On July 26, 1847, the nation of Liberia declared its independence. This West African country was the first democratic republic in the history of Africa.

Liberia was a project of the American Colonization Society. The ACS was formed to help free African Americans emigrate to Africa. In 1822, the ACS created a colony in Africa—Liberia—especially for these free blacks, many of whom were former slaves. The African Americans who led the colony called themselves Americo Liberians, and came into frequent conflict with native inhabitants as the colony grew larger, richer, and more powerful.

Upon Liberian independence, English was established as the official language, the republican system of government was based on that of the U.S., and the new country’s capital, Monrovia, was named after American President James Monroe. Indigenous Africans were not granted full citizenship until 1904.

Noun

city where a region's government is located.

citizenship
Noun

behavior of a person in terms of their community.

colony
Noun

people and land separated by distance or culture from the government that controls them.

conflict
Noun

a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

country
Noun

geographic territory with a distinct name, flag, population, boundaries, and government.

democratic
Adjective

having to do with a government led by its citizens, who vote for policies and/or representatives.

frequent
Adjective

often.

independence
Noun

state or situation of being free.

Adjective

characteristic to or of a specific place.

inhabitant
Noun

resident.

republic
Noun

system of government where power rests in citizens who vote and representatives who stand for those citizens. The United States is a republic.

slave
Noun

person who is owned by another person or group of people.

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