Liberia i/laɪˈbɪəriə/, Cape Mesurado, Grain Coast, Pepper Coast, (Little America) or (LIB) commonly and officially referred to as the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa bordered by Sierra Leone to its west, Guinea to its north and Ivory Coast to its east. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi) and is home to 4,396,873 people. English is the official language; 15 indigenous languages are also spoken within Liberia. Its coastline is composed mostly of mangroves, while its more sparsely populated inland consists of forests opening onto a plateau of drier grasslands. The climate is hot and equatorial, with significant rainfall during the May–October rainy season and harsh harmattan winds the remainder of the year. Liberia possesses about forty percent of the remaining Upper Guinean rainforest.
The Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society (ACS), declared its independence on July 26, 1847. Under pressure from Britain, the United States finally accepted and recognized Liberian Independence on February 5 1862, making Liberia the first African country to gain its independence in July 26, 1847. Liberia is Africa's oldest democratic republic. Liberia is unique from other African countries because it was the only country that was colonized and controlled by freed African Americans and ex-slaves from the Caribbean islands who left the United States of America and the Caribbean in 1822. Liberia andEthiopia were the only two African countries during the 19th century Scramble for Africa that were not controlled or colonized by European powers. Liberia which means ("Land of the Free") originated from the freedAfrican Americans and ex-slave settlers who founded and established Liberia as a free state. For a time, Liberia was under United States controlled as a colony for freed African Americans and ex-slaves from 1822 until the Liberian Declaration of Independence from the American Colonization Society in July 26, 1847. Liberia was a protectorate of the United States . The Liberian constitution was modeled after the Constitution of the United States, and in 1848 Joseph Jenkins Roberts was the first African American to be elected head of state when he became Liberia’s first president.
The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 by American Robert Finley to return freed African American slaves to Africa. In 1820, the first former U.S. slaves arrived from the United States at the British colony of Sierra Leone, and in 1821 the American Colonization Society founded the colony of Liberia south of Sierra Leone as a homeland for former slaves outside British jurisdiction. The American Colonization Society came under attack from U.S. abolitionists, who charged that the removal of freed slaves from the United States strengthened the institution of slavery. In addition, most Americans of African descent were not enthusiastic about abandoning their native lands in the United States for the harsh West African coast. Nevertheless, between 1822 and the American Civil War, some 15,000 African Americans settled in Liberia.
Liberian independence was recognized by the United States in 1862, making Liberia the first African country to gain its independence. Liberia is Africa's oldest Black republic and the second oldest Black republic in the world after Haiti. Liberia aided Britain in its efforts to end the West African slave trading of the native chiefs. Official U.S. diplomatic recognition came in 1862. With the backing of the United States, Liberia kept itsindependence through the turmoil of the 20th century.
Liberia began to modernize in the 1940s following investment by the United States during World War II and economic liberalization under President William Tubman. Liberia was a founding member of League of Nations, United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity. In 1980 a military coup overthrew the True-Whig Party leadership, marking the beginning of political instability. Five years of military rule by the People Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by two civil wars – the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars. These resulted in the deaths of between 250,000 and 520,000 people and devastated Liberia's economy. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005. Today, about 85% of the population live below the international poverty line. Liberia's economic and political stability was threatened by a deadly Ebola virus epidemic which originated in Guinea in December 2013 and entered Liberia in March 2014, but the outbreak officially ended on May 8, 2015, after 42 days with no new cases.
All sources from Wikipedia.