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The Spanish arrived in 1597, naming the islands Spanish names; these Spaniards however only lasted a few months. Regardless, since around 1570, the islands were called in Spanish, Islas de Salomon, in reference to the biblical king Solomon, hence giving the islands their name. The islands were largely forgot about until 1767, when the British captain Philip Cartaret stumbled through the island group, which caused a new set of clashes between the natives and visitors. In the end of the 19th century, British made the islands the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. During World War II, the Japanese took the Shortland Islands and Tulagi. In 1942, there were battles between the Allies and the Japanese for control. The US military control persisted after Japanese surrender in 1945. The US withdrew in 1950.
The Solomon Islands remained until British control until independence was granted on 7 July 1978.