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From the New Hebrides to Vanuatu

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Abstract

One of the oddest arrangements in the colonial Pacific was the joint Franco-British ‘Condominium’ of the New Hebrides.1 In the nineteenth century, no European country took possession of the New Hebrides archipelago, although a small number of settlers established themselves as traders and planters. Among them was John Higginson, who had developed nickel mining in New Caledonia, then took a great interest in the New Hebrides. Higginson became a French citizen and founded the Compagnie Calédonienne des Nouvelles-Hébrides, later renamed the Société Française des Nouvelles-Hébrides (SFNH), which purchased large tracts of land in the islands and lobbied for French takeover. However, Australians, who were also attracted to the New Hebrides, pressured England not to allow the French to do so. Meanwhile, French Catholic missionaries and Anglo-Australian Presbyterians competed to convert the New Hebrideans. Outright takeover by either Britain or France became difficult, and proposals for a division of the archipelago satisfied no one.

Keywords

  • French Government
  • French School
  • French State
  • French Authority
  • Chief Minister

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Notes and References

  1. The only general history of the New Hebrides in English is Jeremy MacClancy, To Kill a Bird with Two Stones (Port-Vila, 1980), although

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© 1993 Robert Aldrich

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Aldrich, R. (1993). From the New Hebrides to Vanuatu. In: France and the South Pacific since 1940. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-10828-2_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-10828-2_6

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