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The arrival of Americans during the Second World War, with their informal habits and relative wealth, contributed to the rise of nationalism in the islands.The belief in a mythical messianic figure named John Frum was the basis for an indigenous cargo cult (a movement attempting to obtain industrial goods through magic) promising Melanesian deliverance.The condominium's authority was extended in the Anglo-French Protocol of 1914, although this was not formally ratified until 1922.Melanesians were barred from acquiring the citizenship of either power and were officially stateless.During the 1990s, Vanuatu experienced a period of political instability which resulted in a more decentralised government.The Vanuatu Mobile Force, a paramilitary group, attempted a coup in 1996 because of a pay dispute.There were allegations of corruption in the government of Maxime Carlot Korman.New elections have been called for several times since 1997, most recently in 2004.
Challenges to the condominium government began in the early 1940s.Since the Portuguese and Spanish monarchies had been unified under the king of Spain in 1580 (following the vacancy of the Portuguese throne, which lasted for sixty years, until 1640, when the Portuguese monarchy was restored), Queirós claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies, and named it La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo.In the 1880s, France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906, they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through an Anglo–French condominium.Since the 1920s, indentured workers from French Annam come to work in the plantations in the New Hebrides.
They were 437 in 1923, 5413 in 1930, then after the crisis 1630 in 1937.
Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago consisting of about 82 relatively small, geologically newer islands of volcanic origin (65 of them inhabited), with about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) between the most northern and southern islands.