History in Papua New Guinea

History in Papua New Guinea

According to topschoolsintheusa, the territory of modern New Guinea became inhabited 60 thousand years ago. The inhabitants of these places were mainly engaged in agriculture.

In the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish merchants landed on the shores of New Guinea. It was the Spaniards who called the largest island of the Pacific Ocean New Guinea, since the local population was very similar to the inhabitants of African Guinea. In the 18th century, after the founding of the British colony in Australia, Europeans began to visit the island more and more often. They actively contacted the local population. In 1847, Catholic missionaries arrived in the Solomon Islands, and by the end of the 19th century, Christian missions had been established on many of the islands. However, Europeans developed only the coasts of the islands, their inner regions remained inaccessible to them.

In 1883, the eastern part of New Guinea was annexed by Australia, acting on behalf of Great Britain, and already in 1884, Great Britain captured the southeastern part of New Guinea with neighboring islands and created the colony of British New Guinea. The northeastern part of New Guinea and the nearby islands was subordinated to Germany and was called German New Guinea. Germany established copra plantations in the Bismarck Archipelago, then plantations appeared on the island of Bougainville. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gold was discovered on the island of New Guinea and other islands, which attracted many Australians to the area. In 1906, British New Guinea was transferred to the administration of Australia, which by that time had received the right to self-government, and was renamed the Territory of Papua. In 1914, German New Guinea was occupied by Australian troops. At the end of the war, Australia received from the League of Nations a mandate to administer the former German colony, which became known as the Territory of New Guinea. Australia also received German plantations and trading companies.

During the Second World War in 1942, the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea, part of the Bismarck archipelago and the island of Bougainville were captured by the Japanese. Fierce battles were fought on the territory of these islands. After the end of the war, the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea came under the administration of Australia as a United Nations Trust Territory, and in 1949 it was merged into the Territory of Papua. The new administrative unit was named Papua New Guinea. In the second half of the 20th century, a powerful national liberation movement began to form in Papua New Guinea. This led to the fact that in 1964, after the general elections, in the Legislative Assembly, the majority of seats were taken by local residents, who formed laws protecting their rights, in 1973 the country received the right to internal self-government,

The end of the 20th century in Papua New Guinea was marked by the rapid development of the mining industry, copper and gold were mined here. Today, Papua New Guinea is part of the Commonwealth of Nations and is a member of the UN. In general, there is a calm situation in the country, but there are still some difficulties with the unification of disparate tribes into a common state. Particularly problematic is the territory of the island of Bougainville, where since the end of the 19th century there have been many armed uprisings aimed at gaining independence by their inhabitants. This problem persists to this day, however, progress has been made – since 1998, peace negotiations have been underway.


Papua New Guinea is one of the most crime-prone places in the world, and the country’s capital, Port Moresby, was recently named the most dangerous city for foreign tourists to travel. Law and order in remote villages, home to tribes that have not yet been touched by civilization, simply does not work. People here live by their own rules, which often seem wild to civilized people. It is highly recommended to go to the villages with guides, moreover, having previously learned about the customs of the local population. In major cities such as Port Moresby, Lae, Mount Hagen and the cities of the highlands of New Guinea, the crime rate is very high, so tourists should not travel alone, walk at night, attend demonstrations and leave personal belongings unattended. Local police are also lovers of “easy money”. They often offer to pay one or another fine on the spot, but it is worth suggesting that they transfer the proceedings to the police station, and most likely they will leave you alone.

In large cities of the state, the price level is high, which cannot be said about the service provided for this money.

If you are not going to rest in one place, but want to visit several regions of the country, then you need to plan your trip in advance (order a taxi, book hotel rooms, etc.).

The coastal waters are home to sharks and many poisonous sea creatures. You can swim only in strictly designated areas. To enter the water on an unequipped coast, you should wear sturdy shoes.

History in Papua New Guinea