Clipperton Island, uninhabited atoll, c.2 sq mi (5.2 sq km), in the Pacific Ocean, c.800 mi (1,290 km) SW of Mexico. It was used as a base by John Clipperton, an English pirate. The French claimed it in 1858, the Americans held it for a time in the Spanish-American War, and Mexican troops occupied it in 1897. The conflict between France and Mexico was referred to the king of Italy for arbitration in 1908. The award was made (1931) in favor of France, and Mexico surrendered the island in 1932. The island is administered from French Polynesia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pacific Islands Political Geography