Sunday, June 30, 2013

Independence of Albania

Era of Nationalism ; League of Prizren

Proposed boundaries of the Principality of Albania (1912-1914).
The first organization that opposed the partition of Albania and pushed for greater autonomy was the League of Prizren, formed on 1 June 1878, in Prizren, Kosovo. The League used military force to prevent the annexing of northern Albanian areas assigned to Montenegro and Serbia, and southern Albanian areas assigned to Greece by the Congress of Berlin. After several battles with Montenegrin troops, the league was forced to give up Ulcinj to Montenegro and then was defeated by the Ottoman army sent by the Sultan in order to prevent the league from achieving autonomy for Albania. The uprisings of 1910–1912, the Ottoman defeat in the Balkan Wars and the advancing Montenegrin, Serbian and Greek armies into the territories where Albanians were majority, led to the proclamation of independence by Ismail Qemali in Vlora, on 28 November 1912.


Albania's independence was recognized by the Conference of London on 29 July 1913, but the drawing of the borders of Albania ignored the demographic realities of the time. The short-lived monarchy (1914–1925) was succeeded by an even shorter-lived first Albanian Republic (1925–1928), to be replaced by another monarchy (1928–1939). Albania was occupied by Fascist Italy and then by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Communist Albania (1944–1992)

After the liberation of Albania from Nazi occupation, the country became a Communist state, the People's Republic of Albania (renamed "the People's Socialist Republic of Albania" in 1976), which was led by Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour of Albania.
The socialist reconstruction of Albania after WWII and the national liberation was launched immediately after the annulling of the monarchy and the establishment of a "People's Republic". In 1947, Albania's first railway line was completed, with the second completed within eight months after. After new laws of land reform, land was granted to workers and peasants who tilled it. Agriculture began to become cooperative labour and production increased significantly, leading to Albania becoming agriculturally self-sufficient. By 1955, illiteracy was eliminated among Albania's adult population.

The Palace of Culture of Tirana, Albania whose first stone was symbolically thrown by Nikita Khrushchev
During this period Albania became industrialised and saw rapid economic growth, as well as unprecedented progress in the areas of education and health. The average annual rate of increase of Albania's national income was 29% higher than the world average and 56% higher than the European average. Also during this period, because of the monopolised socialist economy, Albania was the only country in the world that did not impose any tax on its people. Hoxha's political successor Ramiz Alia oversaw the disintegration of the "Hoxhaist" state during the wider collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the later 1980s.
Religious freedoms were severely curtailed during this period, with many forms of worship being outlawed. In August 1945, the Agrarian Reform Law meant that large swaths of property owned by religious groups (mostly Islamic waqfs) were nationalized, along with the estates of monasteries and dioceses. Many believers, with the ulema, and many priests were arrested, tortured and executed. In 1949, a new Decree on Religious Communities required that they and all their activities be sanctioned by the state alone.
In 1967 Hoxha proclaimed Albania the world's first 'atheist state'. Hundreds of mosques and dozens of Islamic libraries — containing priceless manuscripts — were destroyed. Churches were not spared either, and many were converted into cultural centers for young people. The new law banned all "fascist, religious, warmongerish, antisocialist activity and propaganda"; preaching religion carried a three- to ten-year prison sentence. Nonetheless, many Albanians continued to practice in secret.

Contemporary Albania

The People's Republic was dissolved in 1991-92 after protests beginning in 1989 and reforms made by the communist government in 1990, and the Republic of Albania was founded. The Communists retained a stronghold in parliament after popular support in the elections of 1991. However, in March 1992, amid liberalisation policies resulting in economic collapse and social unrest, a new front led by the new Democratic Party took power. The economic crisis spread in late 1996 following the failure of some Ponzi schemes operating in the country, peaking in 1997 in an armed rebellion that led to another mass emigration of Albanians, mostly to Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and North America. In 1999, the country was affected by the Kosovo War, when a great number of Albanians from Kosovo found refuge in Albania. Albania became a full member of NATO in 2009, and is applying to join the European Union.

Albanian National Awakening

The Albanian National Awakening or the National Renaissance or the National Revival (Albanian: Rilindja Kombëtare) refers to the period in the history of Albania from 1870 until the Albanian Declaration of Independence in 1912. Its activists are called Revivalists (Albanian: Rilindas).

In 1912, with the outbreak of the First Balkan War, the Albanians rose up and declared the creation of an independent Albania, which included what are now Albania and Kosovo.[3] On December 20, 1912 the Conference of Ambassadors in London recognized an independent Albania within its present-day borders.


