The world's smallest continent, the region consists of
approximately 10,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Know the
main data about the continent.
Oceania is the name given
to the continent or region formed by about 10,000 islands
located in the Pacific Ocean. The world's smallest
continent, it is formed by 14 countries and divided into
four regions: Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and
Located below Asia and above Antarctica, the continent
was named after Oceania by the French explorer Dumont
d'Urville in 1831. Most of its territory corresponds to
Australia, the largest island, which occupies 85% of the
Being in a tropical region, Oceania has a hot and humid
climate, with varied fauna and flora. For example, animals
that only exist in Australia, such as kangaroos and
marsupials, are famous.
The most developed countries in Oceania are Australia and
New Zealand. They are major producers of wool, rich in
various ores and precious metals, as well as having
prosperous food and chemical industries.
Countryaah, get to know the main data, countries and capitals in
Number of countries: 14
Population (2018): 41,261,000╣
Total area (km2): 9,008,458 km▓
Population density (per km2) (2018): 4.9╣
GDP (2018): 1,535,831,000 (in dollars) ╣
GDP per capita (2086): 38,561.00 (in dollars) ╣
Countries and capitals (divided by region)
- Australia - Canberra
- New Zealand - Wellington
- Papua New Guinea - Porto Moresby
- Solomon Islands - Honiara
- Vanuatu - Port Vila
- Fiji - Suva
- Palau - Ngerulmud
- Kiribati - South Tarawa
- Federated States of Micronesia - Palikir
- Marshall Islands - Majuro
- Nauru - Yaren
- Samoa - Apia
- Tonga - Nuku'alofa
- Tuvalu - Vaiaku
Oceania (Prehistory & History - Independence)
Worldwide decolonization reached relatively late to
Oceania. Samoa gained independence from New Zealand in 1962,
and in the following two decades many other states followed
suit. The US-dominated areas of Micronesia, except Guam,
became independent in the 1980s after difficult
negotiations, while American Samoa has maintained close ties
with the United States. Hawaii was incorporated in 1959 as a
state in the United States. France, as the only one of the
colonial powers of the past, maintains control over its New
Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna possessions.
Modern oceanic societies are characterized by colonial
movements and border settlements of the colonial era. In
Papua New Guinea, an independence movement in Bougainville,
which belongs to Papua New Guinea but feels more closely
connected to the Solomon Islands, has waged an armed
struggle against the state. In Fiji, equal groups of
Melanesians and Fiji Indians (introduced as laborers by the
British colonial power) face each other in an ethnic
contradiction that in 1987 triggered a Melanesian military
coup. In New Caledonia, Canucks have made several
vain attempts to gain independence through armed insurgency
against the French-dominated majority. In New Zealand,
Australia and Hawaii, the contradictions between the
indigenous minorities and the white majority since the 1970s
have led to numerous serious conflicts.
Oceanic societies are characterized by a growing divide
between the educated elite of the state and the general
population, which is tied to subsistence economics.
Externally, the countries' economic dependence on foreign
powers, which have special interests in the area, continues.
Samoa was populated from Indonesia, Malaysia and the
Philippines from around 1500 BC. The Dutchman Jacob
Roggeveen discovered Samoa in 1722. Louis de Bougainville
explored the islands in 1768. The Christian mission began in
the 1830s; the missionaries were followed by American and
European traders. In 1899, Samoa was divided between Germany
and the United States; Germany got Western Samoa. New
Zealand occupied Western Samoa in 1914. Nearly a fifth of
the population died during the flu epidemic 1918-19. New
Zealand was given the mandate over the islands in 1920.
In 1946, the mandate for Samoa was renewed as a UN area
of supervision. The islands gained more and more autonomy
and after a revolt in 1961, Samoa in 1962 became the first
Polynesian territory to become an independent state.
Malietoa Tanumafili 2 was elected monarch (1963-2007).
Western Samoa joined the Commonwealth in 1970.
