|Major Religions||Mormonism (55% - world's only Mormon-majority nation), Wesleyan (30%), other Christian (10%), Traditional religion (less than 5%), other religions (less than 5%)|
|King||Taufa'ahau Tupou V|
|Currency||Pa'aga; 1 Pa'aga = 20 Siligi = 240 Kopa|
|Organizations||Austronesian League, Commonwealth of Nations|
The Kingdom of Toga was unified in 1845 by the warrior and orator Taufa'ahau, who received the title of Tu'i Kanokupolu. In 1865, the last tu'i toga died, and the office was abolished. The Kingdom was formally declared in 1875, with Taufa'ahau as King George Tupou I. In 1900, it became a protectorate of Japan, when the Meidji Emperor aided King George Tupou III against would-be deposers. The Japanese became influential in the kingdom, encouraging a revival of traditional ways, including the old religion (although Christinaity remained dominant). Catacana became the official script of the kingdom. Beginning in the 1920's, the kingdom received less attention from Japan. The Japanese military retained a presence, and Japanese advisors remained influential in the kingdom's government, but declined during the 30's and 40's. In 1954, the kingdom was officially released from Japanese protection, being made a part of the Micronesian Confederation. Toga split off from Micronesia in 1956, developing closer ties with their powerful neighbor Fiji, and joining the Commonwealth. The cana-based script was abolished in favor of Roman at some point in the 60's.
Toga was struck by an extremely powerful earthquake, 8.0 on the Richter Scale in 2006, but little damage was done. It is still the strongest earthquake of the year, to date.
Mormonism has been growing rapidly in the kingdom in recent years. In the year 2003, it reached a majority. Notable converts include Princess 'Elitiva Futipala Vaha'i, niece to King Taufa'ahau Tupou V.
The present King, Taufa'ahau Tupou V, has been a figure of controversy in recent years for his financial incompetence. His Royal Highness has lost over 2 million pa'aga (pounds) in questionable investments. His tendencies towards autocracy have also been criticized, and a pro-democracy movement has sprung up. The pro-democracy movement does not wish to abolish the monarchy, only to make it more responsive to the people, and to increase the people's say in the government (currently limited to just 9 seats in the 30-seat legislature). Accusations linking the pro-democracy movement to the Fijian, Micronesian or Japanese governments are unproven, and are generally felt to be without basis. A recent amendment to the Togan constitution nationalized the press.
The currency of Toga is called the pa'aga. It is divided into 20 siligi and 240 kopa. In addition, 16 pa'aga are referred to as a koula, and 4 koula make 1 hau
The name pa'aga derives from bean-shaped playing pieces. When the crew of the Port-au-Prince sank their ship in 1806 to prevent it from being taken by the attacking Togans, Finau 'Ulukalala, chief of Ha'apai, could not find any valuables in the remains and decided to burn it down. It was later that William Mariner, the only survivor of this attack, told him that the pieces of metal resembling pa'aga were of great value.
Mariner also passed down the following statement of Finau 'Ulukalala:
If money were made of iron and could be converted into knives, axes and chisels there would be some sense in placing a value on it; but as it is, I see none. If a man has more yams than he wants, let him exchange some of them away for pork. [...] Certainly money is much handier and more convenient but then, as it will not spoil by being kept, people will store it up instead of sharing it out as a chief ought to do, and thus become selfish. [...] I understand now very well what it is that makes the papalagis [white men] so selfish - it is this money!
As for the secondary units, kopa simply means "copper", siligi is a borrowing of "shilling", koula means "gold", and hau means "noble"
Coins in circulation are:
Copper: ¼ kopa, ½ kopa, 1 kopa, 3 kopa
Silver: ½ siligi, 1/-, 2/6, 5/-
Gold: ¼ koula (£4), ½ koula (£8), 1 koula (£16)
Banknotes used are: 10 siligi, £1, £2½, £5, £10, £25, £50
Commemorative coins (platinum)
¼ Hau (£16) - ¼ ounce platinum
½ Hau (£32) - ½ ounce platinum
Hau (£64) - 1 ounce platinum
2 Hau (£128) - 2 ounces platinum
Commemorative coins (palladium)
1/8 koula (£2) - ½ ounce palladium
¼ koula (£4) - 1 ounce palladium
½ koula (£8) - 2 ounce palladium
Palladium coins were produced in 1967 to mark the coronation of King Taufa'ahau Tupou V, and again in 1968 for his 50th birthday. A second set was released in 1992 for the 25th year of his reign, and 1993 for his 75th birthday. Toga was the first nation in the world to produce coins from palladium.
Monarchs of Toga
- King George Tupou I November 18, 1845 - December 18, 1893 (officially recognized as king November 4, 1875; born 1797)
- King David Tupou II December 18, 1893 - March 4, 1895 (son of George Tupou I; born June 18, 1824)
- King George Tupou III March 4, 1895 - April 5, 1918 (born June 18, 1874; grandson of David Tupou II)
- Queen Salote Tupou IV April 5, 1918 - December 16, 1965 (born March 13, 1900; daughter of George Tupou III)
- King Taufa'ahau Tupou V December 16, 1965 - (born July 4, 1918; son of Salote Tupou IV)
See also Togan Succession
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