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August 13 , 2008

The Samoan Tangle

A Study in Anglo-German-American Relations 1878–1900


Exploring the diplomatic negotiations that led to the division of the Samoan Islands between Germany, Great Britain and the United States in 1899, this book is a significant study of international relations between the three late 19th-century superpowers. The author demonstrates how the Pacific islands were pawns in an international diplomatic chess game that involved Britain’s early, but often unwilling, acquisition of Pacific territory; Germany’s scramble to get its share to bolster its prestige and trading interests; and the United States’ late, but insistent, demands for its place in the Pacific. What emerges in The Samoan Tangle is a pivotal study of the development of Samoan political structure that calls to mind how often the Pacific Islands have been used to satisfy great power plays on the other side of the globe.

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