General voting rights were introduced in 1990. In 1997,
the country changed its name from Western Samoa to Samoa.
The number of tourists increased significantly in the 1990s.
Samoa was hit by catastrophic cyclones in 1990 and 1991 and
the number of tropical storms has increased in recent years
due to climate change.
Tonga was populated around 1000 BCE. of Austronesian-
speaking people. The Tongans developed a stratified social
system led by a ruler whose empire in the 13th century
reached all the way to Hawaii.
The Dutchman Jacob le Maitre visited the islands in 1616
and Abel Tasman in 1643. James Cook came in 1773 and 1774,
and called them the Friendly Islands. The first European
settlers arrived in Tonga in the late 18th century and a
Methodist mission was established in 1826; it abolished
traditional religions. In 1845, Tonga became a united
kingdom under the baptized king Tupou 1, and it was granted
a constitution in 1875.
In 1905, Tonga and the United Kingdom entered into a
friendship agreement and Tonga became a British
protectorate, but did not lose political independence. At
the death of George Tupou 2 in 1918, the throne went to
daughter Salote Tupou 3. She was popular and also popular in
the United Kingdom, and reigned until 1965.
The Protectorate was dissolved in 1970 when Tonga gained
independence. From 1965 to 2006, Tonga was ruled by King
Taufa'ahau Tupou 4. Since the 1990s, Tonga has had high
inflation and unemployment. To reduce dependence on imports,
wave energy and solar energy are utilized.
In 1989, the island of Henderson, located 68 km northeast
of Pitcairn, was included in the United Nations World
Heritage List to be preserved as a bird sanctuary. On the
island live 5 species that are not found anywhere else.
In early 1992, significant mineral deposits formed by
underground volcanoes were discovered within the country's
territorial area. These were manganese, iron, copper, zinc,
silver and gold deposits. The extraction of these minerals
could drastically change the economy of the islands.
In 1995, Robert John Alston was appointed new governor to
replace David Moss.
The population decline on Pitcairn continues. In January
1998, it was down to 30 people, of whom only 8 are able to
work. About a dozen people had emigrated the year before.
The island is Britain's last colony in the Pacific and
relies on the ships arriving with goods as it does not have
an airport itself. The lack of manpower to work with these
boats can amplify the migration. London is trying to avoid
this by constructing a small runway that can be used in
In January 2000, the 44 residents of the island found
that the United Kingdom no longer had any interest in it, as
the British crown by decree removed the last subsidies on
electricity and customs duties on the products. The
population therefore began to consider instead obtaining
French overseas territory status.
In 2002, 20 residents were involved in a case of child
sexual abuse. Some of them continued to live on Pitcairn,
others outside. The case had begun rolling in 1999 when a
female Kent police officer who trained local policemen
discovered that the sexual exploitation of 12-15 year old
girls was widespread on the island. In August, residents
broke the silence that had otherwise surrounded the subject
for hundreds of years when they told the New Zealand Herald
that it was an ancient cultural tradition on the island that
was due to the early sexual activity of the children. As the
island is difficult to reach, the UK decided to conduct the
trial - the first in over 100 years - in New Zealand, the UK
or an overseas area.
In 2003, only 6 of the 20 were held responsible for the
sexual offenses against minors. In October 2004, Mayor Steve
Christian was sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual
assault. 4 other men were sentenced to 2-6 years in prison.
In May 2005, an appeals court rejected the sentenced
complaints that UK law had been applied during the
sentencing hearing, but the sentenced persons took further
legal action to overturn the verdict. That failed and in
October 2006 they began their prison sentence.
In December 2010, Mayor Mike Warren was charged with
possessing large amounts of child pornography. Warren
struggled to get the case in Pitcairn while the prosecution
wanted to bring him to trial in New Zealand. Warren was
placed before a judge in 2012, and it was decided to put him
on trial in 2013.
In January 2014, Shawn Christian assumed the post of
mayor. It was his brother who had been convicted of sexual
assault 10 years earlier.