Brunei had always been a sultanate. It used to be bigger in the earlier days, covering the northern part of Borneo and the Southern region of the Philippines. However, the conquest of the Europeans put an end to its rule over the other lands. It gradually let go of its other territories until it was reduced to the mass it is today. It fell under the British protectorate for many years until a treaty, stating its independence, was signed in 1979. The country went back to a sultanate again and is now one of the countries blessed with oil deposits.