Liberia History

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History[edit | edit source]

Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society, who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U.S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 5, 1862, during the American Civil War.

Between January 7, 1822, and the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U.S., and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement. The black settlers carried their culture and tradition with them to Liberia. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U.S. On January 3, 1848, the people proclaimed independence.

Liberia was the first African republic to proclaim its independence, and is Africa's first and oldest modern republic. Liberia retained its independence during the scramble for Africa. During World War II, Liberia supported the United States war efforts against Germany and in turn, the U.S. invested in considerable infrastructure in Liberia to help its war effort.

Political tensions resulted in a military coup in 1980 marking the beginning of years-long political instability. Five years of military rule by the People's Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars. These resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people, the displacement of many more and shrunk Liberia's economy. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005. Liberia's economic and political stability was threatened in the 2010s by an Ebola virus epidemic and was declared officially ended on May 8, 2015.

For a primer on the history of Liberia see the Wikipedia article Liberia.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1461 -Into the late 17th century, Portuguese, Dutch and British traders had contacts and trading posts in the region
1822 - Settlement by the American Colonization Society
1822 -1867 The American Colonization Society began sending black volunteers to the Pepper Coast to establish a colony for freed blacks and had sent 13,000 blacks to Liberia
1847 - The settlers issued a Declaration of Independence and it established the independent Republic of Liberia
1862 - Recognition by the United States
1989 - 1997 The First Liberian Civil War was an internal conflict in Liberia and the conflict killed about 250,000 people and displacing a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries
1999 - The Second Liberian Civil War broke out
2006 - The government established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the causes and crimes of the civil war

American Colonization Society Sources[edit | edit source]

Links[edit | edit source]

United States Sources