According to topschoolsintheusa, the first inhabitants appeared on the Palau Islands about 4 thousand years ago, they were immigrants from the eastern part of Indonesia. A tribal system prevailed here, where the main role was assigned to the leaders, with elements of matriarchy, when money and property were inherited through the female line.
The Spaniards first landed on the islands in 1543, Spain declared its rights to them only in 1686, but colonization of the lands did not follow. Trade with Europe began to improve only in the 18th century, and officially Spain was recognized as the owner of the islands in 1885.
In 1899, after the war with the United States, Spain sold the Caroline Islands to Germany. Coconut palm plantations were established here for the production of copra, and deposits of bauxite and phosphates were developed, where Aboriginal labor was forcibly used.
In 1914, Japan captured the Caroline Islands, and in 1920 the League of Nations gave her a mandate to govern them. In 1922, the administrative center of Japanese possessions in the South Pacific Ocean settled on Koror. Japan did not stand on ceremony with the locals, but simply took away their land for plantations and mining. The Japanese abolished the inheritance of land and introduced private property on it. In the 30s of the 21st century, in the face of ever-increasing danger, the Japanese began to build military structures on the islands.
During World War II, in 1944, Palau came under US military control, and in 1947, the archipelago became part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under US control. In 1979, Palau voted in a referendum against Palau joining the Federated States of Micronesia. In 1980, a new constitution for the islands came into force, and in 1981 the islands became known as the Republic of Palau.
In 1982, Palau signed the Treaty of Free Association with the United States, under which the United States guaranteed the country economic support and the preservation of internal self-government in exchange for the fact that the United States would decide on its defense issues. In subsequent years, the country was marked by an unstable political situation, two presidents of the Republic of Palau were killed. In this regard, in 1993, the Free Association Agreement was ratified and on October 1, 1994 the country became independent. The free association agreement expires in 2009, but until now Palau continues to be heavily dependent on the United States.
Melekeok, Babeltuap Island (Palau)
The village of Melekeok is the capital of the Republic of Palau. It is located on the east coast of the island of Babeltuap. This is the largest island of Palau, it has an area of about 367 square meters. km. Its length is 43 km, and the width of the island reaches 23 km. However, only a small part of the state’s population lives here. Babeltuap is a volcanic island with forested hills in the center and sand dunes along the coast. On the east coast of the island are the best beaches of Palau, where in winter there are suitable conditions for surfing.
In the eastern part of the island, not far from the capital of the state, there is Lake Ngardok. – the largest natural freshwater reservoir in all of Micronesia with an area of 493 hectares. The coastline of the western part of the island is covered with mangroves. In the northern part of the island of Babeltuap is the highest waterfall in all of Micronesia – Ngradmau, which can be reached by a trail through the jungle. Its waters fall from a height of 18 m. Also in the northern part of the island of Babeltuap is a place called Badrulchau, where you can see the remains of the most ancient civilization of the Palau Islands – rows of basalt blocks of impressive size. According to the legends, these blocks were erected by the gods themselves to protect their main gathering place on earth. Well-preserved 37 monoliths, some reach a weight of 5 tons. Badrulchau is surrounded by artificial landscapes – man-made terraces. It is believed that they appeared here around 100 AD. In the southwest of the island of Babeltuap is another place with the ruins of ancient civilizations – Imeungs. In the southern part of the island is the Ngatpang waterfall, about 6 m high, which is located in the forest near the road.
North of the island of Babeltuap is the island of Kayangel. This is a coral atoll, having a length of only 3 km. Not far from it, Ngaruengel Atoll stretches for 9 km., which has the status of a protected area. These atolls are suitable for lovers of secluded relaxation. There are few tourists, a quiet sea and deserted sandy beaches. In addition, Ngaruengel Atoll is known for its craftsmen for the production of woven bags and baskets from pandanus leaves.