Fiji: History


  1. 1643

    The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers the Fiji islands, already settled by Melanesian and Polynesian populations.

  2. 1868

    Cakobau sells the capital, Suva, to an Australian company.

  3. 1874

    Cakobau and other chiefs cede Fiji and it becomes a British crown colony.

  4. 1879

    Plantation agriculture and indentured servitude become widespread on the island.

  5. 1920

    The use of indentured servitude comes to an end.

  6. 1970

    Fiji gains independence within the Commonwealth of Nations.

  7. 1987

    Fiji is declared a republic after a series of military coups.

  8. 1997

    Fiji makes a new constitution that rescinds the provisions favoring ethnic Fijians, allowing the country to be readmitted to the Commonwealth of Nations.

  9. 2006

    A military coup takes out the prime minister and sets up a military regime; the Commonwealth suspends Fiji.

  10. 2009

    President Iloilo repeals the constitution and imposes martial law; Fiji is suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum regional bloc.

  11. 2013

    The government reveals a new constitution which will give way for free elections.

Glossary