MicSem Media Productions

History II: Planting The Foreign Flag

2007 (70:00 mins) Island Topics #55 HISTORY

This video, the second in a five-part series on the history of Micronesia, explores the beginning of colonial rule in the islands. It opens in 1885, a time when the Pacific was being partitioned among colonial powers, with the contest between Spain and Germany for possession of the islands. After a brief look at Spanish rule, the video explores the policies and programs of the German colonial era between 1899 and 1914. German development programs, in Yap and Palau in particular, served as an important initial step in modernization in both island groups. But the German era was significant in other ways as well. A series of devastating typhoons from 1905 to 1907 led to resettlement of atoll populations in other places. German ethnographers, who arrived in Micronesia during this time, captured a view of the island past that might not have been accessible today if they had not recorded it so diligently. The Sokehs Uprising on Pohnpei was a final major event in that period. When the Japanese seized the German-held islands at the outbreak of World World I, they built on the German efforts at modernization and prefigured what was to come during the next twenty years of Japanese occupation.

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