|History of Nauru|
The flag of Nauru reflects the 12 original tribes that inhabited the country
|Phosphate originally found||1907|
|Collapse of phosphate industry||2002|
The history of human activity in Nauru, an island country in the Pacific Ocean, began roughly 3,000 years ago when 12 Micronesian and Polynesian clans settled the island.
Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia, a subregion of Oceania, in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 kilometres (190 mi) to the east. It further lies northwest of Tuvalu, north of the Solomon Islands, east-northeast of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the Marshall Islands. With only a 21-square-kilometre (8.1 sq mi) area, Nauru is the third-smallest state on the list of countries and dependencies by area behind Vatican City and Monaco, making it the smallest state in the South Pacific Ocean, the smallest island state, and the smallest republic. Its population is 11,347, making it the third smallest on the list of countries and dependencies by population, after the Vatican and Tuvalu.
An island country is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 46 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
Nauru was first settled by Micronesian and Polynesian people at least 3,000 years ago.Nauruans subsisted on coconut and pandanus fruit, and engaged in aquaculture by catching juvenile ibija fish, acclimated them to freshwater conditions, and raised them in Buada Lagoon, providing an additional reliable source of food. Traditionally only men were permitted to fish on the reef, and did so from canoes or by using trained man-of-war hawks.
The coconut tree is a member of the palm tree family (Arecaceae) and the only living species of the genus Cocos. The term "coconut" can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull" after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
Pandanus tectorius is a species of Pandanus (screwpine) that is native to Malesia, eastern Australia, and the Pacific Islands. It grows in the coastal lowlands typically near the edge of the ocean. Common names in English include Tahitian screwpine, thatch screwpine, hala tree, pandanus, and pu hala in Hawaiian. The fruit is sometimes known as hala fruit.
Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats.
There were traditionally 12 clans or tribes on Nauru, which are represented in the 12-pointed star in the nation's flag. Nauruans traced their descent on the female side. The first Europeans to encounter the island were on the British whaling ship Hunter, in 1798. When the ship approached, "many canoes ventured out to meet the ship. The Hunter's crew did not leave the ship nor did Nauruans board, but Captain John Fearn's positive impression of the island and its people" led to its English name, Pleasant Island. This name was used until Germany annexed the island 90 years later.
Following the independence of Nauru, the flag of Nauru was raised for the first time. The flag, chosen in a local design competition, was adopted on independence day, 31 January 1968. It depicts Nauru's geographical position, one degree south of the Equator. A gold horizontal stripe representing the Equator runs across a blue field for the Pacific Ocean. Nauru itself is symbolized by a white 12-pointed star. Each point represents one of the 12 indigenous tribes on the island.
John Fearn was an English whaling ship captain, notable as the first European to discover the Pacific island of Nauru, which is now a sovereign republic. He was probably born on 24 August 1768 in Kingston upon Hull Note: He has frequently been confused with John Fearn (philosopher) (1768-1837), a British philosopher who had spent some years as an officer in the Royal Navy.
From around 1830, Nauruans had contact with Europeans from whaling ships and traders who replenished their supplies (such as fresh water) at Nauru.The islanders traded food for alcoholic toddy and firearms. The first Europeans to live on the island, starting perhaps in 1830, were Patrick Burke and John Jones, Irish convicts who had escaped from Norfolk Island, according to Paradise for Sale . Jones became "Nauru's first and last dictator," who killed or banished several other beachcombers who arrived later, until the Nauruans banished Jones from the island in 1841.
Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms. It is known by various names in different regions and is common in various parts of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Micronesia.
Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, 1,412 kilometres (877 mi) directly east of mainland Australia's Evans Head, and about 900 kilometres (560 mi) from Lord Howe Island. Together with the two neighbouring islands Phillip Island and Nepean Island it forms one of the Commonwealth of Australia's external territories. At the 2016 Australian census, it had 1748 inhabitants living on a total area of about 35 km2 (14 sq mi). Its capital is Kingston.
The introduction of firearms and alcohol destroyed the peaceful coexistence of the 12 tribes living on the island. A 10-year internal war began in 1878 and resulted in a reduction of the population from 1,400 (1843) to around 900 (1888).Ultimately, alcohol was banned and some arms were confiscated.