1 Background and 1831-1878 Period

2 Rise of Albanian Nationalism

3 Literary Revival

4 1911 Highlanders Uprising

5 Albanian Revolt of 1912

6 Balkan Wars and Creation of Independent Albania 1. Background and 1831 - 1878 period Right after 1830, when the Massacre of the Albanian Beys occurred, the last Albanian Pashalik, that of Scutari fell. The Bushati dynasty rule ended when an Ottoman army under Mehmed Reshid Pasha besieged the Rozafa Castle and forced Mustafa Reshiti to surrender (1831).[5] The Albanian defeat ended a planned alliance between the Albanians and the Bosnians, who were similarly seeking autonomy.[6] Instead of the pashalik, the vilayets of Scutari and that of Kosovo were created.

Failed pro-Bushati uprisings in Scutari during 1833-1836 were followed by the northern Albanian Revolt of 1844 and southern Albanian Revolt of 1847, which were reactions to the Ottoman Tanzimat reforms. The 1844 revolt was led by Dervish Cara while 1847 revolt was led by three main leaders: Zenel Gjoleka, Rrapo Hekali and Hodo Nivica. All these uprisings failed; however, they increased the national identity and union between Albanians and played a precursory role to the rise of the Albanian National Awakening. 2.Rise of Albanian Nationalism; The 4 Ottoman vilayets (Kosovo, Scutari, Monastir and Janina), proposed as Albanian vilayet, by the League of Prizren 1878.
Further information: League of Prizren, Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire, and National Awakening in the Balkans

Because of religious ties of the Albanian majority of the population with the ruling Ottomans and the lack of an Albanian state in past, nationalism was less developed among Albanians in the 19th century than among other southeast European nations. Only from the 1870s and onwards did a movement of ‘national awakening‘ (rilindja) evolve among them - greatly delayed, compared to the Greeks and the Serbs. The 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War dealt a decisive blow to Ottoman power in the Balkan Peninsula. The Albanians' fear that the lands they inhabited would be partitioned among Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece fueled the rise of Albanian nationalism. The first postwar treaty, the abortive Treaty of San Stefano signed on March 3, 1878, assigned Albanian-populated lands to Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria. Austria-Hungary and the United Kingdom blocked the arrangement because it awarded Russia a predominant position in the Balkans and thereby upset the European balance of power. A peace conference to settle the dispute was held later in the year in Berlin.

The Treaty of San Stefano triggered profound anxiety among the Albanians meanwhile, and it spurred their leaders to organize a defense of the lands they inhabited. In the spring of 1878, influential Albanians in Constantinople—including Abdyl Frashëri, the Albanian national movement's leading figure during its early years-organized a secret committee to direct the Albanians' resistance. In May the group called for a general meeting of representatives from all the Albanian-populated lands. On June 10, 1878, about eighty delegates, mostly Muslim religious leaders, clan chiefs, and other influential people from the four Albanian-populated Ottoman vilayets, met in the Kosovo city of Prizren. The delegates set up a standing organization, the League of Prizren, under the direction of a central committee that had the power to impose taxes and raise an army. The League of Prizren worked to gain autonomy for the Albanians and to thwart implementation of the Treaty of San Stefano, but not to create an independent Albania.

At first the Ottoman authorities supported the League of Prizren, but the Sublime Porte pressed the delegates to declare themselves to be first and foremost Ottomans rather than Albanians. Some delegates supported this position and advocated emphasizing Muslim solidarity and the defense of Muslim lands, including present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other representatives, under Frashëri's leadership, focused on working toward Albanian autonomy and creating a sense of Albanian identity that would cut across religious and tribal lines. Because conservative Muslims constituted a majority of the representatives, the League of Prizren supported maintenance of Ottoman suzerainty.

In July 1878, the league sent a memorandum to the Great Powers at the Congress of Berlin, which was called to settle the unresolved problems of Turkish War, demanding that all Albanians be united in a single autonomous Ottoman province.

The Congress of Berlin ignored the league's memorandum, and Germany's Otto von Bismarck even proclaimed that an Albanian nation did not exist.[11] The congress ceded to Montenegro the cities of Bar and Podgorica and areas around the mountain villages of Gusinje and Plav, which Albanian leaders considered Albanian territory. Serbia also won Albanian-inhabited lands. The Albanians, the vast majority loyal to the empire, vehemently opposed the territorial losses. Albanians also feared the possible loss of Epirus to Greece. The League of Prizren organized armed resistance efforts in Gusinje, Plav, Scutari, Prizren, Preveza, and Ioannina. A border tribesman at the time described the frontier as "floating on blood.."

