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Solomon Islands, History

Louis Antoine, Guadalcanal, League of Nations, Buka, protectorate

The Solomon Islands were visited and named in 1568 by the Spanish navigator Alvaro de Mendana de Neira. The northernmost islands of the group were explored in 1768 by Louis Antoine de Bougainville, for whom the island of Bougainville is named. Germany established control over the northern Solomons in 1885, but in 1900 it transferred these islands, except Bougainville and Buka, to the British, who had declared a protectorate over the central and southern Solomons in 1893. In 1914, at the start of World War I, Australia occupied the remaining German Solomons, and in 1919 the League of Nations granted the area to Australia as a mandate. Most of the Solomons were occupied by Japan during World War II (1939-1945), and heavy fighting occurred in the region, especially on and around Guadalcanal, before the Allies forced the last Japanese to leave the island group in 1945. In 1975 the Australian-administered Solomons became independent as part of Papua New Guinea. The British Solomons gained independence as Solomon Islands on July 7, 1978.

Article key phrases:

Louis Antoine, Guadalcanal, League of Nations, Buka, protectorate, island group, heavy fighting, mandate, Allies, independence, start of World War, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Germany, control, region, area, Japanese, Neira


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