Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern


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The island kingdom of Tonga, situated in the South Pacific about a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawai'i, was probably the first part of Polynesia to be settled by humans, about 3,000 years ago. Periods of isolation alternated with periods of regular contact with neighbouring island groups while Tongan culture developed its distinctive variant of the Polynesian theme. Modern Tonga was moulded by dramatic changes in the nineteenth century during which the population converted to Christianity, and a formal state was established under a written constitution. As a result of benign British supervision, Tonga was the only Pacific archipelago not to be formally controlled by a European power. After two or three generations of tranquil consolidation, late in the twentieth century a vigorous and ambitious king forced his country into a trajectory of economic development and rapid social change, which eventually created a demand for political reform and democratisation. Tonga is less isolated, more prosperous and yet seemingly more troubled now than at any time in its history.


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Dr Ian Campbell was born in Australia but spent some early years in Tonga. Educated in Australia at the Universities of New England and Adelaide, he was subsequently on the academic staff of the University of Canterbury for two decades, and was later Professor of History and Politics at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. He is the author of numerous academic publications, as well as 'Worlds Apart' (Canterbury University Press, 2011), a general history of the Pacific islands, and is co-editor with Eve Coxon of 'Polynesian Paradox' (IPS Publications, 2005), a volume of essays in honour of distinguished Tongan scholar, Professor Futa Helu. Ian Campbell has also written a book describing Tonga's democratic transition, 'Tonga's Way to Democracy' (Herodotus Press, 2012).

Preface Maps Tongan Spelling and Pronunciation 1 The Origins of Tongan Society 2 The Formative Centuries 3 New Dynasties 4 Tongan Society in the Eighteenth Century 5 The Long Civil War, 1777-1820 6 The Foundation of the New Kingdom, 1820-1845 7 The Quest for Unity and Independence, 1845-1875 8 A Troubled Partnership, 1875-1893 9 Social Changes in the Nineteenth Century 10 The Reign of Tupou II, 1893-1918 11 Salote's Early Reign, 1918-1941 12 Tongan Society Between the Wars 13 World War II and After, 1939-1949 14 Salote's Later Years, 1950-1965 15 Tupou IV's Modernisation, 1965-1980 16 Building a New Tongan Society, 1980-1990 17 A Decade of Agitation, 1990-2000 18 Tonga Reformed, 2000-2010 19 New Forms, Old Challenges Appendices Glossary Endnotes Bibliography Index

General Fields

  • : 9781927145692
  • : Independent Publishers Group
  • : January 2016
  • : 230mm X 152mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 3rd Edition
  • : Fine
  • : HB
  • : 62 black and white photos, 12 black and white line drawings