Story: Pacific Islands and New Zealand

A sovereign nation, 1900 (1st of 3)

A sovereign nation, 1900

Tonga’s King George Tupou II, seen here on his way to open the Tongan Parliament in Nuku'alofa in 1900, was the great-grandson of George Tupou I, who established the Tongan royal line in the 1840s. A primary aim of the first king was preventing Tonga from being taken over by outsiders, and in this he was notably successful. King George Tupou II signed a Treaty of Friendship and Protection with Britain in 1900. The treaty allowed Britain to handle Tonga’s foreign affairs and have a voice in the kingdom's finances. Tonga remained independent to a greater extent than any other Pacific Island nation.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PAColl-9061
Photograph by Frederick W. Sears

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jon Fraenkel, 'Pacific Islands and New Zealand - Fiji and Tonga', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 April 2024)

Story by Jon Fraenkel, published 20 Jun 2012