.
MILITARY DEVELOPMENT AND WWII
|Trust Territory Period (19471946)
As a result of the post World War II rearrangement
of the former Mandates of the League of Nations, Micronesia became a Trust
Territory administered by the USA on behalf of the United Nations.
Following a plebiscite the population of the Marshall
Islands preferred autonomy from the USA. In 1989 the Compact of Free Associaton
was signed which gave the Marshalls independence, while ensuring US government
funding of many of its programs.
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