History (歴史)

Samoa (Western Samoa until 1997) was first colonised in 1900 when the three dominant world powers at the time, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Germany, took control and divided the islands of the Samoa Group into two colonial entities: Western Samoa under German control and American Samoa which became an unincorporated United States territory. The political status of the latter has been retained up to the present, while Western Samoa was taken over by Allied forces at the beginning of WWI, and in 1920, it became a mandated territory under the League of Nations and administered by New Zealand. Western Samoa was placed under the United Nations Security Council in 1946, the year the Council was established with the specific task of preparing colonised states for self-government and independence.

On 1st June 1948, the Samoan flag (which has just been adopted by the Samoans) was officially raised for the first time alongside the New Zealand flag, to the playing of the New Zealand national anthem and the Samoan official anthem (which has also just been approved after a Samoa-wide competition). This event was of great significance to the Samoans, and the conjoint use of both flags and both official anthems continued until 1962.

The colonial period in Samoa was marked by violence and conflict with many Samoan lives lost in contrast to the other Pacific islands where colonial times were relatively peaceful. The Samoans have always insisted on controlling their own lives, particularly in their villages, according to Samoan customs, traditions and practices. The colonial authorities demanded full control, and violent clashes inevitably resulted with neither side backing down. It was not surprising that Samoa became the first Pacific island country to regain its full independence. Over the last fifty years however, the situation has changed with Samoa becoming a leading example of political, economic and social stability in the Pacific islands region where many countries are facing major challenges.






Joint Heads of State, Maleitoa Tanumafi li II and Tupua Tamasese, raising the Flag of Freedom at Tiafau on 1 January 1962, as Paramount Chief, Fiame Mata’afa Faumuina Mulinu’u II, Samoa’s fi rst Prime Minister, is looking on from behind.