History of Fiji

From Academic Kids

Template:History of Fiji

The timeline below shows a thumbnail sketch of Fijian history, from ancient times to the present day. For a more detailed analysis, follow the links under each heading to the related articles.


Prehistory to 1820

1500 BCFiji settled by Polynesian seafarers.
500 BCMelanesian seafarers reach Fiji and intermarry with the Polynesian inhabitants, giving rise to the modern Fijian people.
1643 ADAbel Tasman sights Vanua Levu Island and northern Taveuni.
1774James Cook visits Vatoa in the southern Lau archipelago.
1789William Bligh, the scuttled captain of the HMS Bounty, passes the Yasawas and sails between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu en route to Batavia.
1804Sandalwood discovered on Vanua Levu.
1808Swedish mercenary Charlie Savage arrives on Bau Island and supplies weapons to Ratu Tanoa, Vunivalu of Bau.
1820Beche-de-mer (sea cucumber) trade begins.

1820 to 1874

1822European settlement begins at Levuka, Fiji's first modern town.
1830The first Christian missionaries from Tahiti arrive in southern Lau.
1835Methodist missionaries arrive in Lakeba.
1840First visit from an American exploring expedition commanded by Captain John Wilkes.
1847Prince Enele Ma'afu of Tonga invades Lau, establishing himself in Lakeba by 1848.
1849Trading store of United States Consul and settler, John Brown Williams, accidentally destroyed by stray cannon fire and subsequently looted by Fijian natives.
1851First threatening visit from the United States Navy, demanding US$5000 for Williams's losses.
1853Warlord Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau installed as Vunivalu (Paramount Chief) of Bau, and claims the title of Tui Viti (King of Fiji).
1854Cakobau converts to Christianity.
1855Cakobau crushes Rewa revolt.

John Brown Williams's home destroyed by arson. Visit from warship USS John Adams, demanding almost $44,000 compensation; seizes some islands as mortgage.

1858Arrival of the first British Consul.
Hostile visit from USS Vandalia.
Cakobau offers to ceded the islands to the United Kingdom for US$40,000.
1862The United Kingdom refuses to annex Fiji, claiming to have ascertained from Cakobau's fellow-chiefs that he was not universally accepted as King of Fiji and that he did not have the authority to cede the islands.
1865Confederacy of Fijian chiefs formed.
1867Threats to shell Levuka from an American warship.
Amid increasing unrest, Cakobau crowned King of Bau by European settlers.
1868The Australian-based Polynesia Company acquires land near Suva, in return for promising to pay Cakobau's debts.
1871Establishment of the Kingdom of Fiji as a constitutional monarchy, with Cakobau as King but with real power in the hands of a Cabinet and Legislature dominated by settlers from Australia.
1872Lavish overspending saddles the new kingdom with debt. John Thurston, a government official, approaches the United Kingdom on Cakobau's behalf with an offer to cede the islands.
187410 October - Fiji becomes a British colony.

1874 to 1970

1875An outbreak of measles leaves a third of the Fijian population dead.
1876Great Council of Chiefs established.
187914 May - arrival of 463 indentured labourers from India - the first of some 61,000 to come over the ensuing 37 years.
1881First large sugar mill built at Nausori.
Rotuma Island annexed to Fiji.
1882Capital moved from Levuka to Suva.
1904Legislative Council reconstituted as a partially elected body, with European male settlers enfranchised and Fijian chiefs given an indirect input. Most seats still filled by nomination rather than election.
1916End of the importing of indentured labourers from India.
First Indian appointed to Legislative Council.
1917Count Felix Von Luckner arrested on Wakaya Island.
1928First flight from Hawaii lands at Suva.
1929Wealthy Indians enfranchised for the first time; Indian representation in the Legislative Council made elective.
1939Nadi Airport built as an Allied air base.
1940Native Land Trust Board established under the chairmanship of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.
1951Founding of Fiji Airways (now Air Pacific).
1953Visit of Queen Elizabeth II.
Legislative Council expanded - but elective seats still a minority.
1954Ratu Sukuna appointed first Speaker of the Legislative Council.
1963Indigenous Fijians enfranchised.
Indigenous representation in the Legislative Council made elective, except for 2 members chosen by the Great Council of Chiefs.
Women enfranchised.
1964Member System introduced, with Legislative Council members appointed to oversee government departments. This was the first step towards the establishment of a Cabinet system.
1965Constitutional conference in London fails to agree on a timetable for a transition to internal self-government, but subsequent negotiations lead to compromises.
1967Responsible government instituted; Ratu Kamisese Mara appointed first Chief Minister.
1968University of the South Pacific established.
1970April - Constitutional conference in London; Mara and Sidiq Koya agree on a compromise constitutional formula.
10 October - Fiji attains independence, ending 96 years of British rule.

1970 to present

1972First post-independence election won by Ratu Mara's Alliance Party.
1973Sugar industry nationalized.
1977Constitutional crisis in which Governor-General Ratu Sir George Cakobau overturns election results, following the failure of the winning National Federation Party to put together a government.
The election held to resolve the impasse results in a landslide for the Alliance Party.
1978Fijian peacekeeping troops sent to Lebanon.
1981Fijian peacekeeping troops sent to the Sinai following Israel's withdrawal.
1987General election won by the Labour-National Federation Party coalition. On 13 April, Timoci Bavadra becomes Prime Minister for a month.
14 May - Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka carries out a coup d'état.
25 September - Rabuka stages a second coup to consolidate the gains of the first.
7 October - Rabuka proclaims a republic, severing the 113-year link to the British Monarchy.
Fiji expelled from the Commonwealth of Nations.
5 December - Rabuka appoints Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau as Fiji's first President.
1990New Constitution instutionalises ethnic Fijian domination of the political system.
1992Rabuka becomes Prime Minister following elections held under the new constitution.
1994Election results force Rabuka to open negotiations with the Into-Fijian-dominated opposition.
1995Rabuka establishes the Constitutional Review Commission.
1997Constitutional conference leads to a new Constitution, supported by most leaders of the indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities.
1999First general election held under the 1997 Constitution won by Fiji Labour Party. Mahendra Chaudhry becomes first Prime Minister of Indian descent.
2000May 19 - civilian coup d'état instigated by George Speight effectively topples the Chaudhry government.
29 May - Commodore Frank Bainimarama assumes executive power after the resignation, possibly forced, of President Mara.
2 November - Mutiny at Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks.
15 November - High Court orders the reinstatement of the constitution.
2001March 1 - Court of Appeals upholds High Court order reinstating constitution.
September - General election held to restore democracy; a plurality won by interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's United Fiji Party.
2005May - Amid much controversy, the Qarase government proposes Reconciliation and Unity Commission, with power to recommend compensation for victims of the 2000 coup, and amnesty for its perpetrators.

See also:

External link

pt:História das Fiji


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