The Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa became independent from New Zealand in 1962.
The modern nation of Samoa and American Samoa share a common history up until the coming of the Europeans.
The earliest human settlement of the Samoan archipelago is thought to be around 1500 B.C based upon the lapita pottery shards found in the islands. Samoan oral history extends as far back as 1000 A.D.
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the early 1700s, Samoa's history was interwoven with that of Fiji as well as the history of the kingdom of Tonga. The oral history of Samoa preserves the memories of many battles fought between Samoa and neighboring islands. Too, intermarriage of Tongan and Fijian royalty to Samoan nobility has helped build close relationships between these island nations that exists even to the present day.
In 1722, Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first European to sight the islands. This visit was followed by the French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), the man who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768.
In the latter part of 19th century, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States all claimed parts of the kingdom of Samoa, and established trade posts. The rivalry between these powers exacerbated the indigenous factions that were struggling to preserve their ancient political system.
The First Samoan Civil War was fought roughly between 1886 and 1894, primarily between rival Samoan factions though the rival powers intervened on several occasions with military forces. There followed an eight-year civil war, where each of the three powers supplied arms, training, and in some cases, combat troops to the warring Samoan parties.
The Second Samoan Civil War was a conflict that reached a head in 1898 when Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States were locked in dispute over who should have control over the Samoa Islands.
The Siege of Apia, or the Battle of Apia, occurred during the Second Samoan Civil War in March 1899 at Apia. Samoan forces loyal to Prince Tanu were besieged by a larger force of Samoan rebels loyal to powerful chief Mata'afa Iosefo. Supporting Prince Tanu were landing parties from four British and American warships. Over the course of several days of fighting, the Samoan rebels were defeated.
The Samoa Tripartite Convention, a joint commission of three members composed of Bartlett Tripp for the United States, C. N. E. Eliot, C.B. for Great Britain, and Freiherr Speck von Sternburg for Germany, agreed to divide the islands.
The Tripartite Convention gave control of the islands west of 171 degrees west longitude to Germany, (later known as Western Samoa), containing Upolu and Savaii (the current Samoa) and other adjoining islands. These islands became known as German Samoa. The United States accepted the eastern islands of Tutuila and Manu'a, (present-day American Samoa). In exchange for United Kingdom ceding claims in Samoa, Germany transferred their protectorates in the North Solomon Islands and other territories in West Africa. The Samoan monarchy was also abolished.
Even so, Samoan citizens kept their traditions and the island chiefs continued to govern the daily lives of Western Samoa.
Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, in August 1914, New Zealand sent an expeditionary force to seize and occupy German (Western) Samoa.
New Zealand administered Western Samoa first as a League of Nations Mandate and then as a United Nations trusteeship until the country received its independence on 1 January 1962 as Western Samoa.
Samoa's decided to drop the adjective "Western" from its name by an act of the Legislative Assembly of Western Samoa adopted on July 4, 1997.https://youtu.be/mFpgDu4wIbU
American Samoa continues with a close relationship with the United States as an "unorganized" territory. American Samoa is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967.