Commonwealth of the United States from 1978. Discovered by
Magellan in 1521. One of its constituent islands, Guam, was an
important Spanish colony on the route from Mexico to Manila where
ships would call for fresh water and provisions. There have been
missionaries in the area from 1668 and massacres of those who
There was a Blackbirding trade (form of slavery) in 19th century.
Germans used the islands for Copra (Coconut industry). They
were made a German protectorate from 1885. Japan took the islands
in 1914 and gave them up at the end of the second world war.