Timeline of Tongan history

Timeline of Tongan history

This is a timeline of the History of Tonga.

Early history

*c.800 BC: Estimated arrival of the first Lapita settlers in Tonga.
*c.200: Explorers set out from Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to discover and settle eastern Polynesia.

Rise and fall of the Tongan Empire

*early 10th century: ʻAhoʻeitu founds the Tuʻi Tonga Empire. Tongan rule gradually extends over neighbouring island groups, to establish the most expansive pre-European colonial empire in the Pacific.
*11th century: The Empire expands, under Tuʻi Tonga Momo, to include Samoa and parts of Fiji.
*12th century: Muʻa becomes the capital of the Tongan Empire.
*13th century: The Haʻamonga ʻa Maui is built during the rule of Tuʻi Tonga Tuʻitātui.
*c.1250: Samoa rebels and casts off Tongan rule; foundation of the Malietoa dynasty in Samoa. Beginning of the Empire's decline.
*c.1470: The Tongans are driven out of ʻUvea and Futuna. Tuʻi Tonga Kauʻulufonua I cedes temporal authority to his brother Moʻungāmotuʻa: the Tuʻi Tonga dynasty is replaced by the Tu'i Ha'atakalaua dynasty.

17th century

*c.1600: ascension of the Tuʻi Kanokupolu dynasty.
*1643: Abel Tasman visits Tonga.
*c. 1650: Mataelehaʻamea, the Tuʻi Kanokupolu, establishes the supremacy of his dynasty after a war against the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua, Vaea.

18th century

*1773: First visit by Captain James Cook. Cook calls Tonga the "Friendly Isles", and returns the following year.
*1777: James Cook visits Tonga for the third time, and meets the Tuʻi Kanokupolu, Tuʻihalafatai.
*1782: Tuʻihalafatai renounces power and moves to Fiji.
*1793: Tupoumoheofo, first woman to hold the title Tuʻi Kanokupolu, is overthrown by her cousin Tukuʻaho.
*1797: Arrival of the first Christian missionaries from London.
*1799: Tukuʻaho, the Tuʻi Kanokupolu, is murdered; beginning of half a century of civil war.

19th century

*1806-1810: William Mariner's sojourn in Tonga.
*1808: Tupoumālohi is appointed Tuʻi Kanokupolu after a nine-year interregnum, but resigns within less than a year.
*1820: Aleamotuʻa takes the throne as Tuʻi Kanokupolu, amidst ongoing conflict.
*1826: Aleamotuʻa converts to Christianity and allows Wesleyan Methodist missionaries to settle on Tongatapu.
*1831: Tāufaʻāhau proclaims himself "King George Tupou I of Tonga".
*1845: Tāufaʻāhau completes his conquest and unification of Tonga. Foundation of the modern Kingdom of Tonga. NukuOkinaalofa becomes the capital.
*1875: King George Tupou I makes Tonga a constitutional monarchy, emancipates all 'serfs' and guarantees freedom of the press and the rule of law.
*1893: Death of George Tupou I; George Tupou II becomes King.
*1900: "Treaty of Friendship": Tonga becomes a British protected State, but remains essentially self-governing.

20th century

*1918: Death of George Tupou II; Salote Tupou III becomes Queen.
*1965: Death of Salote Tupou III; Taufa'ahau Tupou IV becomes King.
*1970: Tonga regains full sovereignty and independence from the United Kingdom, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
*1999: Tonga joins the United Nations.

21st century

*March 30, 2006: Feleti Sevele is appointed as the first non-noble Prime Minister of Tonga since Shirley Baker in the 19th century.
*September 11, 2006: Death of Taufa'ahau Tupou IV; George Tupou V becomes King.
*November 16, 2006: Riots hit NukuOkinaalofa, as protestors demand a faster transition to democracy. Some rioters burn down and loot Chinese-Tongan shops and businesses. Eight looters die in a burning building.
*November 17, 2006: George Tupou V promises democratic legislative elections for 2008.

ources / further reading

*"Queen Salote of Tonga: The Story of an Era 1900-1965" (ISBN 1-86940-205-7)
*Latukefu, S. (1974), "Church and State in Tonga", ANU Press, Canberra
*Campbell, Ian C., "Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern", 2001, ISBN 0-908812-96-5
* [http://parliament.gov.to/new_page_3.htm "Brief history of the Kingdom of Tonga"] , on the website of the Tongan Parliament

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