The Solomon Islands Becomes And Independent Nation
On July 7, 1978, the Solomon Islands, an archipelago of 992 islands northeast of Australia, became an independent nation, ending eighty years of British rule.
The region was relatively isolated from European contact until the late nineteenth century when several European nations began to look to the islands as a source of labor for plantations in Fiji and Australia.
The World's Transportation Commission, a traveling delegation organized to promote U.S. trade and gather information about foreign markets and foreign transportation systems, visited the Solomon Islands in 1895. Commission photographer William Henry Jackson captured striking images of the Pacific Island cultures that had been relatively isolated from Western influence prior to the twentieth century.
The Solomon Islands is a country in Melanesia, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. Together they cover a land mass of 28,400 square kilometres (10,965 sq mi). The capital is Honiara, located on the island of Guadalcanal.
The Solomon Islands are believed to have been inhabited by Melanesian people for thousands of years. The United Kingdom established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred in the Solomon Islands campaign of 1942–45, including the Battle of Guadalcanal. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state.
Since 1998 ethnic violence, government misconduct and crime have undermined stability and society. In June 2003 an Australian-led multinational force, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), arrived to restore peace, disarm ethnic militias and improve civil governance.
The North Solomon Islands are divided between the independent Solomon Islands and Bougainville Province in Papua New Guinea.