Timeline on Germany, England, Queensland, and New Guinea
Apparently, Papua is the original name for the whole island which the natives used. New Guinea was a term used by the Spanish explorers, and picked up by the Dutch when they colonised the western half in the 17th century.
Ok, here's the somewhat fascinating timeline.
- February 1883 Report in the Sydney Morning Herald on February 7, 1883 of a copy (in English) of the news report in the Allgemeine Zeitung — a leading political daily journal published in Munich, Germany — on November 27, 1882.
Under the heading German annexation of New Guinea … the explorations of Powell, Moresby, Macfarlane, etc have made the island now worth some consideration. It is considered useful by geological and biological people as holding in its forests the key to solve problems - by London missionaries as a field to win new souls - by better informed colonial politicians of all nations as a profitable field for cultivation.; therefore geographical inquiries about it are now little likely to come to a standstill. As we Germans have learnt a little about conducting colonial policy, and as our wishes and plans turn with a certain vivacity towards New Guinea … according to our opinion it might be possible to create out of the island a German Java, a great trade and plantation colony, which would form a stately foundation stone for a German colonial kingdom of the future."
- March 1883 Following cries for help, particularly from missionary organizations, Queensland Premier McIlwraith on his own authority ordered a Queensland Police Magistrate to proclaim the annexation on behalf of the Queensland government of New Guinea east of the Dutch boundary. When news of this reached London, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Derby promptly repudiated the act. When the matter came before Parliament, Lord Derby advised that the British Imperial Government "were not ready to annex New Guinea in view of its vast size and unknown interior, the certainty of native objections and administrative expense"
- 3rd November 1884 Under the auspices of the Deutsche Neuguinea-Compagnie (New Guinea Company), the German flag was flown over Kaiser-Wilhelmsland (that's in the north of New Guinea, not far from Bougainville), over the Bismarck Archipelago and the German Solomon Islands.
- 6th November 1884 Three days later, after the Australian colonies promised financial support, the territory of Papua (in the south) became a British protectorate. Peter Scratchley, appointed as defence adviser for Australia by the Colonial Office in 1860, who had built Fort Lytton in Brisbane in 1880, although he had retired in late 1882, he now became special commissioner for Papua.
- 1885 Missionaries come to German New Guinea. German church authorities devised a definite program for missionary work in New Guinea and assigned it to the Rhenish Mission, under the direction of Friedrich Fabri (1824–91), a Lutheran. The missionaries faced extraordinary difficulties: repeated sickness from the unhealthy climate; psychological and sometimes violent tensions and fights between the colonial administration and the natives. The natives rejected European customs and norms of social behavior; few embraced Christianity. Finally, in 1921 the Rhenish Mission territory was handed over to the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia. However, missionaries sponsored by the Catholic Church in Germany had superior resources and influence, and proved more successful. They put more emphasis on tradition and less on modernization, and were more in line with native world-views and traditions, European morality and discipline were often adopted, as were notions of dignity and prestige.
- 1885 Special Commissioner Peter Scratchley arrives in Papua in the south. In August 1885, Peter Scratchley arrives in Port Moresby. Makes it the seat of government, questions of land tenure and the cultivation of the land were examined, and good relations were established with many of the natives and with the missionaries. However, died of malaria shortly after arriving, in December 1885.
- 1888 After a few temporary commissioners, Papua in the south was formally annexed to Great Britain. A Scotsman, William MacGregor, a chief medical officer in Fiji for many years, was appointed as formal administrator. Served there for ten years. Click here for a list of his successors.
- 1899 Forced recruitment in the north. Meanwhile, in order to expand the highly profitable plantations the Germans needed more native workers. The government sent military expeditions to take direct control of more areas, 1899 to 1914. Instead of voluntary recruitment it became a matter of forced mobilization. The government enforced new laws that required the tribes to furnish four weeks of labor per person annually and payment of a poll tax in cash, thereby forcing reluctant natives into the work force. The government did explore the choice of voluntary recruitment of laborers from China, Japan, and Micronesia, but only a few hundred came. After 1910 the government tried to ameliorate the impact by ending the recruitment of women in some areas and entirely closing other areas to recruiting. The planters protested vehemently, and the government responded by sending troops to fresh areas to impose the labor policy.
- 1914 First World War. After some brief fighting, on 21 September 1914 all German forces in the colony surrendered to Australian troops.
- 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Germany lost all its colonial possessions, including German New Guinea. It became the Territory of New Guinea, a League of Nations Mandate Territory under Australian administration.
- 1942 War in the South Pacific. Territory of New Guinea captured by the Japanese in July. The US invasion of Japanese held Guadalcanal in the South Solomon Islands in August was of great assistance to the Australians defending Port Moresby in Papua, as the Japanese attacked along the Kokoda Trail. Click here for further details and the Run Rabbit issue.
- 1949 Territory of New Guinea merged with the Australian territory of Papua to become the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
- 1951-1975 The 1949 act provided for a Legislative Council (established in 1951), a judicial organization, a public service, and a system of local government. A House of Assembly replaced the Legislative Council in 1963, and the first House of Assembly opened on 8 June 1964. In 1972, the name of the territory was changed to Papua New Guinea. Australia's change of policy towards Papua New Guinea largely commenced with the invitation from the Australian Government in 1964 to the World Bank to send a mission to the Territory to advise on measures to be taken towards its economic development and political preparation. Elections in 1972 resulted in the formation of a ministry headed by Chief Minister Michael Somare, who pledged to lead the country to self-government and then to independence. Papua New Guinea became self-governing on 1 December 1973 and achieved independence on 16 September 1975.
** End of Report