In 1886, Germany was granted the island under the Anglo-German Declaration. The island was annexed by Germany in 1888 and incorporated into Germany's New Guinea Protectorate. On 1 October 1888, the German gunboat SMS Eber landed 36 men on Nauru.Accompanied by William Harris the German marines marched around the island and returned with the twelve chiefs, the white settlers and a Gilbertese missionary. The chiefs were kept under house arrest until the next morning, when the annexation ceremony began with the raising of the German flag. The Germans told the chiefs that they had to surrender all weapons and ammunition within 24 hours or the chiefs would be taken prisoner. By the morning of 3 October 765 guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition were turned over. The Germans called the island Nawodo or Onawero. The arrival of the Germans ended the war, and social changes brought about by the war established kings as rulers of the island, the most widely known being King Auweyida. Christian missionaries from the Gilbert Islands also arrived at the island in 1888. The Germans ruled Nauru for almost three decades. Robert Rasch, a German trader who married a native woman, was the first administrator, appointed in 1888.
At the time there were twelve tribes on Nauru: Deiboe, Eamwidamit, Eamwidara, Eamwit, Eamgum, Eano, Emeo, Eoraru, Irutsi, Iruwa, Iwi and Ranibok. Today the twelve tribes are represented by the twelve-pointed star in the flag of Nauru.
Phosphate was discovered on Nauru in 1900 by the prospector Albert Ellis.The Pacific Phosphate Company started to exploit the reserves in 1906 by agreement with Germany. The company exported its first shipment in 1907.
Mandate of Nauru
Location of the Mandate of Nauru in the Pacific.
|Status||League of Nations mandate|
|Common languages|| English (official)|
|Government||League of Nations mandate|
|Historical era||Interwar period|
• Acquisition of Mandate
|17 December 1920|
• Reconstituited into a UN Trust Territory
|1 November 1947|
|ISO 3166 code||NR|
In 1914, following the outbreak of World War I, Nauru was captured by Australian troops, after which Britain held control until 1920. Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom signed the Nauru Island Agreement in 1919, creating a board known as the British Phosphate Commission (BPC). This took over the rights to phosphate mining.According to the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (now the Australian Bureau of Statistics), "In common with other natives, the islanders are very susceptible to tuberculosis and influenza, and in 1921 an influenza epidemic caused the deaths of 230 islanders." In 1923, the League of Nations gave Australia a trustee mandate over Nauru, with the United Kingdom and New Zealand as co-trustees. In 1932, the first Angam Baby was born.
Trust Territory of Nauru
Location of the Trust Territory of Nauru in the Pacific.
|Status||United Nations Trust Territory|
|Common languages|| English (official)|
|Historical era||Cold War|
• Reconstituited into a UN Trust Territory
|1 November 1947|
|31 January 1968|
|Currency|| Australian pound (until 1966)|
|ISO 3166 code||NR|
During World War II, Nauru was subject to significant damage from both Axis (German and Japanese) and Allied forces.
On 6 and 7 December 1940 the Nazi German auxiliary cruisers Orion and Komet sank four merchant ships. On the next day, Komet shelled Nauru's phosphate mining areas, oil storage depots, and the shiploading cantilever. The attacks seriously disrupted phosphate supplies to Australia and New Zealand (mostly used for munition and fertiliser purposes.)
Japanese troops occupied Nauru on 26 August 1942.The native Nauruans were badly treated by the occupying forces. On one occasion thirty nine leprosy sufferers were reputedly loaded onto boats which were towed out to sea and sunk. The Japanese troops built an airfield on Nauru which was bombed for the first time on 25 March 1943, preventing food supplies from being flown to Nauru. In 1943 the Japanese deported 1,200 Nauruans to work as labourers in the Chuuk islands.
Nauru was finally set free from the Japanese on 13 September 1945, when Captain Solda, the commander of all the Japanese troops on Nauru, surrendered the island to the Royal Australian Navy and Army. This surrender was accepted by Brigadier J. R. Stevenson, who represented Lieutenant General Vernon Sturdee, the commander of the First Australian Army, on board the warship HMAS DiamantinaArrangements were made to repatriate from Chuuk the 737 Nauruans who survived Japanese captivity there. They were returned to Nauru by the BPC ship Trienza in on 1 January 1946. In 1947, a trusteeship was established by the United Nations, and Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom became the U.N. trustees of the island, with administration passing mostly to Australia.
