Vanuatu. According to
Countryaah, a major government transformation in May
resulted in the reunification of the previously divided
Union of Moderate Parties. The transformation of the
government was due to the fact that former Prime Minister Maxime Carlot Korman threatened with a declaration of
confidence in the government. In November, Prime Minister
Vohor dissolved the parliament since Korman filed one. New
elections were announced until January 1998.
The first colonization of Polynesia is another mystery. Thor
Heyerdahl's expedition in his boat Kon Tiki tried to prove
that man came to Polynesia from America, but similarities in
language, culture and crops rather connect the Melanesians
with the Indonesians.
The Polynesians arrived in Vanuatu around 1,400 BCE They
sailed and populated the entire Pacific region from
Antarctica south of New Zealand, to Hawaii far north of the
equator, and to Easter Island in the easternmost part of the
ocean. They got livestock and developed a form of
subsistence farming, made pottery and weaving, organized
caste societies, and in some cases, passed on the story
orally over the centuries.
On April 29, 1605, Spanish-Portuguese captain Pedro
Fernández de Quirós caught sight of the islands, which he
believed were part of the great Australian continent he was
looking for. He baptized them Tierra del Espíritu Santo
(Land of the Holy Spirit).
A century and a half later, the Frenchman Louis-Antoine
de Bougainville sailed around the archipelago, proving that
they were islands and not part of Australia. In 1774,
British sailor James Cook drew the first map of the
archipelago, which he called New Hebrides in memory of the
Hebrides at Scotland.
In a few years, traders came to the islands that felled
the aromatic trees (sandalwood). The islands could not offer
other natural resources, but instead became suppliers of
half-slave labor. The people were abducted or bought by the
local chiefs for tobacco, mirrors and firearms.
In the middle of the 18th century, the North American
civil war caused the world market price of cotton to rise.
The cotton plantations in Indochina thus became so
profitable that this slave trade continued long after the
formal abolition of slavery. Because of the popular dislike
of this colonialism, there were more missionaries who had to
die in New Hebrides than in other parts of the Pacific.
Throughout almost the entire 19th century, the
archipelago lay on the border of the French sphere of
influence originating in New Caledonia and the British
centered in the Solomon Islands. Both nations eventually
decided to divide the archipelago. In 1887 a Joint Naval
Commission was established and in 1906 the division was
The focal point of the joint colonial dominance was the
maintenance of a number of fundamental institutions (postal,
radio, customs and public works), and in addition left it to
each of the colonial powers to develop their own parallel
activities. Therefore, there were two police forces, two
currencies, two independent health systems and two school
systems in the islands.
The Melanesians were relegated to an outcast status in
their own country. They were not considered citizens until a
parliament was established in 1974 in the country. British
and French citizenship was reserved for the whites, as was
the ownership of the best lands.