Pacific Specific: Independence in Palau

Getty, S. (2009). Traditional Palauan Dance. Retrieved January 23, 2011.

By: Paige Johnsen

The Republic of Palau has a history of trade off from one controlling country to the next.  The chaotic trading launched when Spain sold Palau to Germany after the Spanish-American War.  Considering the island’s location it seems fit that Japan took over in 1914.  Only months later the Battle of Peleiu gave the United States possession over the pacific island nation.  A total number of 12,000 casualties were recorded from 40 days of military combat between the United States and Japan. 

The Bureau of East Asian and Public Affairs wrote, “Palau became part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and later had the opportunity to join its neighboring Federated States of Micronesia,” (2).  The island was helpless without military protection, but the people of Palau did not want to share a connection with its surrounding islands due to their cultural and lingual differences.  Palau decided it was time for independence in 1978.   Unfortunately, obtaining independence was a degree of difficultly Palau barely accomplished. 

The United States released Palau from its regulation after extensive effort.  Palau’s independence was authorized after 16 years of approval and amendments to their constitution.  On October 4 2010, William Branigin wrote, “1:01 p.m. local time in this remote corner of the western Pacific, a Palauan wearing a traditional loincloth sounded the last of seven honks on a conch shell to herald independence, and a master of ceremonies declared, “Palau is now a sovereign state,” (3).  Achieving their independence proves strength does not stem from the size of a country; their strength was achieved through struggle and determination.


1.)  Bureau of East Asian and Public Affairs. (October 4 2010). “Background Note: Palau.” Retrieved from

2.)  Branigin, William. (October 2 1994). “Independence for Palau Ends U.S. Sovereignty Over Pacific Islands.”  Retrieved from

3.)  Conde, J.  (2008, July 13). Pacific Arts Festival [Video file]. Retrieved from

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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