United States Commonwealth (1978 to Present)
The people of the Marianas were the first of all the former Trust Territory entities to decide their future political identity, they decided to enter into a Commonwealth arrangement in political union with the United States. In all of Micronesia they were the only island group to do so.
On January 1978 the Northern Mariana Islands became self governing in political union with the United States under the terms of a covenant negotiated between the two government and the area's first elected governor took office. For the first time after more than 300 years under the flags of Spain, Germany, Japan and the United States, the new Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands began its own destiny. It has been said that the Spanish brought Christianity to the islands; the Germans – copra commerce; the Japanese agricultural and industrial development and the Americans the concept of self government.
On May 28, 1986 the United Nations Trusteeship Council concluded that the United States had satisfactorily discharged its obligations to the islands. On November 4, 1986 the United States citizenship was conferred upon those people of the Northern Marianas that met the necessary qualifications. On December 22, 1990 the Security Council of the United Nations voted to dissolve the Trusteeship.
The CNMI Guide would like to thank Mr. William H. Stewart for providing all the information used in these pages.