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 DeCS Categories

Z01 Geographic Locations .
Z01.107 Americas .
Z01.107.084 Caribbean Region .
Z01.107.084.900 West Indies .
Z01.107.084.900.600 Martinique .
Z01.107.084.900.750 Puerto Rico .
Z01.107.567 North America .
Z01.107.567.875 United States .
Z01.107.567.875.580 Pacific States .
Z01.107.567.875.580.375 Hawaii .
Z01.639 Islands .
Z01.639.100 Australia .
Z01.639.100.984 Tasmania .
Z01.639.520 Indian Ocean Islands .
Z01.639.520.700 Reunion .
Z01.639.520.750 Seychelles .
Z01.639.760 Pacific Islands .
Z01.639.760.590 Melanesia .
Z01.639.760.590.620 New Caledonia .
Z01.639.760.680 Micronesia .
Z01.639.760.680.717 Palau .
Z01.639.760.815 Polynesia .
Z01.639.760.815.482 Hawaii .
Z01.639.760.815.700 Pitcairn Island .
Z01.639.760.815.890 Tonga .
Z01.639.880 West Indies .
Z01.639.880.600 Martinique .
Z01.639.880.750 Puerto Rico .
Z01.678 Oceania .
Z01.678.100 Australasia .
Z01.678.100.373 Australia .
Z01.678.100.373.984 Tasmania .
 
 Terms
 Synonyms & Historicals
Documents
LILACS e MDL
 
Hawaii .
Midway Island .
Midway Islands .
A group of islands in Polynesia, in the north central Pacific Ocean, comprising eight major and 114 minor islands, largely volcanic and coral. Its capital is Honolulu. It was first reached by Polynesians about 500 A.D. It was discovered and named the Sandwich Islands in 1778 by Captain Cook. The islands were united under the rule of King Kamehameha 1795-1819 and requested annexation to the United States in 1893 when a provisional government was set up. Hawaii was established as a territory in 1900 and admitted as a state in 1959. The name is from the Polynesian Owhyhii, place of the gods, with reference to the two volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, regarded as the abode of the gods. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p493 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p2330) .
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Tonga .
An archipelago in Polynesia in the southwest Pacific Ocean, comprising about 150 islands. It is a kingdom whose capital is Nukualofa. It was discovered by the Dutch in 1616, visited by Tasman in 1643, and by Captain Cook in 1773 and 1777. The modern kingdom was established during the reign of King George Tupou I, 1845-93. It became a British protectorate in 1900 and gained independence in 1970. The name Tonga may be of local origin, meaning either island or holy. Its other name, Friendly Islands, was given by Captain Cook from the welcome given him by the natives. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1219 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p549) .
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Martinique .
An island in the Lesser Antilles, one of the Windward Islands. Its capital is Fort-de-France. It was discovered by Columbus in 1502 and from its settlement in 1635 by the French it passed into and out of Dutch and British hands. It was made a French overseas department in 1946. One account of the name tells of native women on the shore calling "Madinina" as Columbus approached the island. The meaning was never discovered but was entered on early charts as Martinique, influenced by the name of St. Martin. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p734 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p339) .
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Tasmania .
An island south of Australia and the smallest state of the Commonwealth. Its capital is Hobart. It was discovered and named Van Diemen's Island in 1642 by Abel Tasman, a Dutch navigator, in honor of the Dutch governor-general of the Dutch East Indian colonies. It was renamed for the discoverer in 1853. In 1803 it was taken over by Great Britain and was used as a penal colony. It was granted government in 1856 and federated as a state in 1901. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1190 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, p535) .
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New Caledonia .
A group of islands in Melanesia constituting a French overseas territory. The group includes New Caledonia (the main island), Ile des Pins, Loyalty Island, and several other islet groups. The capital is Noumea. It was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774 and visited by various navigators, explorers, and traders from 1792 to 1840. Occupied by the French in 1853, it was set up as a penal colony 1864-94. In 1946 it was made a French overseas territory. It was named by Captain Cook with the 5th and 6th century A.D. Latin name for Scotland, Caledonia. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p830 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p375) .
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Pitcairn Island .
An island in Polynesia, in the south Pacific Ocean. It was discovered in 1767 by Philip Carteret, uninhabited until 1790 when settled by mutineers from the English ship, Bounty. The settlement was discovered in 1808; the population was removed temporarily to Tahiti in 1831 and to Norfolk Island (between New Caledonia and New Zealand) in 1856. Some later returned to Pitcairn and their descendents constitute the present population of this British colony. The island is named for the midshipman who first sighted it from the ship. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p958 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p422) .
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Seychelles .
A group of Indian Ocean Islands, east of Tanzania. Their capital is Victoria. They were first claimed by the French in 1744 but taken by the English in 1794 and made a dependency of MAURITIUS in 1810. They became a crown colony in 1903 and a republic within the Commonwealth in 1976. They were named for the French finance minister, Jean Moreau de Sechelles, but respelled by the English in 1794. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1102 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p496) .
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Palau .
A republic consisting of a group of about 100 islands and islets in the western Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Koror. Under Spain it was administered as a part of the Caroline Islands but was sold to Germany in 1899. Seized by Japan in 1914, it was taken by the Allies in World War II in 1944. In 1947 it became part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, became internally self-governing in 1980, obtained independent control over its foreign policy (except defense) in 1986, and achieved total independence October 1, 1994. (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p915; telephone communication with Randy Flynn, Board on Geographic Names, 17 January 1995) .
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Puerto Rico .
An island in the Greater Antilles in the West Indies. Its capital is San Juan. It is a self-governing commonwealth in union with the United States. It was discovered by Columbus in 1493 but no colonization was attempted until 1508. It belonged to Spain until ceded to the United States in 1898. It became a commonwealth with autonomy in internal affairs in 1952. Columbus named the island San Juan for St. John's Day, the Monday he arrived, and the bay Puerto Rico, rich harbor. The island became Puerto Rico officially in 1932. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p987 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p436) .
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Reunion .
One of the Indian Ocean Islands, east of Madagascar. Its capital is Saint-Denis. It was discovered in 1507 by the Portuguese and claimed by France in 1638. It was first colonized in 1662 as Isle de Bourbon but renamed Reunion in 1793. In 1946 it was made an overseas department of France. The name commemorates the reunion of the revolutionaries from Marseilles with the National Guard in Paris in 1792. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1011; Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p454; French Embassy) .
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