Decolonisation of Oceania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Decolonization of Oceania)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The decolonization of Oceania occurred after World War II when nations in Oceania achieved independence by transitioning from European colonial rule to full independence.

While most of the countries of Oceania have a specific independence day, the independence of Australia and the independence of New Zealand were a gradual process and cannot be associated clearly to a specific date. Most of the British colonies in Australia gained responsible government in the 1850s, as did New Zealand in 1856. This was formalised into Dominion status in the 1900s, but with the United Kingdom retaining certain (disused) powers de jure. Sovereign states de facto by the 1920s, Australia and New Zealand refused the formal recognition of their own full sovereignty when offered through the Statute of Westminster in 1931, before accepting it respectively in 1942 and 1947.

Timeline[edit]

Country Colonial name Colonial power[1] Independence date[2] First head of state[3] Independence won through
 New Zealand New Zealand Dominion of New Zealand  United Kingdom see above - gradual process
 Australia  Australia see above - gradual process
 Indonesia[4]  Dutch East Indies  Netherlands 27 December 1949[5] Sukarno Indonesian National Revolution
 Samoa  Western Samoa Trust Territory  New Zealand 1 January 1962 Malietoa Tanumafili II and Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole[6] peaceful campaign by the Mau movement
 Nauru  Nauru Trust Territory  Australia[7] 31 January 1968 Hammer DeRoburt peaceful campaign
 Tonga Tonga Kingdom of Tonga  United Kingdom 4 June 1970 Taufaʻahau Tupou IV request
 Fiji[8] Fiji 10 October 1970[9] Kamisese Mara[10]
(Prime Minister: head of gov.)
British initiative, and negotiation
 Papua New Guinea German New Guinea
Territory of New Guinea
Trust Territory of Papua and New Guinea
 Germany
 United Kingdom[11]
 Australia
16 September 1975 Michael Somare
(Prime Minister: head of gov.)
Australian initiative
 Solomon Islands  Solomon Islands British Solomon Islands  United Kingdom 7 July 1978 Peter Kenilorea
(Prime Minister: head of gov.)
British initiative
 Tuvalu  Gilbert and Ellice Islands 1 October 1978 Toaripi Lauti
(Prime Minister: head of gov.)
British initiative
 Kiribati  Gilbert and Ellice Islands 12 July 1979 Ieremia Tabai British initiative
 Vanuatu United KingdomFrance New Hebrides  United Kingdom
 France[12]
30 July 1980 George Kalkoa peaceful campaign by the New Hebrides National Party
 Marshall Islands  Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands  United States 21 October 1986 Amata Kabua [13]
 Federated States of Micronesia  Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands 3 November 1986 Tosiwo Nakayama [14]
 Cook Islands Cook Islands  New Zealand 1965/1992/current[15] Albert Henry
(Prime Minister: head of gov.)
 Palau  Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands  United States 1 October 1994 Kuniwo Nakamura
 Niue Niue  New Zealand 1974/1994/current[16] Robert Rex
(Prime Minister: head of gov.)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some territories changed hands multiple times, so in the list is mentioned the last colonial power. In addition to it the mandatory or trustee powers are mentioned for territories that were League of Nations mandates and UN Trust Territories.
  2. ^ Date of decolonization for territories annexed by or integrated into previously decolonized independent countries are given in separate notes, as are dates when a commonwealth realm abolished its monarchy. Any discrepancies between dates listed here and public holidays celebrating the country's independence (and whether the date listed is celebrated as a holiday at all) are noted, as well as the national day if the country does not have an independence day.
  3. ^ First head of state after independence. For current and former Commonwealth realms instead of first head of state is listed the first head of government.
  4. ^ Transcontinental country, partially located in Asia.
  5. ^ Not celebrated as a holiday. Netherlands New Guinea was separated from the Dutch East Indies on 29 December 1949. Following skirmishes with Indonesia in 1961 and the New York Agreement, the Netherlands transferred authority of Dutch New Guinea to a UN protectorate on 1 October 1962 and it was integrated into Indonesia on 1 May 1963. The date 17 August 1945 (when Sukarno formally proclaimed Indonesia's independence) is celebrated as Indonesia's date of independence.
  6. ^ Joint position known as O Ao o le Malo, whose individuals are severally referred to as O le Ao o le Malo.
  7. ^ As a League of Nations mandate and later UN Trust Territory Nauru was under effective Australian administration with the United Kingdom and New Zealand as nominal co-trustees.
  8. ^ As the Dominion of Fiji.
  9. ^ Celebrated as Fiji Day. (While Fiji does not have a holiday called Independence Day, Fiji Day is celebrated as such). On 7 October 1987 after two military coups Fiji formally abolished its Commonwealth monarchy and became a republic.
  10. ^ Having been out of office since 13 April 1987, on 5 December Mara was sworn in along with Penaia Ganilau as Prime Minister and President respectively. From the abolition of Fiji's monarchy to Mara's and Ganilau's inauguration, Sitiveni Rabuka served as Head of the Interim Military Government.
  11. ^ The main part of German New Guinea after the World War I became a League of Nations mandate and later a UN Trust Territory as the Territory of New Guinea under Australian administration. The Territory of Papua was a British colony transferred to the British Dominion of Australian administration in 1902.
  12. ^ Vanuatu was a joint British-French Condominium
  13. ^ See Marshallese Compact of Free Association referendum, 1983.
  14. ^ See Micronesian Compact of Free Association referendum, 1983.
  15. ^ Since 4 August 1965 the Cook Islands are a state in free association with New Zealand. The UN recognized them as state under international law in 1992 Archived October 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. The Cook Islands are fully independent in their foreign relations and defence, but retain a residual constitutional link with New Zealand in relation to citizenship.
  16. ^ Since 19 October 1974 Niue is a state in free association with New Zealand. The UN recognized it as state under international law in 1994 Archived October 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. Niue is fully independent in its foreign relations and defence, but retains a residual constitutional link with New Zealand in relation to citizenship.