New Hebrides Condominium
Condominium des Nouvelles-Hébrides
|Common languages||English, French, Bislama|
|20 October 1906|
|30 July 1980|
|1976||12,189 km2 (4,706 sq mi)|
|Currency||New Hebrides franc, Australian dollar|
New Hebrides, officially the New Hebrides Condominium (French: Condominium des Nouvelles-Hébrides, lit. "Condominium of the New Hebrides") and named for the Hebrides Scottish archipelago, was the colonial name for the island group in the South Pacific Ocean that is now Vanuatu. Native people had inhabited the islands for three thousand years before the first Europeans arrived in 1606 from a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós. The islands were colonised by both the British and French in the 18th century, shortly after Captain James Cook visited.
The two countries eventually signed an agreement making the islands an Anglo-French condominium that divided New Hebrides into two separate communities: one Anglophone and one Francophone.That divide continued even after independence, with schools teaching in either one language or the other, and with different political parties. The condominium lasted from 1906 until 1980, when New Hebrides gained its independence as the Republic of Vanuatu.
New Hebrides was a rare form of colonial territory in which sovereignty was shared by two powers, Britain and France, instead of being exercised by just one. Under the Condominium there were three separate governments – one French, one British, and one joint administration that was partially elected after 1975.
The French and British governments were called residencies, each headed by a resident appointed by the metropolitan government. The residency structure greatly emphasised dualism, with both consisting of an equal number of French and British representatives, bureaucrats and administrators. Every member of one residency always had an exact mirror opposite number on the other side who they could consult. The symmetry between the two residencies was almost exact.
The joint government consisted of both local and European officials. It had jurisdiction over the postal service, public radio station, public works, infrastructure, and censuses, among other things. The two main cities of Luganville and Port Vila also had city councils, but these did not have a great deal of authority.[ clarification needed ]
While initial settlers were predominantly British living in Australia, the late 19th century saw an influx of French. Within a few decades, there were twice as many French on the islands as there were British, prompting a multitude of petitions to cede power to either the French or the British. Despite this, the two nations came together to form a condominium, a specialised form of government where both nations would have all of their own administrations and jointly rule the islands. The only place they came together was in the Joint Court. As Mander describes, "The Joint Court was the key to the situation and much was to depend upon it….Three judges–one British, one French, and the third nominated by the King of Spain–were to comprise the court."This meant convictions in court were chosen based on either British or French law, depending on the circumstances.
Other than the Joint Court, everything existed in pairs. "Cynics called the Condominium 'the Pandemonium', as the dual administration produced amazing duplication. There were two police forces with their own laws, including road laws, two health services, two education systems, two currencies, and two prison systems."Additionally, there were separate British and French governments, which meant two immigration policies, two courts (apart from the Joint Court), and two corporation laws. Inhabitants of the islands were given the choice of which government they wanted to be ruled by. As Miles put it, "The result was an inevitable clash of foreign policy and colonial mentality."
Local people could choose whether to be tried under the British common law or the French civil law. Visitors could choose which immigration rules to enter under. Nationals of one country could set up corporations under the laws of the other. In addition to these two legal systems, a third Native Court existed to handle cases involving Melanesian customary law. There was also a Joint Court, composed of British and French judges. The President of the Joint Court was appointed by the King of Spain until 1939 when the post was abolished after the retirement of the last President, partly due to the abolition of the Spanish monarchy in 1931.
There were two prison systems to complement the two court systems. The police force was technically unified but consisted of two chiefs and two equal groups of officers wearing two different uniforms. Each group alternated duties and assignments.
Language was a serious barrier to the operation of the naturally inefficient system, as all documents had to be translated once to be understood by one side, then the response translated again to be understood by the other, though Bislama creole represented an informal bridge between the British and the French camps.
The Condominium was not beneficial for Ni-Vanuatu, as they were "...officially stateless. [For instance,] To travel abroad, they needed an identifying document signed by both the British and the French resident commissioners."Inevitably, that led to discontent across the islands, with a multitude of revolutionary groups forming in an attempt to create agency and self-government for themselves.
During the Second World War, approximately 10,000 Ni-Vanuatu men served in the Vanuatu Labor Corps, a labor battalion of the United States Armed Forces. They provided logistical support to the Allied war effort during the Guadalcanal Campaign. The mass participation of Ni-Vanuatu men in the Labor Corps had a significant effect on the John Frum movement, giving it the characteristics of a cargo cult.
Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.
