Papua New Guinea
The Spanish first claimed the island in 1545 but the first attempt at colonization was made in 1793 by the British. In 1828 the Dutch claimed the west half of the island as part of the Dutch East Indies. On 6 Nov. 1884 a British Protectorate was proclaimed over the southern portion of the eastern half of New Guinea and in 1888 the territory was annexed. On 1 Sept. 1906 the Governor-General of Australia declared that British New Guinea was to be known henceforth as the Territory of Papua. The northern portion of New Guinea was a German colony until 1914 when Australian armed forces occupied it. For the next seven years it remained under their administration until becoming a League of Nations mandated territory in 1921, administered by Australia, and later a UN Trust Territory (of New Guinea). Australia granted Papua New Guinea self-government on 1 Dec. 1973, and on 16 Sept. 1975 Papua New Guinea became a fully independent state.
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