North Solomon Islands

The Northern Solomons were the more northerly group of islands in the Solomon Islands archipelago over which Germany declared a protectorate in 1885. Initially the German Solomon Islands Protectorate included Choiseul, Santa Isabel, the Shortlands and Ontong Java Islands, but in 1900 these islands were transferred to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. The largest of the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, continued under German administration until World War I when it fell to Australia, and after the war, it formally passed to Australian jurisdiction under a League of Nations mandate.

The Solomons archipelago.

Today, what were the North Solomon Islands are split between Bougainville (an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea) and the sovereign state of Solomon Islands, which is the successor state to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate renamed in 1975 prior to achieving independence in 1976.

History

On 17 February 1568, the archipelago was discovered by Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendaña y Neyra, who named its Islas de Salomon.

In April 1885 a German protectorate (Schutzgebiet) was declared over the northern Solomon Islands: Bougainville, Buka, Choiseul, Santa Isabel and Ontong Java.

In 1893 the British declared a protectorate over the southern Solomon Islands of New Georgia, Guadalcanal, Malaita and San Cristobal, and this protectorate became known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. In 1898 Britain annexed the Santa Cruz and the Rennell and Bellona Islands.

In the year 1900, under the terms of Treaty of Berlin (14 November 1899), Germany transferred Choiseul, Santa Isabel, the Shortlands and Ontong Java Islands to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, but retained Bougainville and its surrounding islands. Germany granted this claim in exchange for the British giving up all claims to Samoa.