|Languages||English (official at federation level)|
Ulithian, Woleian, Yapese, Kosraean, Pohnpeian, Chuukese, Marshallese, Chamorro (co-official at state levels)
Japanese, others (minority)
|Governor-General||Kataejar Jibas (Labour, Marshall Islands)|
|Establishment||10 May 1979|
|Annexation||2 January 2002|
|Currency||Commonwealth dollar ($)|
The Federated States of Micronesia is a state of the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand. It consists of the Caroline, Marshall, and Mariana Islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Like Australia, Micronesia is "sub-federalized" into smaller semi-autonomous states, a reflection of each island group's unique history and culture.
Until 1979, the present islands of the FSM, plus Palau, were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a vast swath of ocean administered by the United States of America at the behest of the United Nations. In 1979, the different island groups were granted self-government and set on the path to independence. Four of these (Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap) formed the Federated States of Micronesia, a federal government to replace the TTPI. Three island groups (Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Marianas) opted not to join the federation. In 1982 Palau took the next step toward independence by signing a compact of free association with the USA, ending American trusteeship. However, that compact was never ratified. (In OTL it would not be ratified for another 11 years.)
On Doomsday, 26 September 1983, five nuclear weapons hit targets in the Micronesia region. One hit and wiped out Guam, which had not been part of the TTPI because of its much longer history of US colonization. Three hit American air and missile bases on the sprawling Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The atoll consists of tiny islets stretching out for hundreds of miles, so three missiles were necessary to take out all three bases. A fifth missile landed in the sea near Kwaj; it is believed that it was off target and intended to provide extra assurance that the Kwajalein bases would be destroyed.
Neither tourism nor foreign investment had played a great role in the islands' economies, which remained mostly devoted to subsistence agriculture and fishing. However, the governments had all been heavily dependent on American aid. As government services dried up, the islands became even more, well, insular, almost all economic and political activity being centered on the village and the individual atoll.
The American Provisional Administration attempted to re-start regional government by bringing back the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1987. Relying heavily on aid from New Zealand and Australia, the APA sent military and, far more importantly, humanitarian aid to the Micronesian islands and helped re-stabilize the state governments. Overall, ANZUS aid was well received. Palau, however, whose 1981 constitution had been the first of its kind to establish it as a nuclear free zone, resented the Cold War powers and blamed them for causing the disaster. Resentment was even stronger in the Marshall Islands, where most people blamed the US for the destruction of Kwajalein and the resulting fallout and pollution.
Nevertheless, federation continued. The Northern Marianas (which changed its name to the State of the Mariana Islands in 1987, claiming the dead landmass of Guam) joined the Federated States in 1988. The Marshallese government joined the FSM despite a fierce opposition movement in 1993. Palau was the only island to remain outside the federation.
Upon the creation of the ANZC in 1995, there was no clear consensus in the Micronesian nations on how to proceed. Full dissociation from Australia-New Zealand was never seriously considered (the state and federal governments had come to heavily depend on Ozzie-Kiwi aid), but fierce debate emerged over whether to join the new Commonwealth as a member; pursue a free association agreement, like Hawaii had done, and like Micronesia itself had pursued before Doomsday; or re-create a trusteeship similar to the TTPI. The ANZC government, for its part, strongly opposed trusteeship.
An emotional series of meetings, rallies, debates, and referenda lasted for several years, with no option securing the required 51% of the popular vote. Finally, a federation-wide referendum with only two options - free association or annexation - was held in 2001. Advocates of annexation just barely won the day, with less than 52% support.
Since then, most Micronesians have accepted the status quo of ANZC membership and come to appreciate the economic and political advantages that it affords. Only the Marshall Islands still has an active secessionist movement. The Marshallese Independence Party, founded by James Matayoshi is one of the major parties in the state government. It controlled the Marshall Islands legislature for the years 2004-2006, though it was unable to pass a successful secession bill. The MIP also controls seats in the federal legislature and has even sent an MP to Jervis Bay since 2007. The secession movement was incensed after the ANZC's agreement in 2005, in which uninhabited Wake Island was ceded to Hawaii. The Marshallese had always claimed Wake as part of their state.
The federation consists of six states:
- The State of Chuuk
- The State of Kosrae
- The State of the Mariana Islands
- The State of the Marshall Islands
- The State of Pohnpei
- The State of Yap
The Marshall Islands are by far the most populous state, Kosrae, the least populous. The Mariana Islands were historically the most developed part of Micronesia and the most Americanized. However, they also suffered the most from the end of US aid after Doomsday, and therefore suffered the greatest population loss.
The Federal States encompass the entire Micronesia region except for Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, Guam, and Wake Island.
Micronesia's government is based on the 1979 constitution, with some changes. The Council, in particular, was a post-Doomsday addition based on the Marshallese constitution.
Each state has some authority over local affairs. The lower house of the federal legislature, called the Senate, has six members elected by each state as a whole (one per state) and 25 elected from population-based districts. The Senate selects the Governor-General (sometimes called the President), who must be one of the six Senators elected by the states. The current Governor-General is Kataejar Jibas, a Labour Party member from the Marshall Islands. The upper house, called the Council, consists of traditional chiefs. It has no actual power and is merely an advisory body.
The capital, Kolonia, is also the capital of Pohnpei state. The largest city is Majuro in the Marshalls, followed by Saipan in the Marianas. Before Doomsday, Saipan had been much larger than Majuro, but it was largely abandoned in the aftermath and never reached its original size. The capital has remained at Kolonia because of its central location.
With annexation, the ANZC handles many matters, such as foreign affairs, that were once the purview of the federation. The federation government's main role nowadays is co-ordinating and harmonizing the acts of the state governments, and as acting as a liaison with the Commonwealth government by managing Parliamentary grants of aid.