Micronesia profile

A chronology of key events:

Yap state

girls sit infront of stone money, circa 1955

Archipelago experienced periods of Spanish, German and Japanese control

  • Consists of four islands: Yap, Tomil-Gagil, Map and Rumung
  • Stone money still used on islands

1500 - Spanish explorers sight islands of Micronesia.

Mid-19th century - Missionary activities and coconut trade begin.

1880s - Spain fails to extend its control over the Caroline Islands, i.e. Micronesia plus Palau.

1898 - Caroline Islands come under German colonial control.

1914 - Japan occupies Micronesia.

1939-45 - Micronesia becomes major battleground during World War II.

US administration

1947 - Micronesia comes under US administration, in the form of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which was under United Nations authority.

Late 1960s - Micronesia and US begin talks on self-government.

1970s - Northern Marianas, Marshall Islands and Palau respectively demand separate status from the islands of Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap.


1979 - Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap ratify constitution setting up the Federated States of Micronesia.

Yapese men on boat Micronesia's small land mass is scattered over a huge ocean expanse

1986 - Micronesia signs a "Compact of Free Association" with the US, under which Washington provides substantial economic assistance in return for taking charge of Micronesia's defence affairs, including the right to establish military bases.

1991 - Micronesia joins the UN.

1999 - Micronesia and US begin talks on their relations after the "Compact of Free Association" expires in 2001.

2002 July - Typhoon Chata'an sweeps through Chuuk, killing dozens of people.

2003 - Renegotiated 20-year compact with US, worth $3.5bn to Micronesia and Marshall Islands, is signed by US president.

2004 April - Yap is devastated by Typhoon Sudel. Nearly all of the island's infrastructure is badly damaged or destroyed. State of emergency is declared.

2007 May - Emanuel "Manny" Mori chosen as the country's seventh president.

2010 January - Micronesia challenges planned expansion of coal-fired power plant in Czech Republic, prompting a rethink.

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