In August 1878, the Congress of Berlin ordered a commission to trace a border between the Ottoman Empire and Montenegro. The congress also directed Greece and the Ottoman Empire to negotiate a solution to their border dispute. The Great Powers expected the Ottomans to ensure that the Albanians would respect the new borders, ignoring that the sultan's military forces were too weak to enforce any settlement and that the Ottomans could only benefit by the Albanians' resistance. The Sublime Porte, in fact, armed the Albanians and allowed them to levy taxes, and when the Ottoman army withdrew from areas awarded to Montenegro under the Treaty of Berlin, Roman Catholic Albanian tribesmen simply took control. The Albanians' successful resistance to the treaty forced the Great Powers to alter the border, returning Gusinje and Plav to the Ottoman Empire and granting Montenegro the mostly Muslim Albanian-populated coastal town of Ulcinj. But the Albanians there refused to surrender as well. Finally, the Great Powers blockaded Ulcinj by sea and pressured the Ottoman authorities to bring the Albanians under control. The Great Powers decided in 1881 to cede Greece only Thessaly and the district of Arta.

Faced with growing international pressure "to pacify" the refractory Albanians, the sultan dispatched a large army under Dervish Turgut Pasha to suppress the League of Prizren and deliver Ulcinj to Montenegro. Albanians loyal to the empire supported the Sublime Porte's military intervention. In April 1881, Dervish Pasha's 10,000 men captured Prizren and later crushed the resistance at Ulcinj. The League of Prizren's leaders and their families were arrested and deported. Frashëri, who originally received a death sentence, was imprisoned until 1885 and exiled until his death seven years later. In the three years it survived, the League of Prizren effectively made the Great Powers aware of the Albanian people and their national interests. Montenegro and Greece received much less Albanian-populated territory than they would have won without the league's resistance.

Formidable barriers frustrated Albanian leaders' efforts to instill in their people an Albanian rather than an Ottoman identity. Divided into four vilayets, Albanians had no common geographical or political nerve center. The Albanians' religious differences forced nationalist leaders to give the national movement a purely secular character that alienated religious leaders. The most significant factor uniting the Albanians, their spoken language, lacked a standard literary form and even a standard alphabet. Each of the three available choices, the Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic scripts, implied different political and religious orientations opposed by one or another element of the population. In 1878 there were no Albanian-language schools in the most developed of the Albanian-inhabited areas and the choice for education was between Orthodox Church schools, where education was in Greek and Ottoman government schools where education was in Turkish.
Ethnic distribution of Albanians 1898.
Shqiptar warrior costume, cca 1913.tif

The Ottoman Empire continued to crumble after the Congress of Berlin. The empire's financial troubles prevented Sultan Abdül Hamid II from reforming his military, and he resorted to repression to maintain order. The authorities strove without success to control the political situation in the empire's Albanian-populated lands, arresting suspected nationalist activists. When the sultan refused Albanian demands for unification of the four Albanian-populated vilayets, Albanian leaders reorganized the League of Prizren and incited uprisings that brought the Albanian-populated lands, especially Kosovo, to near anarchy. The imperial authorities again disbanded the League of Prizren in 1897, executed its president in 1902, and banned Albanian- language books and correspondence. In Macedonia, where Bulgarian-, Greek-, and Serbian-backed guerrillas were fighting Ottoman authorities and one another for control, Muslim Albanians suffered attacks, and Albanian guerrilla groups retaliated. In 1905 Albanian leaders meeting in Manastir established the Secret Committee for the Liberation of Albania. In September 1906, Albanian patriots assassinated Korçë's Greek Orthodox metropolitan, whose actions had angered the Albanian nationalists.

In 1906 opposition groups in the Ottoman Empire emerged, one of which evolved into the Committee of Union and Progress, more commonly known as the Young Turks, which proposed restoring constitutional government in Constantinople, by revolution if necessary. In July 1908, a month after a Young Turk rebellion in Macedonia supported by an Albanian uprising in Kosovo and Macedonia escalated into widespread insurrection and mutiny within the imperial army, Sultan Abdül Hamid II agreed to demands by the Young Turks to restore constitutional rule. Many Albanians participated in the Young Turks uprising, hoping that it would gain their people autonomy within the empire. The Young Turks lifted the Ottoman ban on Albanian-language schools and on writing the Albanian language. As a consequence, Albanian intellectuals meeting in Bitola in 1908 chose the Latin alphabet as a standard script. The Young Turks, however, were set on maintaining the empire and not interested in making concessions to the myriad nationalist groups within its borders. After securing the abdication of Abdül Hamid II in April 1909, the new authorities levied taxes, outlawed guerrilla groups and nationalist societies, and attempted to extend Constantinople's control over the northern Albanian mountain men. In addition, the Young Turks legalized the bastinado, or beating with a stick, even for misdemeanors, banned carrying rifles, and denied the existence of an Albanian nationality. The new government also appealed for Islamic solidarity to break the Albanians' unity and used the Muslim clergy to try to impose the Arabic alphabet.

