Marshall Islands Colonial Records

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Spanish Colonization (1520's-1885)[edit | edit source]

During the 1520's, Spanish explorers started exploring the Marshall Islands. The islanders had no immunity to European diseases and many died as a result of contact with the Spanish. Germany officially purchased the islands from Spain in 1885. [1]

Record collection Years covered Record type Language Who is in the records

German Colonization (1885-1919)[edit | edit source]

On October 13, 1885, German emissaries came to Jaluit. They signed a treaty with Iroijlaplap (paramount chief) Kabua, whom the Germans had earlier recognized as "King of the Ralik Islands", on October 15. Subsequently, seven other chiefs on seven other islands signed a treaty in German and Marshallese, and a final copy on November 1 was sent to the German Foreign Office. Germany officially purchased the islands from Spain in 1885, after a dispute over commercial and territorial claims in Micronesia; Nauru was added to the German protectorate in 1886. In 1914, Japan captured various German Empire colonies. After the war, on June 28, 1919, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, renouncing all of its Pacific possessions, including the Marshall Islands. On December 17, 1920, the Council of the League of Nations approved the South Seas Mandate for Japan to take over all former German colonies in the Pacific Ocean located north of the Equator. The administrative center of the Marshall Islands remained on Jaluit. [2]

Record collection Years covered Record type Language Who is in the records

Japanese Colonization (1919-1947)[edit | edit source]

After World War I ended, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versilles and Japan took over the Marshall Islands in 1919. The Marshall Islands were in an important geographic position, being the easternmost point in Japan's defensive ring at the beginning of World War II. Following capture and occupation by the United States during World War II, the Marshall Islands, along with several other island groups located in Micronesia, passed formally to the United States under United Nations auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 21. [3]

Record collection Years covered Record type Language Who is in the records

United States Colonization (1947-1979)[edit | edit source]

In World War II, the United States, during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, invaded and occupied the islands in 1944, destroying or isolating the Japanese garrisons. In just one month in 1944, Americans captured Kwajalein Atoll, Majuro and Enewetak, and, in the next two months, the rest of the Marshall Islands, except for Wotje, Mili, Maloelap and Jaluit. In 1947, as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific, the Marshall Islands was formally passed to the United States. In 1979, the Government of the Marshall Islands was officially established and the country became self-governing. [4]

Record collection Years covered Record type Language Who is in the records



References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "History of the Marshall Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Marshall_Islands#Spanish_colony, accessed 15 November 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "History of the Marshall Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Marshall_Islands#German_protectorate, accessed 15 November 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "History of the Marshall Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Marshall_Islands#Japanese_mandate, accessed 15 November 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "History of the Marshall Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Marshall_Islands#World_War_II, accessed 15 November 2020.