Nauru became self-governing in January 1966. On 31 January 1968, following a two-year constitutional convention, Nauru became the world's smallest independent republic. It was led by founding president Hammer DeRoburt. In 1967, the people of Nauru purchased the assets of the British Phosphate Commissioners, and in June 1970, control passed to the locally owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation. Money gained from the exploitation of phosphate was put into the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust and gave Nauruans the second highest GDP Per Capita (second only to the United Arab Emirates) and one of the highest standards of living in the Third World.
In 1989, Nauru took legal actions against Australia in the International Court of Justice over Australia's actions during its administration of Nauru. In particular, Nauru made a legal complaint against Australia's failure to remedy the environmental damage caused by phosphate mining.Certain Phosphate Lands: Nauru v. Australia led to an out-of-court settlement to rehabilitate the mined-out areas of Nauru.
By the close of the twentieth century, the finite phosphate supplies were fast running out. Nauru finally joined the UN in 1999.
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As its phosphate stores began to run out (by 2006, its reserves were exhausted), the island was reduced to an environmental wasteland. Nauru appealed to the International Court of Justice to compensate for the damage from almost a century of phosphate strip-mining by foreign companies. In 1993, Australia offered Nauru an out-of-court settlement of A$2.5 million annually for 20 years. New Zealand and the UK additionally agreed to pay a one-time settlement of $12 million each. Declining phosphate prices, the high cost of maintaining an international airline, and the government's financial mismanagement combined to make the economy collapse in the late 1990s. By the new millennium, Nauru was virtually bankrupt.
In December 1999, four major United States banks banned dollar transactions with four Pacific island states, including Nauru. The United States Department of State issued a report identifying Nauru as a major money laundering centre, used by narcotics traffickers and Russian organized crime figures.
President Bernard Dowiyogo took office in April 2000 for his fourth and, after a minimal hiatus, fifth stints as Nauru's top executive. Dowiyogo first served as president from 1976 to 1978. He returned to that office in 1989, and was re-elected in 1992. A vote in parliament, however, forced him to yield power to Kinza Clodumar in 1995. Dowiyogo regained the presidency when the Clodumar government fell in mid-1998.
In 2001, Nauru was brought to world attention by the Tampa affair, a Norwegian cargo ship at the centre of a diplomatic dispute between Australia, Norway and Indonesia. The ship carried asylum seekers, hailing primarily from Afghanistan, who were rescued while attempting to reach Australia. After much debate many of the immigrants were transported to Nauru, an arrangement known in Australia as the "Pacific Solution". Shortly thereafter, the Nauruan government closed its borders to most international visitors, preventing outside observers from monitoring the refugees' condition.[ citation needed ]
In December 2003, several dozen of these refugees, in protest of the conditions of their detention on Nauru, began a hunger strike. The hunger strike was concluded in early January 2004 when an Australian medical team agreed to visit the island. Since then, according to recent reports, all but two of the refugees have been allowed into Australia.
During 2002 Nauru severed diplomatic recognition with Taiwan (Republic of China) and signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. This move followed China's promise to provide more than U.S. $130 million in aid. In 2004, Nauru broke off relations with the PRC and re-established them with the ROC.
Nauru was also approached by the U.S. with a deal to modernize Nauru's infrastructure in exchange for suppression of the island's lax banking laws that allow activities that are illegal in other countries to flourish. Under this deal, allegedly, Nauru would also establish an embassy in China and perform certain "safehouse" and courier services for the U.S. government, in a scheme codenamed "Operation Weasel". Nauru agreed to the deal and instituted banking reform, but the U.S. later denied knowledge of the deal. The matter is being pursued in an Australian court, and initial judgments have been in favor of Nauru.
The government is desperately in need of money to pay off salary arrears of civil servants and to continue funding the welfare state built up in the heyday of phosphate mining (Nauruans pay no taxes).[ citation needed ] Nauru has yet to develop a plan to remove the innumerable coral pinnacles created by mining and make those lands suitable for human habitation.[ citation needed ]
The demographics of Nauru, an island country in the Pacific Ocean, are known through national censuses, which have been analysed by various statistical bureaus since the 1920s. The Nauru Bureau of Statistics have conducted this task since 1977—the first census since Nauru gained independence in 1968. The most recent census of Nauru was in 2011, when population had reached ten thousand. The population density is 478 inhabitants per square kilometre, and the overall life expectancy is 59.7 years. The population rose steadily from the 1960s until 2006 when the Government of Nauru repatriated thousands of Tuvaluan and I-Kiribati workers from the country. Since 1992, Nauru's birth rate has exceeded its death rate; the natural growth rate is positive. In terms of age structure, the population is dominated by the 15–64-year-old segment (65.6%). The median age of the population is 21.5, and the estimated gender ratio of the population is 0.91 males per one female.
