|University||Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) NZ|
Q1: Critically assess either the social, environmental, or political legacy of WW2 for anyone Pacific Islands territory.
The Solomon Islands Were A Key Battleground During The Campaign In Pacific
The Solomon Islands Campaign was more than a significant milestone in the history of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate and its people. Rapid change affected islanders’ outlook and their surrounding environment during the war. These changes set the stage for the struggle for Solomon Islands’ independence from Britain in 1978.
The Second World War proved to be a pivotal moment in the political legacy of the Solomon Islands. The war eroded the perception of colonial infallibility. This in addition to a history of dissatisfaction with colonial rule prompted many Islanders to question the established order and develop their own political aspirations. These ideas were further spurred on the interactions between Solomon Islanders and American troops. It is because of the war that notable movements such as Messina Rule and the Moro movement emerged and came to dominate the political landscape in the Solomon Islands for the next two decades.
These political aspirations were able to manifest in Prior to the war, the Solomon Islands were firmly under the control of the British Solomon Island Protectorate (BISP) and thus the political view of those that lived there were largely influenced by colonial policies that Jack Corbett describes as ‘racialist and paternalistic’ a viewpoint that is encapsulated by Jonathan Fifi’s
‘The colonial caste system, with the white people all segregated up on the hill, with their hotel and their club… We Solomon Islanders were left at the very bottom of the heap’p34 on p 84 [these discussions]… started us thinking: we started to get ideas. We felt angry that we’d been given no power, that we had been treated like rubbish. We had to change all that. Whatever trouble we brought on ourselves, we had to stand up to the government. (quote from Jonathan Fifi’ I p52 in two worlds p 78)