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History of Liberia

Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society (ACS), a group established in 1816 to encourage and support the migration of free Africans Americans to the continent of Africa.

Many of the settlements names are similar to those found in the US. Examples Maryland, Virginia, Arlington, Mississippi, and Georgia. The first group of settlers landed on Providence Island, just off the Atlantic Ocean on January 7, 1821. The settlement was called Critopolis, now known as Monrovia and named after US
President James Monroe. Sensing their vulnerability because of European Colonialism, they elected representatives to a constitutional convention during which they declared the country’s independence on July 26, 1847, and named the new country Liberia….from the Latin word Libre free.

The declaration noted that they were originally inhabitants of the Untied States of America and the constitution was drafted by Hilary Teague giving universal suffrage which was unique for that period. It also granted automatic citizenship for anyone from anywhere with negro blood.

The settlers dominated the Liberian political landscape for about 150 years until 1980, when William R. Tolbert, was assassinated and the government replaced by a military regime. Eventually, leading to a bloody civil war in December 1989, that ended in October 2005.

In 2006, Liberia elected Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president in the history of the continent. She served for two six year terms and was succeeded by George Manneh Weah, the current President.

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