Marshall Islands History

By | December 14, 2021

Marshall Islands. Officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands is an island state located in the Pacific Ocean, in Micronesia. Complete independence in accordance with international law occurred on December 22, 1990, when the United Nations officially terminated the trust over the territory. It is a nation whose independence in 1990 made it one of the youngest countries in Oceania. It was part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and was subject to the administration of the United States. It is made up of two archipelagos and some reefs that in total add up to 1,152 Pacific islands. It is located northeast of Australia, specifically north of Nauru and east of Micronesia. Majuro is the capital city of Marshall Islands according to simplyyellowpages.

Although the Marshall Islands were populated by Micronesians in the second millennium BC, little is known of the early history of the islands.

Arrival of the Europeans

The Spanish explorer Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón, commanding the ship “Florida”, conquered them and landed on them in 1529, taking possession in the name of the King of Spain, but the islands remained virtually unvisited for several centuries, until the arrival of the captain. English John Marshall in 1788, who gave his name to the islands, but they were claimed by Spain in 1874 and their sovereignty recognized by international diplomacy. I call this group of islands “Los Pintados”. It was followed by numerous Spanish expeditions, ships such as “San Jeronimo”, “Los Reyes”, “Todos los Santos” visited the islands in different years. Part of the Spanish Oceania, Germany in 1884 after papal mediation.

Germany established a protectorate in 1885 and trading stations on the islands of Jaluit and Ebon to carry out the burgeoning copra (dried coconut meat) trade. The Marshallese Iroij (Iroij: high chiefs) continued to rule under indirect German administration.

First World War

Under the control of the German Empire, Japan conquered the islands in World War I and went on to administer them under the Gang of Nations when Germany renounced all its Pacific possessions.

Contrary to the German Empire, which had economic interests mainly in Micronésia, Japan wanted to use the islands to increase its territory and contain the country’s super population. Japan left the Gang of Nations on March 27, 1933 but still continued to run the premises.

Second World War

In World War II, during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign at the Battle of Tarawa, the United States invaded the islands in 1944 and, following the defeat of Japan, began to administer them within the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. During the battle, the islands suffered gigantic damage and suffered with severe food shortages.

After the Second War

Nuclear test in the Marshall Islands on the “Pacific Test Web”

The US began conducting nuclear tests on the islands between 1946 and 1958, extending them into the 1960s. Due to the tests, many Marshallese suffered from high levels of radiation, and to this day there are demands for compensation. On the island of Bikini for example, all the foods that are from their origin have high levels of radiation, which caused the island to become uninhabited.

In 1979, the Republic of the Marshall Islands was established and a Free Association Agreement was signed with the US government, which became effective in 1986.

In 1979, the United States proposed the Commonwealth regime for the four administrative divisions of the area. In the case of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (official name as of 1982), the United States agreed that the local government be granted jurisdiction not only in internal affairs, but also in relation to foreign relations, but in exchange for declare them a “military zone” for specific uses. Thus was formalized what was in fact already happening: between 1946 and 1958 the Atolls of Bikini and Kwajalein had been the scene of nuclear tests that made the Marshall Islands the area of greatest known radioactive contamination.

The 1 of maypole of 1979, in recognition of the evolving political status of the Marshall Islands, the United States admitted the Constitution of the Marshall Islands and the establishment of the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The Constitution incorporates American and British concepts.

In the first elections of the new state, in 1986, Amata Kabua was elected president. In 1988 the Marshall Islands were admitted to the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement.

In April of 1990, the US announced that it would use the area to destroy chemical weapons installed in Europe to date. Environmental defenders also denounced plans to dump 25 million tons of toxic waste on the atoll between 1989 and 1994. In September of that year, the Marshall Islands were admitted as a member state of the United Nations.

Chancellor Tony Brun founded the Democratic Party Ralik Ratak (Ralik Ratak Democratic Party) in June of 1991, after distance himself from President Kabua who, after being reelected for his fourth consecutive term, died in December 1996. In January 1997, Parliament appointed [[Imata Kabua, cousin of the deceased president, as the new president.

Complete independence in accordance with international law occurred on December 22, 1990, when the United Nations officially terminated the trust over the territory.

There have been numerous local and national elections since the Republic of the Marshall Islands was founded and in general, democracy has worked well. The United Democratic Party, following a platform of reforms, won the 1999 parliamentary elections, taking control of the presidency and cabinet.

The islands signed an agreement with the United States in 1986 and until 1999 the islanders received 180 million dollars for the use of the Kwajalein atoll, 250 million in compensation for nuclear tests and 600 million in other series of concepts.

Despite the Constitution, the government was largely controlled by the traditional chiefs. It was not until 1999, under corruption charges, that the aristocratic government was overthrown, with Imata Kabua replaced by the “commoner” Kessai Note.

In March of 2006, the General Assembly of the UN passed a resolution to create a new Human Rights Council. The latter was voted by a large majority, with the opposition of only four nations: Marshall, USA, Israel and Palau. These four countries usually vote together, such as repeatedly in favor of the blockade of Cuba or in favor of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The islanders made aware in June of 2007, his refusal to sign a new lease their land to the United States until 2086, to be conducted missile tests. This refusal was an obstacle in Majuro, which considered the new agreement to replace the one that will expire in 2016 as a fact.

Government and politics

The government of the Marshal Islands operates under a mixed parliamentary-presidential system as shown in article IV of its Constitution. Elections are called every four years under universal suffrage (for all citizens over 18 years of age), with the election by its 24 members from one or more senators to the lower house (bicameral legislature), the Nitijela (Majuro, the capital of the atoll, elects five senators). The president, Head of State and Head of Government, is chosen by the 33 senators of the Nitijela, which in turn has to elect a Presidential Cabinet consisting of ten ministers that must be approved by the lower house.

The 24 districts in which the country is divided correspond to the different islands and atolls.

There are currently three political parties in the Marshall Islands: Aelon Kein Ad (AKA), United People’s Party (UPP), and United Democratic Party (UDP).

Marshall Islands History