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History V: March Toward Self-Government

2009 (87:00 mins) Island Topics #63 Government History

This final segment in the History of Micronesia video series presents the final two decades of US administration, when change was the order of the day. The election of President Kennedy in 1960 signaled a profound change in US policy in its Trust Territory, beginning with a focus on education and health services. As the budget increased, the list of government employees expanded. So did the population of the district centers, along with the problems these towns faced. Meanwhile, the quest for an economy to support all this growth continued without any real results. The Congress of Micronesia offered new leadership roles and a vision of full self-government, as the islands moved closer to political autonomy. But this same body also revealed the fissures in an area that had been unified for a century under foreign rule. The path to self-rule was not an easy one, as the video shows, and there were forks along the way, but by 1980 three of the four separate entities that once made up the Trust Territory were at the threshold of independence.

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