Liberian Independence was proclaimed on this day in 1847; Read more

Liberian independence was proclaimed on this day after the US accepted its sovereignty in 1847. Liberia is the 1st democratic republic in African history.

The Republic of Liberia which was formerly a colony of the American Colonisation Society (ACS) declared its independence on this day in 1847. The West African nation is the first democratic republic in African history as the United States accepted its sovereignty on July 26, 1847. According to anecdotes, a constitution modelled after the US Constitution was approved after which in 1848 Josep Jenkins Roberts was elected as Liberia’s first president.

The American Colonisation Society was founded in 1816 by Robert Finley in a bid to return freed African American slaves to Africa. It was in 1820 that the first former American slaves arrived at the British colony of Sierra Leone from the US and next year the ACS founded the colony of Liberia south of Sierra Leone as a homeland for former slaves outside the British jurisdiction.

While between 1822 and the American Civil War, nearly 15,000 African Americans settled in Liberia, it was in 1847 that the Liberian Declaration of Independence, which is a document by the Liberian Constitutional Convention, was adopted to announce that the Commonwealth of Liberia was an independent state known as the Republic of Liberia. According to anecdotes, the declaration of independence came after the ACS came under attack from US abolitionist, who charged that the removal of freed places from the US strengthens the institution of slavery.

US recognised Liberia’s independence in 1862

While most Americans of African descent were not enthusiastic to abandon their native lands in the US for the harsh West African cost, after independence, Liberia aided Britain in its efforts to end the illegal West African slave trade. In 1846, the ACS surrendered all control of the colony which encouraged the independence of Liberia.

The Liberian constitution flag was then modelled after the US Constitution and flag because nearly all of Liberia’s founders were either free people of colour and former slaves who had emigrated as colonists from the US. Though the nation adopted the declaration of independence in 1847, it was in 1862 that the US officially recognised Liberia’s independence. With the backing of the US, Liberia also kept its independence through the turmoil of the 20th century. A costly ciil war that began in 1989 lasted until 1997 after which Charles Taylor was elected Liberian president in free elections.


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