Micronesia: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About Micronesia, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.


Size--717 sq. mi. (1,857 sq. km.). Population--115,000.

The Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Island chains, 2,300 islands scattered across 3 million sq. mi. of ocean, lie in the western Pacific Ocean, north of the equator, east of the Philippines, and west of the international dateline. The islands were conquered by Spain, sold to Germany, ceded to Japan by the League of Nations, and ceded to the U.S. after W.W. II. Although ultimate authority over Micronesia is theoretically in the hands of the Trusteeship Council of the UN, the islands are actually ruled by the U.S. Dept. of Interior with much help from the U.S. Dept. of Defense, which considers them vital to national defense. There has been a growing movement for independence among Micronesians, but the U.S. Government has tried to avoid the issue. According to Walter Hickel's memoirs, several members of the Nixon Cabinet proposed a settlement of the Micronesia status question in 1970, but were vetoed by Henry Kissinger, who said, "There are only 90,000 people out there, so who gives a damn?" On the northern Mariana Islands there is a movement to obtain commonwealth status, such as that of Puerto Rico. However, this would violate the UN Trust. Also, there is some question as to whether the U.S. Congress would vote its approval.

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