Fiji, located in the South Pacific, consists of 332 islands, of which some 110 are permanently inhabited. Some 87 percent of the entire population live on the two major islands, Vitu Levu and Vanua Levu, and the capital, Suva, is on Vitu Levu. The islands have been inhabited for several thousand years with the first Europeans under Abel Tasman arriving in 1643. There were some whalers and merchants dealing in sandalwood by the early 19th century, along with missionaries.

The British established Fiji as their colony in 1874, although before then British and Australian interests had established plantations. Some of the first of these were cotton plantations, which aimed at fulfilling the worldwide demand for new sources of cotton during the American Civil War. However, with ...

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