The Albanians refused to submit to the Young Turks' campaign to "Ottomanize" them by force. New Albanian uprisings began in Kosovo and the northern mountains in early April 1910. Ottoman forces quashed these rebellions after three months, outlawed Albanian organizations, disarmed entire regions, and closed down schools and publications. Montenegro, preparing to grab Albanian-populated lands for itself, supported a 1911 uprising by the mountain tribes against the Young Turks regime that grew into a widespread revolt. Unable to control the Albanians by force, the Ottoman government granted concessions on schools, military recruitment, and taxation and sanctioned the use of the Latin script for the Albanian language. The government refused, however, to unite the four Albanian-inhabited vilayets. 3 Literary Revival

Albanian intellectuals in the late nineteenth century began devising a single, standard Albanian literary language and making demands that it be used in schools. In Constantinople in 1879, Sami Frashëri founded a cultural and educational organization, the Society for the Printing of Albanian Writings, whose membership comprised Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox Albanians. Naim Frashëri, the most-renowned Albanian poet, joined the society and wrote and edited textbooks. Albanian émigrés in Bulgaria, Egypt, Italy, Romania, and the United States supported the society's work. The Greeks, who dominated the education of Orthodox Albanians, joined the Turks in suppressing the Albanians' culture, especially Albanian-language education. In 1886 the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople threatened to excommunicate anyone found reading or writing Albanian, and priests taught that God would not understand prayers uttered in Albanian.

As was common to the various movements of Romantic nationalism throughout Europe, Albanian intellectuals were looking for a national myth of origin, preferably one establishing a national identity traced to a people of remote antiquity. At first, Albanian nationalist writers opted for the Pelasgians as the forefathers of the Albanians. But as the national movement matured, the Pelasgians were ousted by the Illyrian theory of Albanian origins, which could claim some support in scholarship. The Illyrian descent theory soon became one of the pillars of Albanian nationalism, especially because it could provide evidence of continuity of Albanian presence both in Kosovo and in southern Albania, i.e. areas that were subjected to ethnic conflicts between Albanians, Serbs and Greeks. Albanians claimed that Alexander the great was Pelasgian - Illyrian - Albanian and that Ancient Greek culture (and thus the result of the Hellenistic civilisation) had spread by Albanians. Macedonians were considered forefathers of the Albanians. Ancient Greek gods were seen as "Albanian" as well.

The literary revival of the Albanian language had an effect on the distribution of given names in Albania. Traditionally, Albanian given names had universally been Christian, i.e. loaned from Greek hagiography or from the Bible. It was only with the Rilindja that given names were taken from the native Albanian vocabulary. Examples are mostly female given names, such as Lule "flower". This tendency becomes extreme in Communist Albania after 1944, where it was the regime's declared doctrine to oust Christian or Islamic given names. Ideologically acceptable names were listed in the Fjalor me emra njerëzish (1982). These could be native Albanian words like Flutur "butterfly", ideologically communist ones like Proletare, or "Illyrian" ones compiled from epigraphy, e.g. from the necropolis at Dyrrhachion excavated in 1958-60.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ottoman Rule (1481-1912)

Ottoman rule (1481-1912)

Ottoman supremacy in the west Balkan region began in 1385 with the Battle of Savra. On the conquered part of Albania, which territory stretched between Mat River on the north and Çameria to the south, Ottoman Empire established the Sanjak of Albania and in 1419 Gjirokastra became the county town of the Sanjak of Albania.Beginning in the late-14th century, the Ottomans expanded their empire from Anatolia to the Balkans (Rumelia).
By the 15th century, the Ottomans ruled most of the Balkan Peninsula. Their rule in part of Albania was briefly interrupted in the 15th century, when George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, an Albanian who had served as an Ottoman military officer, renounced Ottoman service, allied with some Albanian chiefs and fought off Turkish rule from 1443–1478. Albania was almost fully re-occupied by the Ottomans in 1478 after capturing Scodra from Venice. Albania's conquest by Ottomans was completed after Durazzo's capture from Venice in 1501.

