Part of Paradise Found
|Unique unit||Maori warrior (replaces Warrior)|
|Ability||Tiu Tonga Empire:
City-State influence degrades at two-thirds the usual rate and recovers 50 % faster
Tiu Tonga Empire - City state influence degrades at two-thirds the usual rate and recovers 50% faster
Tonga is one of the larger cultural groupings within Polynesia, and has vied with the other regions for supremacy of the Pacific islands. Tonga reached its zenith as a regional power in the 14th century, during which time it achieved something of a regional hegemony of chiefs and navigators. The archipelago of the Kingdom of Tonga consists of 176 islands scattered over 700,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand and southwest of the Hawaiian Islands.
It is difficult to date the arrival of humans to the Tongan archipelago. The oldest unambiguous site is found in the village of Pea on Tongatapu, and is approximately 3,000 years old. Ceramic evidence from the Lapita period has been found in Tonga, but that would have represented a considerable feat of navigation for that civilization.
First contact with the West was recorded by the Dutch in 1616, though the most famous meeting would have been during James Cook’s survey of the Pacific. Cook named Tonga “the Friendly Islands” for the hospitality of the Tongans. Curiously enough, the Tongans appear to have been planning to kill Cook, though they could not agree on a plan to do so and Cook departed unmolested and apparently oblivious to his near-miss. European missionaries extensively Christianized the Tongans during the end of the 18th and early 19th century.
Tonga was plunged into a fifty-year civil war following the assassination of a major chief in 1799. But in 1845, the warrior Taufa’ahau claimed the title of prime chief, and had himself baptized King George Tupou I. He then proceeded to emancipate the lowest social caste, create a code of laws, and limited the power of the other chiefs, signing an alliance with the British under the Treaty of Friendship. Tonga never became a full British colony, retaining autonomy and enjoying the military protection by the British.
Tonga's position as a crossroads of the South Pacific made it a region of strategic importance during World War II. Tongan soldiers fought in the Solomon Islands, and the island of Tongatapu became a critical stop for supplies crossing from North America to New Zealand and Australia. Today Tonga is an independent, constitutional monarchy (the only Polynesian group never to have abandoned the monarch), embracing democratic reform and modernizing its government.
Nuku'alofa, Neiafu, Haveluloto, Ha Ateiho, Pangai-Hihifo, Pea, Tofoa-Koloua, Vaini, Fua Amotu, Houma, Kolonga, Lapanha, Leimatu A, Nukunuku, Popua, Tatakamotonga