The history of Vanuatu begins obscurely. The commonly held theory of Vanuatu's prehistory from archaeological evidence supports that peoples speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands some 3,300 years ago. Pottery fragments have been found dating back to 1300 BC. What little is known of the pre-European contact history of Vanuatu has been gleaned from oral histories and legends. One important early king was Roy Mata, who united several tribes, and was buried in a large mound with several retainers.
The politics of Vanuatu take place within the framework of a constitutional democracy. The constitution provides for a representative parliamentary system. The head of the Republic is an elected President. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu is the head of government.
John Frum is a figure associated with cargo cults on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. He is often depicted as an American World War II serviceman who will bring wealth and prosperity to the people if they follow him. Quoting David Attenborough's report of an encounter: "'E look like you. 'E got white face. 'E tall man. 'E live 'long South America."
The flag of Vanuatu was adopted on 18 February 1980.
The president of Vanuatu is the head of state of Vanuatu. The president is elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Vanuatu, formerly known as the New Hebrides, an island group in the South Pacific. Between 1906 and 1980, the islands were an Anglo-French Condominium.
Shefa is one of the six provinces of Vanuatu, located in the center of the country and including the islands of Epi and Efate and the Shepherd Islands.
Sir Robert Sidney Foster was a British colonial administrator, best remembered as the last colonial Governor of Fiji and the first Governor-General of the Dominion of Fiji. He had previously served as Governor of the Solomon Islands and as High Commissioner for the Western Pacific.
The British Western Pacific Territories (BWPT) was the name of a colonial entity, created in 1877, for the administration, under a single representative of the British Crown, styled High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, of a series of Pacific islands in and around Oceania. Except for Fiji and the Solomon Islands, most of these colonial possessions were relatively minor.
Ni-Vanuatu is a large group of closely related Melanesian ethnic groups native to the island country of Vanuatu. As such, Ni-Vanuatu are a mixed ethnolinguistic group with a shared ethnogenesis that speak a multitude of languages.
Rugby union in Vanuatu, formerly known as the New Hebrides is a popular sport. Vanuatu is a tier three rugby union playing nation. They began playing international rugby union in 1966 and have yet to make the Rugby World Cup.
Franceville was a municipality located on Efate, or Sandwich Island. It was established in 1889 in order to gain basic legal status, during the period when the New Hebrides was a neutral territory under the loose jurisdiction of a joint Anglo-French naval commission.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Vanuatu:
Ati George Sokomanu, is a ni-Vanuatu politician who served as the first president of the country. He was elected President by the Parliament when Vanuatu gained independence in 1980. He resigned in February 1984 while he was prosecuted for a tax violation, but was reelected and restored to the presidency weeks later by the Parliament for a 5-year term. In December 1988 he attempted to dismiss Prime Minister Walter Lini and install a new government headed by his own nephew Barak Sopé; the Supreme Court of Vanuatu overturned the President's decision the next day. The Electoral College removed Sokomanu from office for "gross misconduct" in 1989.
The French Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu have long-standing bilateral relations which have varied over the years between tense and amicable. Vanuatu, then known as the New Hebrides, was a Franco-British condominium from 1906 to 1980, and maintained formal relations with both of its former colonial masters after gaining independence. Franco–Vanuatuan relations were rocked by a series of crises in the 1980s, and broke down completely on several occasions, with Vanuatu expelling the French ambassador in 1981, in 1984 and in 1987. Relations improved from the 1990s onwards and, today, France provides development aid to Vanuatu. The two countries also share amicable economic and cultural relations; both are members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
The Coconut War was a brief clash between Papua New Guinean soldiers and rebels in Espiritu Santo shortly before and after the independence of the Republic of Vanuatu was declared on 30 July 1980.
Law in the Republic of Vanuatu consists of a mixed system combining the legacy of English common law, French civil law and indigenous customary law. The Parliament of Vanuatu is the primary law-making body today, but pre-independence French and British statutes, English common law principles and indigenous custom all enjoy constitutional and judicial recognition to some extent.
General elections were held for the first time in the New Hebrides on 10 November 1975. The result was a victory for the New Hebrides National Party, which won 17 seats in the new Representative Assembly.
The Vanuatu Labor Corps was a labour unit of the United States Armed Forces consisting of New Hebrides natives. The unit was established in 1942 and dissolved in 1945, during its service it provided crucial logistical support to the Allied war effort during the Guadalcanal Campaign. It was jointly led by Major George Riser and Thomas Beatty, while its size fluctuated between 1,000 and 10,000 men.
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