Samoa - Country history and economic development

1721. The first European "explorer" visits Samoa. Metal tools and weapons are introduced.

1830s-1890s. A series of governments under Samoan chieftainship and foreign support come and go. German coconut plantations are founded.

1899. Treaties are signed between Britain, Germany, and the United States giving Western Samoa to Germany and American (Eastern) Samoa to the United States.

1914. New Zealand takes control of Western Samoa during World War I.

1920s. The nonviolent Mau movement, formed to oppose taxes and support independence, is suppressed by force; 11 Samoans, including a matai, are killed.

1962. Western Samoa becomes the first independent nation in the Pacific Islands.

1982. Samoa experiences a constitutional crisis with 3 governments in 1 year. Tension continues between parliamentary and traditional matai systems.

1991. Universal voting franchise is introduced for all citizens over age 21; previously only matai could vote.

1997. The country's name changes from Western Samoa to Samoa.

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