By 1898, with the Spanish-American War, the nation’s ambitions expanded beyond the U.S. continent, and extended American “Indian-hating” to the far western Pacific. The National Park Service commemorated it with a park spanning seven different locations. The Japanese military occupation of Guam lasted from 1941 to 1944. Located in the Western Pacific in the geographic region known as Micronesia, Guam is well known for its strategic military and economic position between Asia and the North American continent, but is less known for its remarkable history and resilient people. The Chamorro language is an Austronesian language that has, over time, come to incorporate many Spanish words. Not a house or building remained standing on the island. By the Treaty of Paris, Spain officially ceded the island to the United States. The occupation of Guam by the Spanish escalated when the conversions began. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, section 307, granted U.S. citizenship to "all persons born in the island of Guam on or after April 11, 1899. So when San Vitores was assassinated by Mata'pang, the Spanish forces attempted to capture the guilty. The church and the rectory suffered the same fate. Military officers governed the island as "USS Guam", and the United States Navy opposed proposals for civilian government until 1950. Although Alfred Thayer Mahan, Robert Coontz, and others envisioned the island as "a kind of Gibraltar" in the Pacific, Congress repeatedly failed to fulfill the military's requests to fortify Guam; when a German warship was interned in 1914 before America's entry into World War I, its crew of 543 outnumbered their American custodians. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. :125–126, During World War II, Guam was invaded by the Imperial Japanese Army on December 8, 1941 shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Guam was later claimed by Spain in 1565, with the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Once Christianity was established, the Catholic Church became the focal point for village activities, as in other Spanish cities. Several American servicemen remained on the island, however, and were hidden by the Chamorro people. The products of the island are maize, copra, rice, sugar, and valuable timber." In February 1856, smallpox broke out on Guam after an American merchant ship put in there. Hagåtña (Agana) is the capital. When Catherine of Aragon Led England's Armies to Victory Over Scotland, Researchers Uncover 2,000-Year-Old Maya Water Filtration System, A 12th-Century Mason Created a Hidden Self-Portrait in Famed Spanish Cathedral, This Map Shows Where in the World the U.S. Military Is Combatting Terrorism, Watch an Amazing Time-Lapse of Growing Mushrooms, Step Into 'The Starry Night' and Other Vincent van Gogh Masterpieces, Behind the Scenes With the White House Residence's Long-Serving Staff, The Lab Saving the World From Snake Bites, How Hedges Became the Unofficial Emblem of Great Britain. Some claim that by 1781 the natives and the island settlers were equals. Then, there was an epidemic of smallpox at the end of the 1600s. The increased arrivals of Japanese tourists reflect that country's economic recovery, as well as Guam's enduring appeal as a weekend tropical retreat. De Legazpi later left to establish the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. Meaning the inhabitants traced their lineage through the female line. To America, they are forgotten. This is not just a U.S. military base, but a place with a long history and deep cultural roots, whose “American” people have striven for democracy for over a century, and still don’t have it. As in the Philippines, Spanish scholars wrote about Chamorro culture and language, including dictionaries and anthropological reports which are of great historical value today. Although Public Law 94-584 established the formation of a "locally drafted" constitution (later known as the "Guam Constitution"), the proposed document was rejected by Guam residents in an August 4, 1979 referendum. The early inhabitants had a strict social hierarchy. In 2002, I conducted community-based research in the southern village of Inarahan (Inalahan in Chamorro). The Japanese captured and beheaded five of them. In 1740, Chamorros of the Northern Mariana Islands, except Rota, were moved from some of their home islands to Guam. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! The ancient inhabitants of the Marianas, including Guam, were the Chamorros. A History of Guam. It was not until 1993, with the 50th anniversary of the liberation approaching, that Congress was moved by Guam’s congressional representative, Robert Underwood, to overtly recognize the suffering of the Chamorros. Guam's southern villages largely escaped damage, however. Preview this book » What people are saying - Write a review. The Spanish taught the Chamorros to cultivate maize (corn), raise cattle, and tan hides, as well as to adopt western-style clothing. Inland from the shore, sand and stones covered the soil after the sea subsided. Umatac Bay was a key port for ships looking to replenish their supplies and freshwater. All rights reserved. Early European explorers noted the Chamorros' fast sailing vessels used for trading with other islands of Micronesia. "Cosmopolitan" Guam poses particular challenges for Chamorros struggling to preserve their culture and identity in the face of acculturation. The Japanese military occupation of Guam lasted from 1941 to 1944. The Spanish built infrastructures such as roads and ports, as well as schools and hospitals. California Do Not Sell My Info 0 Reviews. The Chamorros helped hide US Naval radioman, George Ray Tweed.
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