Ottoman-Albanian wars

Many Albanians had been recruited into the Janissary, including the feudal heir George Kastrioti who was renamed Skanderbeg (Iskandar Bey) by his Turkish trainers at Edirne. After some Ottoman defeats at the hands of the Hungarins, Skanderbeg deserted and began a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire.
After deserting, Skanderbeg re-converted to Roman Catholicism and declared war against the Ottoman Empire, which he led from 1443 to 1468. Under a red flag bearing Skanderbeg's heraldic emblem, an Albanian force held off Ottoman campaigns for twenty-five years and overcame sieges of Krujë led by the forces of the Ottoman sultans Murad II and Mehmed II.
However, Skanderbeg was unable to receive any of the help which had been promised him by the popes. He died in 1468, leaving no worthy successor. After his death the rebellion continued, but without its former success. The loyalties and alliances created and nurtured by Skanderbeg faltered and fell apart and the Ottomans reconquered the territory of Albania, culminating with the siege of Shkodra in 1478. Shortly after the fall of the castles of northern Albania, many Albanians fled to neighboring Italy, giving rise to the modern Arbëreshë communities.

Late Ottoman period

Durrës in 1573
Janissary Muskets.
Upon the Ottomans' return in 1478, a large number of Albanians fled to Italy, Egypt and other parts of the Ottoman Empire and Europe and maintained their Arbëresh identity. Many Albanians won fame and fortune as soldiers, administrators, and merchants in far-flung parts of the Empire. As the centuries passed, however, Ottoman rulers lost the capacity to command the loyalty of local pashas, which threatened stability in the region. The Ottoman rulers of the 19th century struggled to shore up central authority, introducing reforms aimed at harnessing unruly pashas and checking the spread of nationalist ideas. Albania would be a part of the Ottoman Empire until the early 20th century.
The Ottoman period that followed was characterized by a change in the landscape through a gradual modification of the settlements with the introduction of bazaars, military garrisons and mosques in many Albanian regions. Part of the Albanian population gradually converted to Islam, with many joining the Sufi Order of the Bektashi. Converting from Christianity to Islam brought considerable advantages, including access to Ottoman trade networks, bureaucratic positions and the army. As a result many Albanians came to serve in the elite Janissary and the administrative Devşirme system. Among these were important historical figures, including Iljaz Hoxha, Hamza Kastrioti, Davud Pasha, Zağanos Pasha, Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (head of the Köprülü family of Grand Viziers), the Bushati family, Sulejman Pasha, Edhem Pasha, Nezim Frakulla, Ali Pasha of Tepelena, Haxhi Shekreti, Hasan Zyko Kamberi, Ali Pasha of Gucia, Mehmet Ali ruler of Egypt and Emin Pasha
Many Albanians gained prominent positions in the Ottoman government, Albanians highly active during the Ottoman era and leaders such as Ali Pasha of Tepelena might have aided Husein Gradaščević. The Albanians proved generally faithful to Ottoman rule following the end of the resistance led by Skanderbeg, and accepted Islam more easily than their neighbors.
No fewer than 42 Grand Viziers of the Empire were of Albanian descent. The Ottoman period also saw the rising of semi-autonomous Albanian ruled Pashaliks and Albanians were also an important part of the Ottoman army and Ottoman administration like the case of Köprülü family. Albania would remain a part of the Ottoman Empire as the provinces of Scutari, Monastir and Janina until 1912.

History of Albania

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Albania - Introduction

Albania ,Republic of Albania  is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Serbia/Kosovo (Disputed) to the northeast, Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.

 officially known as the
Albania is a member of the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.
The modern-day territory of Albania was at various points in history part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia (southern Illyricum), Macedonia (particularly Epirus Nova), and Moesia Superior. The modern Republic became independent after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe following the Balkan Wars. Albanians had for almost five centuries been at the heart of a sprawling empire in which they enjoyed a privileged position as administrators and generals. Albania declared independence in 1912 (to be recognised in 1913), becoming a Principality, Republic, and Kingdom until being invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, which in turn became a Nazi protectorate in 1943. In 1944, a socialist People's Republic was established under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. In 1991, the Socialist republic was dissolved and the Republic of Albania was established.
Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to 421,286 of the country's 2,831,741 people. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania was chosen as the No.1 Destination in Lonely Planet's list of ten top countries to visit for 2011.
Albania is the Medieval Latin name of the country which is called Shqipëri by its people. In Medieval Greek, the country's name is Albania besides variants Albanitia, Arbanitia.
The name may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of the Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria who drafted a map in 150 AD that shows the city of Albanopolis[20] (located northeast of Durrës).

