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Samoa

The Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa (to differentiate itself from American Samoa), is located in the South Pacific Ocean and consists of two main islands, Upolu, where the capital city of Apia is located, and Savai’i.

Inhabited for several thousand years, the first contacts with Europeans were in the early 18th century. The islands were named the Navigator Islands by the Frenchman Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. Beginning in the 1830s, British missionaries came to Samoa, the most famous of whom was John Williams.

During the 19th century the Germans started to commercialize the islands’ copra and dominated the processing of cocoa beans. There was a civil war for eight years, with British and German traders supporting rival sides; a second civil war resulted in ...

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