The area, with its capital at Pago Pago, is 77.6 square mi (199 square km) and has a highest point at Lata of 3,188 ft (966 m). It has a population of 70,260. The area likewise includes the more distant coral atolls, Rose and Sand, and small Swains Island, far to the north. The islands extend roughly 186 mi (300 km) from west to east and lie about two-thirds of the way from HAWAII to NEW ZEALAND.
virtual office surabaya .adv - The primary town and management center, Pago Pago, has among the very best natural deep water harbors in the South Pacific Ocean, secured from rough seas and high winds. Strategically situated at the crossroads of the South Pacific, the harbor at Pago attracted the interest of the United States Navy as early as the 1870s and stayed a primary coaling point for U.S. ships crossing the Pacific until completion of World War I, when oil changed coal in the majority of bigger vessels. Since then, American Samoa has actually stayed a relative backwater and has therefore retained much of its conventional lifestyle, unlike a number of its next-door neighbors.
American Samoa's nearest next-door neighbors are the sovereign states of [Western] SAMOA and TONGA to the west and southwest and the New Zealand dependences of Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue to the north, east, and south. The islands lie just to the east of the INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE and at the crossway of the 3 cultural divisions of POLYNESIA, MICRONESIA, and MELANESIA, though the Samoans themselves fall within the Polynesian sphere. The islands are volcanic in origin, with rugged peaks and restricted coastal plains.
American Samoa ClimateThe climate is tropical marine, with ample rainfall, promoting dense forests on most the islands and allowing cultivation of bananas, coconuts, taro, breadfruit, yams, copra, pineapples, and papayas. Industries are limited to several large tuna canneries, plus local handicrafts and garments. Tourist is not heavy, because there is minimal airline service. The canneries were opened in the 1950s and 1960s and made up 90 percent of all exports in 1995. But few locals wish to work there, so half the labor force are aliens, mostly from Western Samoa and tonga. Young people originally American Samoa are increasingly leaving for the mainland United States for higher education and employment possibility. The population therefore differs commonly (for instance, in 1984 it was provided as just 36,000). About 90 percent survive Tutuila, mainly near Pago Pago.
American Samoa CultureThe islands were settled long before European contact in the 18th century. Native chiefs looked to the United States in the late 19th century for defense versus the squabbles of European colonial powers. The first treaty with a local chief permitting U.S. boats to anchor in Pago Harbor was checked in 1872, and negotiations in between Great Britain, Germany, and the United States caused a partition in 1899 (at 171 degrees west longitude), though the ranking Samoan chiefs did not formally cede their areas till 1904 (after the United States had actually currently established its administration).
The bigger islands in the group, Upolu and Savai'i, went to GERMANY and from 1962 formed the independent country of Samoa. The population of the eastern islands in 1900 was less than 6,000. After World War I, the Samoans were primarily delegated themselves, and their standard system of federal government and family based common landownership was preserved. Subsistence economy was successful and local traditions were strong, so many Western impacts were either turned down or, like Christianity, molded to fit the Samoan way.
Because 1951 the islands have actually fallen under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of the Interior, and a new constitution was adopted in 1966, but, unlike America's other territories in the Pacific, there is little desire to change the status quo, either toward independence or towards closer affiliation with the United States. The islands count on heavy subsidies and welfare programs but are also cautious of losing their traditional lifestyle by submitting entirely to U.S. law (for instance, the continuation of government management by semi-hereditary chiefs, the matai, and the system of communal landholding, under which about 92 percent of the land remains to be held by standard kin groups). American Samoa hence remains an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States.
Samoans are primarily independent, and rigorous restrictions of migration are planned to preserve their autonomy and traditional culture.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. World Factbook (CIA, 2004); Ron Crocombe, The South Pacific (University of the South Pacific, Institute of Pacific Studies, 2001); Frederica Bunge and Melinda W. Cooke, Oceania: A Regional Study (Foreign Area Studies Series, 1985); K.R. Howe, Robert C. Kiste, Brij V. Lal, eds., Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century (University of Hawaii Press, 1994).