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Identify when countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania became independent countries and describe how independence was achieved.
The Dutch colonized Indonesia in the 17th century
It was occupied by Japan from 1942-1945
After WWII, with UN mediation, the Netherlands agreed to relinquish its colony and Indonesia claimed its independence.
for a timeline on Indonesia
Colonial Control of the Pacific Islands
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia
these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945.
In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaysia
became independent in 1957.
for a timeline of Malaysia
The Philippine Islands
The islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century
They were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War.
In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth.
In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II
US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control.
On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence.
Philippine Declaration of Independence
for a timeline on the Philippines
The only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power.
for a timeline on Thailand
Flag of Cambodia
was placed under French protection in 1863
It became part of French Indochina in 1887.
Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953.
for a timeline of Cambodia
For more, see
from Mt. Holyoke College
Map of Vietnam
The conquest of the country by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884.
It became part of French Indochina in 1887.
Vietnam declared independence
after World War II on September 2, 1945
France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by nationalist forces under Ho Chi Minh.
for the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence
for a timeline of Vietnam
Multiple Perspectives on the U.S. War in Vietnam
contrasts the American and Vietnamese Declarations of Independence.
For more on the American war in Vietnam, see
United States History II.20
came under the domination of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century
it then became part of French Indochina.
The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand.
for a timeline of Laos
In 1770, when Capt. James Cook took possession in the name of Great Britain.
Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries
they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
for a timeline on Australia
New Zealand flag
became an independent Dominion in 1907.
In a move reminiscent of the European swindle of North American Indians, the Maori people, a Polynesian group thought to have arrived on New Zealand ca. 800 A.D., signed a treaty with the British in 1840
which put them under Queen Victoria’s rule.
Colonists soon arrived, with the British wresting complete control away from the Maoris in wars in 1843 and 1872.
for a timeline on New Zealand
in 200 years, Fiji has run the gamut of governmental systems.
After about 100 years of colonial rule, Fiji gained independence from Britain in 1970.
Fiji was a democracy until two military coups in 1987, instigated by people descended from immigrants from India.
A 1990 constitution gave the local Melanesians most of the power, and many people of Indian descent left the island.
A different, more eve-handed constitution was passed in 1997, but that was followed by another coup in 2000.
Elections in 2001 led to five more years of democratic rule
followed by another military takeover in 2006, the leader of which, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, has declared himself to be prime minister.
for a timeline on Fiji
Map of Micronesia
is in a “compact of free association” with the United States
the US protects it, but Micronesians rule themselves.
This arrangement was started in 1986 after a constitution was drafted in 1979
the relationship was reaffirmed in 2004.
for a timeline on Micronesia
independence in 1962 from administration by New Zealand made this the first Polynesian nation to declare independence.
Formerly Western Samoa, this nation was first under German control until the start of WWI in 1917, when it was taken over by New Zealand.
Split control of Papua New Guinea, which is on the right side of the island. The other side of the island is part of Indonesia, which was controlled by the Dutch.
for the Samoan Constitution
for a timeline on Samoa
Papua New Guinea:
Achieved independence from Australia in 1975.
The island was previously made up of a British protectorate and a German colony.
From 1945 to 1975 it became a colony of Australia following World War II.
It is now a constitutional monarchy in the British Commonwealth
Actually lead by local parliament
for primary sources relating to Papua new Guinea's independence
for a timeline of Papua New Guinea
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