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State

Capital

Western Samoa

Apia

Currency unit

US $

Connections

American Samoa

Empire

New Zealand
 Western Pacific

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

Polynesians are believed to have settled there in 1000 BC. They probably came from Tonga. Samoans migrated to many other parts of the ocean and Samoa may be the legendary "Havaiki, birthplace of lands" known in oral tradition throughout the Polynesian world.

European Contacts
Roggeveen, a Dutchman, sighted them in 1722. The Frenchman Bougainville visited in 1768.

The first missionaries settled in 1830. Britain, Germany and the US appointed consuls. The Samoans fought amongst themselves to establish a paramount state with the help of European weapons - more or less as proxies for the imperial powers.

A US agent Colonel Steinberger arranged a peace in 1873, drafted a constitution and then made himself prime minister of the state, making it his personal state. He was deported by the British in 1876. The British then established the municipality of Apia in 1879. However, the Berlin treaty in 1889 agreed on the independence and neutrality of Samoa but war between the chiefs and the king broke out again in 1899 when a new treaty of Berlin annexed Western Samoa to Germany and the US got the rest. The Samoans resisted the Germans from 1908. New Zealand took the islands from Germany in 1914. The League of Nations awarded them as a mandate to New Zealand in 1920. Samoan resistance continued, now directed against NZ.

The United States built bases on Upola during world war two. Afterwards they became a UN Trust Territory still given to NZ. Independence in 1962. NZ remains the agent for foreign affairs if requested.

pop. 160,000.

Languages

Polynesian

(Samoan)

English

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

Politics

Multi-party system with alternation of parties. Current ruling party is the Human Rights Protection party. Opposition is the Samoan National Development Party.

The voting system has been limited to the village chiefs. Since April 1991 the vote has been given to all adults but parliamentary candidates must be village chiefs - the traditional aristocracy - a group of 12,000 people out of a population of 160,000.

Thus the system is traditional rather than modern.

Interesting reading

Notable as the final residence of Robert Louis Stevenson, died 1894
South Sea Tales

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

 History

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 Rights

Green/Ecology

 History

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Human Rights

Climate effects

Last revised 19/12/06


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