archipelago of quot;The
Friendly Islandsquot; was united into a Polynesian kingdom in
1845. It became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British
protectorate in 1900. Tonga acquired its independence in 1970 and
became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It remains the
only monarchy in the Pacific. LOCATION: Oceania, archipelago in the South
Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand CLIMATE: Tropical;
modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool
season (May to December)
is a country made up of about 150 islands in the South Pacific
Ocean. The British explorer Captain James Cook, who first
visited the islands in 1773, called them the Friendly Islands.
In 1789, Captain William Bligh and 18 crewmen of the British
ship Bounty floated through the islands after being cast
adrift in a
small boat by mutineers.
Tonga is the only remaining kingdom of Polynesia, one of the three
main groups of the Pacific Islands. It became independent in 1970
after being a protectorate of the United Kingdom since 1900. It
is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Most of Tonga's people grow crops. Over half the people live on
Tongatapu, the largest island. Nukualofa, Tonga's capital, chief
port, and commercial centre, lies on Tongatapu.