Considered one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change and one of the most subject to the imbalances of the global economy, Kiribati shares with other Oceania small island states the condition of a menaced paradise. Despite this, its inhabitants enjoyed over the centuries the benefits derived from Kiribati’s geographical position and the peculiar condition of its territory, dispersed over approximately 3.5 million square kilometers: a complex of factors that has fueled the interest of foreign invaders who wanted to establish a strategic point in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This entry discusses the history of Kiribati, with a focus on its role during World War II.

Precolonial Times

Archeological data demonstrate that the group of islands that now comprises Kiribati—32 ...

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