Tonga History

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Historical Timeline[edit | edit source]

500 The islands are settled by Polynesians.
1400 A hereditary Tongan monarchy rules over Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Fiji, and others.
1470 The Tui Tonga becomes more of a sacred ruler and creates the Hau office. The Hau rules in governmental affairs, and is called the Ha`atakaluaua Dynasty.
1616 Dutch navigators Schouten and Lemaire visit Tonga.
1773 British Captain James Cook visits. He names Tonga the Friendly Islands.

1774 British Captain James Cook's second visit to Tonga.

1777 British Captain James Cook's third and last visit to Tonga. Meets Finau 'Ulukalala son of Tuituiohu, the first of the line of the chiefs of Vava'u Meets Tu'i Tonga Bau, Tu'i Ha'atakalaua Maealiuaki and Tu'i Kanokupolu Tu'ihalafatai.

1781 Spanish navigator Maurelle finds Vava'u. Meets Tu'i Tonga Bau.

1787 French Captain La Perouse visits Vava'u and Tongatapu.

1789 British Captain William Bligh of "Mutiny of the Bounty" fame floats in rowboat to Tofua.
1790 Civil war breaks out and continues through the 1820s.

1791 British Captain Edwards visits Tonga searching for the ship "Bounty"

1793 French Captains D'Entrecasteaux and Labillardiere come to Tonga searching for Captain La Perouse who dissappeared in 1788 after arriving in Australia.
1797British Captain Wilson on the ship "Duff" brings London Society missionaries from England.
1800 Another dynasty is formed. The high chiefs live on Tongatapu, so it is known as the Land of Chiefs, and the other islands are called the Land of Servants.
1826 A Wesleyan Mission is established.
1831 Taufa`ahau is converted to Christianity, chooses the name George after the King of England, and wins a struggle against the Tui Tonga. He is known as King George Tupou I.  He rules Ha'apai

1833 King George Tupou I gains Vava'u under his rule.

1839 The Wesleyans help King George Tupou I write a code of laws.
1845 He proclaims himself King George Tupou I.
1852 King George Tupou I, after many wars, gains Tongatapu. The Tongan Islands are all united.
1862 Serfdom is abolished.  Foreigners may lease land.

1864 German Migration to Tonga begins from Pyritz, Pommern, Kingdom of Prussia, Germany

1867 Tongan palace built by German firm J. C. Godeffroy Sohn
1875Tongan constitution is formed.

1876 Tonga and Germany enter into a treaty of friendship

1879 Tonga and Great Britian enter into a treaty of friendship

1880 Crown Prince's body, Tevita 'Unga, brought back to Tonga from New Zealand on German navy frigate Nautilus.  Mr. Shirley Baker is chosen by King George Tupou I to be Prime Minister.

1886 Tonga and United States of America enter into a treaty of friendship

1893 King George Tupou II reigns
1897 A written Tongan based on the Latin alphabet is established. The alphabet includes 16 letters, plus a glottal stop, for which an apostrophe is used. All words end with a vowel sound.
1900 With agreement between Germany, Britain, and United States, Tonga becomes a  British protectorate.

1914 World War I [WWI] Tonga declares neutrality

1916 Tonga forced by Britian declares all German citizens as enemy aliens
1918 Queen SaloteTupou III begins her reign.

1942 World War II [WWII] German evacuees from Tonga interred in New Zealand
1952 Liahona High school opens in Tonga tapu.

1958 Tonga and Britain treaty of friendship revised.
1965 Death of Queen Salote, whose reign was marked with great progress in education and other progress for the entire population.
1968 Her son, King Taufa`ahau Tupou IV begins his reign.
1970 The British protectorate is dissolved. Tongan full sovereignty is restored.
1977 100 year ratification of Tonga and Germany treaty of friendship.  New treaty signed.

1986 Tonga and United States treaty of friendship ratified.
1990 Dissatisfaction with corruption in high places brings unexpected victories to the Tongan Pro-Democracy party, which represents the interest of the “commoners” who believe the “nobles” are taking unfair advantage of their lifetime positions in parliament.

That the marriage of Sinaitakala Ilangi Leka, Tu'i Tonga Fefine of Tongatapu, to the Fijian chief, Tapu'osi from the village of Vasivasi, Fiji shifted the political alliance from Samoa to Fiji. Sinaitakala Illangi Leka was the daughter of Uluakimata the 1st, also known as Tele'a, and his Ma'itaki wife [premier wife], Mataukipa, daughter of Kau'ulufonua Hua, Chief of Mataliku.  Uluakimata the 1st was the 29th Tui Tonga [King] reigned in Tonga as King and is calculated to have started his reign about 1561.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Gifford, Edward Winslow. Tongan Society, Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Bulletin 61, Bayard Dominick Expedition, Publication Number 16, Honolulu, Hawaii, Published by the Museum 1929, Kraus Reprint Co., New York, 1971.