The name may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon and Arbanon, although it is not certain this was the same place. In his History written in 1079–1080, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbër or Arbën and referred to themselves as Arbëresh or Arbnesh.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rank of Samoa

The rank of Samoa from the poorest is 83 and from the richest is 121 with gdp per capita using atlas method is 1,600 $ where as in other measurement viz; LMF,WB,CIA in 2007,2007, and 2008 measured in nominal method ;

Samoan music video

Economy of Samoa

 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2006 was estimated at $1.218 billion USD. The industrial sector is the largest component of GDP at 58.4%, followed by the services sector at 30.2% (2004 est.). Agriculture represents only 11.4% of GDP (2004 est.). Samoan labour force is estimated at 90,000.
The country currency is the Samoan tālā, issued and regulated by the Central Bank of Samoa. The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on agriculture and fishing at the local level. In modern times, development aid, private family remittances from overseas, and agricultural exports have become key factors in the nation's economy. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labour force, and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, noni (juice of the nonu fruit, as it is known in Samoan), and copra.
Outside of a large automotive wire harness factory (Yazaki Corporation), the manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. Tourism is an expanding sector which now accounts for 25% of GDP. Tourist arrivals have been increasing over the years with more than 100,000 tourists visiting the islands in 2005, up from 70,000 in 1996.
The Samoan government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline. Observers point to the flexibility of the labour market as a basic strength for future economic advances. The sector has been helped enormously by major capital investment in hotel infrastructure, political instability in neighbouring Pacific countries, and the 2005 launch of Virgin Samoa a joint-venture between the government and Virgin Australia (then Virgin Blue).

Taro, a root crop, traditionally was Samoa's largest export, generating more than half of all export revenue in 1993. But a fungal blight decimated the plants, and in each year since 1994 taro exports have accounted for less than 1% of export revenue.
In the period before German colonisation, Samoa produced mostly copra. German merchants and settlers were active in introducing large scale plantation operations and developing new industries, notably cocoa bean and rubber, relying on imported labourers from China and Melanesia. When the value of natural rubber fell drastically, about the end of the Great War (World War I), the New Zealand government encouraged the production of bananas, for which there is a large market in New Zealand.
Because of variations in altitude, a large range of tropical and subtropical crops can be cultivated, but land is not generally available to outside interests. Of the total land area of 2,934 km² (725,000 acres), about 24.4% is in permanent crops and another 21.2% is arable. About 4.4% is Western Samoan Trust Estates Corporation (WSTEC).
The staple products of Samoa are copra (dried coconut meat), cocoa bean (for chocolate), and bananas. The annual production of both bananas and copra has been in the range of 13,000 to 15,000 metric tons (about 14,500 to 16,500 short tons). If the rhinoceros beetle in Samoa were eradicated, Samoa could produce in excess of 40,000 metric tons (44,000 short tons) of copra. Samoan cocoa beans are of very high quality and used in fine New Zealand chocolates. Most are Criollo-Forastero hybrids. Coffee grows well, but production has been uneven. WSTEC is the biggest coffee producer. Rubber has been produced in Samoa for many years, but its export value has little impact on the economy.
Other agricultural industries have been less successful. Sugarcane production, originally established by Germans in the early 20th century, could be successful. Old train tracks for transporting cane can be seen at some plantations east of Apia. Pineapples grow well in Samoa, but beyond local consumption have not been a major export.
and largest city
13°50′S 171°45′W / 13.833°S 171.750°W / -13.833; -171.750
Official languages
Ethnic groups (2001)
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
- O le Ao o le Malo aTufuga Efi
- Prime MinisterTuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi
LegislatureLegislative Assembly
- from New Zealand1 January 1962
- Total2,831 km2 (174th)
1,093 sq mi
- Water (%)0.3
- 2012 estimate194,320 (166th)
- 2006 census179,186
- Density63.2/km2 (144th)
163.7/sq mi
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
- Total$1.090 billion
- Per capita$5,965
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
- Total$630 million
- Per capita$3,451
HDI (2013)Increase 0.702
medium · 96th
CurrencyTala (WST

