Samoa Military

Defense

Samoa has no military means of its own to protect its security. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that ASM stands for Samoa.

Samoa Army

The Samoa archipelago has been inhabited for about 3,000 years. The first inhabitants – of Polynesian origin – created an advanced social structure, organized around the families and their heads (matai). Among the clans, there are 4 who have played a prominent role up to today: Malietoa, Tamasese, Mataafa and Tuimalealiifano. Their chiefs call themselves “descendants of kings” (tama aiga).

The Dutch were the first Europeans to reach the islands in 1722, but the colonization first started in the late 19th century.

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For decades, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany have been battling the islands. The Germans settled in 1855. The German traders paid for the locally produced cobra with Bolivian and Chilean pesos, but 10 times lower than the real value. In 1889, a treaty established that the United States had the right to the islands east of the 171st longitude, and this division has been preserved to this day. The western part was officially subjugated to the German Empire, which hoisted its flag in Apia on March 1, 1900. The British withdrew, however, against the other parties recognizing their “rights” over Tonga and Solomon Islands.

At the outbreak of World War I, New Zealand occupied the German part of Samoa and, after the war, was allowed by the League of Nations to continue administration as a mandate area.

A flu epidemic in 1920 cost a quarter of the population their lives. The “Mau” movement now began to spread across the archipelago, calling for resistance to foreign domination. For 9 years, the population developed advanced forms of civil disobedience, which developed into a strong independence movement.

Due to strong protests and pressure from the UN, a referendum was held in 1961. The people voted for independence which became reality in 1962. The Constitution was based on the traditional social structure and with the executive power concentrated in two kings, Tupua Tamasese Meaole and Malietoa Tanumafili. Only the clan chiefs (matai) could vote for parliament – about 8,500.