The Republic of Palau in the Pacific Ocean consists of a chain of 250 islands and controls a large area of the ocean. Palau has a population of 21,000; its capital, Ngerulmud, is located on the island of Babeldaob.

Palau was first settled around 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines. It was first discovered by the Europeans in the 18th century, and Spain incorporated Palau into the Spanish East Indies in 1885. However, Spanish rule did not last for long, and with Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War in 1898, the islands were sold to Germany, which administered them as part of the Caroline Islands (Karolinen in German). By this time the population was around 4,000, one-tenth of the level 20 years earlier, with ...

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