Politics of Nauru takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Nauru is the head of government of the executive branch. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The economy of Nauru is tiny, based on a population in 2014 of only 11,000 people. The economy is primarily based on phosphate mining, offshore banking, and processing of coconut products. Mining of phosphate ceased after the exhaustion of the primary phosphate reserves, but in 2006–07 mining of a deeper layer of "secondary phosphate" began. It is hoped that this economic activity might lift Nauru from the bottom rung of global GDP per capita. The only other major source of government revenue is sale of fishing rights in Nauru's territorial waters.
Bernard Annen Auwen Dowiyogo was a Nauruan politician who served as President of Nauru on seven separate occasions. During this time, he also served as a Member of Parliament for the constituency of Ubenide.
Reverend Philip Adam Delaporte was a German-born American Protestant missionary who ran a mission on Nauru with his wife from 1899 until 1915. During this time he translated numerous texts from German into Nauruan including the Bible and a hymnal. He was also one of the first to create a written form for the Nauruan dialect, published in a Nauruan-German dictionary.
The Nauru Phosphate Corporation (NPC) was a government-owned company controlling phosphate mining in Nauru, now known as the Republic of Nauru Phosphate, or RONPhos.
René Reynaldo Harris was President of the Republic of Nauru four times between 1999 and 2004. He was a Member of Parliament from 1977 to 2008.
Sir Albert Fuller Ellis was a prospector in the Pacific. He discovered phosphate deposits on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Banaba Island in 1900. He was the British Phosphate Commissioner for New Zealand from 1921 to 1951.
The British Phosphate Commissioners (BPC) was a board of Australian, British, and New Zealand representatives who managed extraction of phosphate from Christmas Island, Nauru, and Banaba Island from 1920 until 1981.
John T. Arundel was an English entrepreneur who was instrumental in the development of the mining of phosphate rock on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Banaba. Williams & Macdonald (1985) described J.T. Arundel as "a remarkable example of that mid-Victorian phenomenon, the upright, pious and adventurous Christian English businessman."
Australia–Nauru relations refer to foreign relations between Australia and Nauru. Australia administered Nauru as a dependent territory from 1914 to 1968, and has remained one of Nauru's foremost economic and aid partners thereafter. Nauru has a consulate general in Brisbane. Australia is one of only two countries to have an embassy in Nauru. Both countries are members of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The German attacks on Nauru refers to the two attacks on Nauru in December 1940. These attacks were conducted by auxiliary cruisers between 6 and 8 December and on 27 December. The raiders sank five Allied merchant ships and inflicted serious damage on Nauru's economically important phosphate-loading facilities. Despite the significance of the island to the Australian and New Zealand economies, Nauru was not defended and the German force did not suffer any losses.
William Harris was a British-born beachcomber who settled in pre-colonial Nauru and adopted a Nauruan lifestyle.
Topics related to Nauru include:
The economy of Nauru has been almost wholly dependent on phosphate, which has led to environmental catastrophe on the island, with 80% of the nation’s surface having been strip-mined. The island's phosphate deposits were virtually exhausted by 2000 although some small-scale mining is still in progress.
The 2003 Nauruan parliamentary election took place on 3 May 2003 in Nauru to elect members of the Parliament of Nauru. The election took place with Nauru having economic difficulties and a large budget deficit. This was the main issue in the election, which followed a period where a number of presidents had been elected for short periods of time. However the election resulted in deadlock for several weeks afterwards, with parliament divided between three candidates for president. It was only at the end of May that Ludwig Scotty was elected as the new president of Nauru and was able to form a new government.
The Japanese occupation of Nauru was the period of three years during which Nauru, a Pacific island under Australian administration, was occupied by the Japanese military as part of its operations in the Pacific War during World War II. With the onset of the war, the islands that flanked Japan's South Seas possessions became of vital concern to Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, and in particular to the Imperial Navy, which was tasked with protecting Japan's outlying Pacific territories.
Frederick Royden Chalmers, was an Australian farmer, soldier, businessman, and government administrator. His murder by Japanese soldiers on Nauru in 1943 was the focus of a war crimes trial following the Second World War.
India-Nauru relations refers to the international relations that exist between India and Nauru. These have been established since the island's independence in 1968.