The first records of seafarers about the national territory of today’s Tonga were in the 17th and 18th centuries (Lemaire 1616, Abel Tasman 1643, James Cook 1773, 1774 and 1777). It was Cook who gave the islands the name “The friendly Islands” due to the friendly population. In fact, the history of the island nation is relatively peaceful: the area was then, as then, outside the interests of the great powers. Christianity came with the missionaries at the end of the 18th century, and a British Methodist mission was established in 1826. At about the same time, civil war-like conditions prevailed due to conflicts between different noble families. In 1845 the Tupou dynasty came to power and peace returned. King George Tupou I gave the country a parliamentary constitution.
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In 1900 Tonga became the British protectorate at the request of King George Tupou II, and in 1970 the country gained independence. According to AbbreviationFinder, Tonga is a member of the British Commonwealth. From 1965 King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV ruled. He inherited the throne from his mother, Queen Salote Tupou III. Since the beginning of the 1990s there has been an opposition movement that is committed to more democracy. The first political party was founded in 1994 (Tonga Democratic Party, today: People’s Party).
Due to its geographical location, Tonga was one of the first states to greet the year 2000 at the turn of the millennium. Another honor was given to the country in June 2000 when, due to domestic unrest, the Olympic flame did not stop in the Fiji Islands, but instead in Tonga.
With the death of Tupou IV in September 2006, his unpopular son George Tupou V became king; Due to the faltering constitutional reform, he soon faced demonstrations, protests and serious unrest, which he could only contain with the help of the Australian and New Zealand security forces. Finally, there was a parliamentary reform that even goes beyond the proposal of the Constitutional Commission: in 2010, 17 of the 30 MPs are to be directly elected by the people. In the parliamentary elections in April 2008, which were still carried out under the old system, six of the nine civic seats went to candidates in the reform camp.
At the beginning of August 2009 there was a serious ship accident between Tongatapu and Ha’apai. The MS Princess Ashika ferry sank on the night of August 5th to 6th. 74 members of the approximately 128-strong crew drowned.
To achieve greater independence in the energy sector, King George Tupou approved the construction of a nuclear power plant in June 2010. In this context, the promotion of desalination plants is planned.