Marshall Islands: History

  1. 1592

    Spain claims the Marshall Islands.

  2. 1885

    Germany buys the islands from Spain for $4.5 million, after several German trading companies have been established there.

  3. 1914

    Japan captures the islands during the beginning of World War I.

  4. 1947

    The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which includes the Marshall Islands, is created by the United Nations. The United States administers the group.

  5. 1946-1958

    After the United States captures the islands during World War II, the US begins nuclear weapons testing on Bikini Atoll, forcing some islanders to move.

  6. 1979

    The islands become independent. The US recognizes the constitution and the establishment of the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

  7. 1983

    Voters in the Marshall Islands approve the Compact of Free Association with the US. This agreement gives the islands independence but also keeps close ties between the islands and the US, as the US retains control over the island's foreign defense.

  8. 1991

    The Marshall Islands join the United Nations.

  9. 2007

    The Marshall Islands are taken off of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developmentā€™s (OECD) list of uncooperative tax havens.

  10. 2013

    The Majuro Declaration is signed in the Marshall Islands as an agreement between the Pacific island countries to take steps to fight climate change.


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