British captain William KEELING discovered Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 1609, and they were named the Cocos Islands in 1622 for their coconut trees. Some maps began referring to them as the Keeling Islands in 1703. In 1825, Scottish trader John CLUNIES-ROSS was trying to get to Christmas Island but was blown off-course and landed on Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The next year, a British trader hired John’s brother to bring slaves and a harem of Malay women to create the first permanent settlement on the island. By the 1830s, the Clunies-Ross family had firmly established themselves as the leaders of the islands and they ruled Cocos (Keeling) Islands in a feudal style until 1978.
The UK annexed the islands in 1857 and administered them from Ceylon after 1878 and from Singapore after 1886. Cocos (Keeling) Islands hosted a cable relaying station and was attacked by the Germans in World War I. The Japanese similarly attacked the islands in World War II. The UK transferred the islands to Australia in 1955, which officially named the islands the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and in 1978, Australia bought all the land held by the Clunies-Ross family, ending their control of the islands’ governance. In a referendum in 1984, most islanders voted to integrate with Australia, and Western Australian laws have applied on the islands since 1992.
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NOTE: The information regarding Cocos (Keeling) Iss on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cocos (Keeling) Iss 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cocos (Keeling) Iss 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
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