Agriculture in Samoa

Tropical agriculture occupies 43% of the land area, employs about 65% of the labor force, and makes up about 50% of GDP. Most Samoans grow food crops for home consumption and cash crops for export. Village agriculture, in which the family is the productive unit, involves the largest areas of land, occupies the preponderance of the labor force, and produces the major portion of food and cash crops. Coconut products, cocoa, taro, and bananas are produced for export, and bananas, taro, and taamu are grown for local sale. Village plantings are invariably mixed, containing some or all of the following crops: coconuts, cocoa, bananas, taro, taamu, breadfruit, sugarcane, yams, manioc, and various fruits. Plantation agriculture has been controlled mainly by non-indigenous residents.
Exports of unprocessed copra have been largely replaced by coconut oil, coconut cream, and copra cake. Due to a decline in world prices, coconut production fell to 95,000 tons in 1992. In 1999, coconut production was estimated at 130,000 tons. Taro (coco yam) production in 1999 amounted to 37,000 tons. Taro production dropped 97% in 1993/94 due to leaf blight, and the government is working on methods to control the disease. Exports of cocoa have fallen in recent years, thereby discouraging production. Since 1991, no production over 1,000 tons has been reported. Banana exports fluctuate greatly from year to year. Exports of agricultural products in 2001 amounted to $5.1 million, while agricultural imports totaled $17.7 million that year.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Geography of Western Samoa

 Geography and Climate of Samoa

Geographically Samoa is a group of islands located in the South Pacific Ocean or Oceania between Hawaii and New Zealand and below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere (CIA World Factbook). Its total land area is 1,093 square miles (2,831 sq km) and it consists of two main islands as well as several small islands and uninhabited islets. The main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Sava'i and the highest point in the country, Mount Silisili at 6,092 feet (1,857 m), is located on Sava'i while its capital and largest city, Apia, is located on Upolu. The topography of Samoa consists mainly of coastal plains but the interior of Sava'i and Upolu have rugged volcanic mountains.

The climate of Samoa is tropical and as such it has mild to warm temperatures year round. Samoa also has a rainy season from November to April and a dry season from May to October. Apia has a January average high temperature of 86˚F (30˚C) and a July average low temperature of 73.4˚F (23˚C).

History Of Western Samoa (1899-2007)

Division of islands

The Samoa Tripartite Convention, a joint commission of three members composed of Bartlett Tripp for the United States, C. N. E. Eliot, C.B. for Great Britain, and Freiherr Speck von Sternburg for Germany, agreed to divide the islands.
The Tripartite Convention gave control of the islands west of 171 degrees west longitude to Germany, (later known as Western Samoa), containing Upolu and Savaii (the current Samoa) and other adjoining islands. These islands became known as German Samoa. The United States accepted the eastern islands of Tutuila and Manu'a, (present-day American Samoa).[3] In exchange for United Kingdom ceding claims in Samoa, Germany transferred their protectorates in the North Solomon Islands and other territories in West Africa. The monarchy was also abolished.


Exiled group aboard German warship taking them to Saipan. Standing 3rd from the left is Lauaki Namulauulu Mamoe, 1909.

New Zealand sailors removing the white strip from lava-lava, the insignia of the Mau uniform, circa 1930
From 1908, with the establishment of the Mau movement ("opinion movement"), Western Samoans began to assert their claim to independence. The early beginnings of the national Mau movement began in 1908 with the 'Mau a Pule' resistance on Savai'i, led by orator chief Lauaki Namulau'ulu Mamoe. Lauaki and Mau a Pule chiefs, wives and children were exiled to Saipan in 1909. Many died in exile.
Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, in August 1914, New Zealand sent an expeditionary force to seize and occupy German Samoa. Although Germany refused to officially surrender the islands, no resistance was offered and the occupation took place without any fighting. New Zealand continued the occupation of Western Samoa throughout World War I. In 1919, under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany relinquished its claims to the islands.
The Mau movement gained momentum with Samoa's royal leaders becoming more visible in supporting the peoples movement but strongly opposed violence. On 28 December 1929 Tupua Tamasese was shot along with eleven others during a peaceful demonstration in Apia. Tupua Tamasese died the following day, with the advice that no more blood should be shed.
New Zealand administered Western Samoa first as a League of Nations Mandate and then as a United Nations trusteeship until the country received its independence on 1 January 1962 as Western Samoa.[10] Samoa's first prime minister following independence was paramount chief Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II.
Samoa was the first Polynesian people to be recognized as a sovereign nation in the 20th century. In 1977, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Samoa during her tour of the Commonwealth.
In July 1997 the constitution was amended to change the country's name from "Western Samoa" to "Samoa." Samoa had been known simply as "Samoa" in the United Nations since joining the organization in 1976. The neighboring U.S. territory of American Samoa protested the move, feeling that the change diminished its own Samoan identity. American Samoans still use the terms "Western Samoa" and "Western Samoans."
In 2002, New Zealand's prime minister Helen Clark formally apologized for two incidents during the period of New Zealand's administration: a failure in 1918 to quarantine the SS Talune, which carried the 'Spanish 'flu' to Samoa, leading to an epidemic which devastated the Samoan population, and the shooting of leaders of the non-violent Mau movement during a ceremonial procession in 1929.
In 2007, Samoa's first Head of State, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, died at the age of 95. He held this title jointly with Tupua Tamasese Lealofi until his death in 1963. The late Malietoa Tanumafili II was Samoa's Head of State for 45 years. He was the son of Malietoa Tanumafili I, who was the last Samoan king recognized by Europe and the Western World.
Samoa's current Head of State is His Highness Tui-Atua Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Efi, who was anointed the Head of State title with the unanimous endorsement of Samoa's Parliament. A symbol of traditional Samoan protocol in alignment with Samoan decision making stressing the importance of consensus in the 21st century.

