The first European to arrive in present-day Samoa was the Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen in 1722. The islands were further explored by Louis de Bougainville in 1768. In the 1830s, Christian missionaries began working on the Samoa Islands, soon followed by European and American traders.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Samoa on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Samoa.
By an agreement entered into in 1899 between the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, Germany gained western Samoa and the United States eastern Samoa. New Zealand occupied Western Samoa in 1914 and in 1920 was given the mandate over the islands from the League of Nations. In 1946, the mandate was renewed as a UN area of supervision.
The islands gained ever-increasing autonomy, and in 1962, western Samoa became the first territory in Polynesia to become an independent state. King Malietoa Tanumafili 2 (1913–2007) was elected monarch in 1963, and was Samoa’s head of state for life. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Samoa.
General voting rights were introduced in 1990, after the clan chiefs, the Mataians, constituted a political empire. However, only the Mataians are eligible for parliament, next to two representatives elected by and by non-Samoans. The government has long deliberately refrained from developing mass tourism, but the number of tourists increased sharply in the 1990s.
In 1996, the country took in eight times as much currency in tourism as in exports, which largely consist of coconut products. Two disastrous cyclones in 1990 and 1991 had major repercussions. Like other countries in the region, Samoa is affected by climate change, with a marked increase in the frequency of cyclones and tropical storms. The country joined the United Nations in 1976, and in 1997 changed its name from Western Samoa to Samoa.
The political has at times been turbulent. There has been great controversy over the large families’ landed property rights. In 2006, the government prepared a land reform aimed at adapting property rights to modern legislation. The country’s first political party, the Party for the Protection of Human Rights (HRPP), was formed in 1978. It is referred to as a central party and has held the government since 1982. Despite the name, the party has been criticized for an increasingly authoritarian rule and intolerance against different thinkers..
The murder of Labor Minister Luagalau Kamu shook the political establishment in 1999. Two other ministers were sentenced to death for the murder, which, according to the court, was committed to preventing government-level corruption. The death sentences were later turned into life sentences. The HRPP regime was able to prevent the opposition from speaking out in state-controlled media for a long time, but the Supreme Court put an end to this practice in 2000.
Samoa has maintained strong ties to New Zealand, which represents the island state in relation to other countries and international organizations. New Zealand has also pledged to defend Samoa, which lacks its own military forces. The extensive immigration of Samoan people to New Zealand has been limited to 1100 people a year since 1982. In 2002, New Zealand made a formal apology for abuses committed by the New Zealand government in 1914–1962.