Former German Possessions in Oceania

Description

In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Former German Possessions in Oceania is Number 146 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book contains sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. It covers Kaiser Wilhelmsland, Bismarck Archipelago, Caroline and Palau Islands, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, and Samoa. The section on political history outlines Germany’s acquisition in the late 19th century of a Pacific empire by means that included the proclamation of protectorates, the purchase of territories from Spain, and the conclusion of Franco-German and Anglo-German agreements on spheres of interest and the partition of territories. Germany lost all of these colonies at the end of World War I. Kaiser Wilhelmsland and the Bismarck Archipelago were occupied by Australian troops at the outset of the war in 1914, and after the war they were administered by Australia under a League of Nations mandate. Both are today part of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. The Caroline Islands and Palau were occupied by Japan in 1914 and administered by Japan after World War I under a League of Nations mandate and by the United States after World War II under a United Nations mandate. Today they form the two independent countries of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau. The Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands were occupied by Japan in 1914 and administered by Japan after World War I and by the United States after World War II. The Marianas are today a U.S. territory; the Marshall Islands are the independent Republic of the Marshall Islands. Forces from New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Samoa in 1914, and New Zealand administered the territory under League of Nations and United Nations mandates until 1962. It is today the independent state of Samoa.

Last updated: July 19, 2017