Friday, June 21, 2013

European Contact with Samoa

European contact

18th century

Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century but did not intensify until the arrival of the British. In 1722, Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first European to sight the islands. This visit was followed by the French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), the man who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768.

19th century

The United States Exploring Expedition (1838–42) under Charles Wilkes reached Samoa in 1839 and appointed of Englishman John C. Williams as acting U.S. consul. However this appointment was never confirmed by the U.S. State Department; John C. Williams was merely recognized as "Commercial Agent of the United States". A British consul was already residing at Apia.
Missionaries and traders arrived in the 1830s. In 1855 J.C. Godeffroy & Sohn expanded its trading business into the Samoan Islands, which were then known as the Navigator Islands. During the second half of the 19th century German influence in Samoa expanded with large scale plantation operations being introduced for coconut, cacao and hevea rubber cultivation, especially on the island of 'Upolu where German firms monopolized copra and cocoa bean processing. British business enterprises, harbour rights, and consulate office were the basis on which the United Kingdom had cause to intervene in Samoa. The United States began operations at the excellent harbor of Pago Pago on Tutuila in 1877 and formed alliances with local native chieftains, most conspicuously on the islands of Tutuila and Manu'a (which were later formally annexed as American Samoa).
In the latter part of 19th century, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States all claimed parts of the kingdom of Samoa, and established trade posts. The rivalry between these powers exacerbated the indigenous factions that were struggling to preserve their ancient political system.

The First Samoan Civil War and the Samoan crisis

Wrecked vessels at Apia. 1889.

SMS Adler wrecked at Apia. 1889.
The First Samoan Civil War was fought roughly between 1886 and 1894, primarily between rival Samoan factions though the rival powers intervened on several occasions with military forces. There followed an eight-year civil war, where each of the three powers supplied arms, training, and in some cases, combat troops to the warring Samoan parties. The Samoan crisis came to a critical juncture in March 1889 when all three colonial contenders sent warships into Apia harbour, and a larger-scale war seemed imminent, until a massive storm on 15 March 1889 damaged or destroyed the warships, ending the military conflict.
Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Samoa in 1889 and built a house at Vailima. He quickly became passionately interested, and involved, in the attendant political machinations. His influence spread to the Samoans, who consulted him for advice, and he soon became involved in local politics. These involved the three colonial powers battling for control of Samoa - America, Germany and Britain - and the indigenous factions struggling to preserve their ancient political system. He was convinced the European officials appointed to rule the Samoans were incompetent, and after many futile attempts to resolve the matter, he published A Footnote to History. The book covers the period from 1882 to 1892. This was such a stinging protest against existing conditions that it resulted in the recall of two officials, and Stevenson feared for a time it would result in his own deportation.

The Second Samoan Civil War and the Siege of Apia

German, British and American warships in Apia harbour, 1899. Alfred John Tattersall
The Second Samoan Civil War was a conflict that reached a head in 1898 when Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States were locked in dispute over who should have control over the Samoa Islands.
The Siege of Apia, or the Battle of Apia, occurred during the Second Samoan Civil War in March 1899 at Apia. Samoan forces loyal to Prince Tanu were besieged by a larger force of Samoan rebels loyal to Mata'afa Iosefo. Supporting Prince Tanu were landing parties from four British and American warships. Over the course of several days of fighting, the Samoan rebels were defeated.
American and British warships shelled Apia on 15 March 1899; including the USS Philadelphia. Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States quickly resolved to end the hostilities; with the partitioning of the island chain at the Tripartite Convention of 1899.