About Liberia Essay Research Paper Liberia is

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About Liberia Essay, Research Paper Liberia is a republic in western Africa, bounded on the north by Sierra Leone and Guinea, on the east by C?te d’Ivoire, and on the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean. Liberia has an area of 99,067 square kilometers (38, 250 square miles). Liberia was founded in the early 1800s by freed American slaves. Monrovia is the capital and largest city. Maps of Africa and Liberia History Liberia owes its establishment to the American Colonization Society, founded in 1816 to resettle freed American slaves in Africa. An attempt at colonization in Sierra Leone had failed in 1815. Six years later native rulers granted a tract of land on Cape Mesurado, at the mouth of the Saint Paul River, to U.S. representatives, and the first Americo-Liberians, led

by Jehudi Ashmun, began the settlement. In 1894 an American agent for the society, Ralph Randolph Gurley, named the new colony Liberia and the Cape Mesurado settlement Monrovia. Other separate settlements were established along the coast during the next 20 years. Soon, however, conflicts arose between the settlers and the society in the United States. By the time Joseph Jenkins Roberts became the first black governor in 1841, the decision had been made to give the colonists almost full control of the government. A constitution modeled on that of the United States was drawn up, and Liberia became an independent republic in July 1847. Roberts was its first president, serving until 1856. Britain recognized Liberia in 1848, France in 1852, and the United States in 1862. Relations

with Indigenous People The Americo-Liberian communities eked out a precarious existence during the 19th century. Claims over interior territory were disputed not only by the indigenous Mandinka (also known as Mandingo or Malinke, Kru, and Gola peoples, but also by European states that did not recognize Liberian jurisdiction over the interior. U.S. support led to a series of agreements with Britain and France between 1892 and 1911, which marked the present boundaries. (Liberian control over the interior peoples, however, was not completely assured until the 1940s.) Loans from Britain and the United States partially eased the country’s financial difficulties. Liberia declared war on Germany on August 14, 1917, which gave the Allies an additional base in West Africa during World

War I (1914-1918). In 1926 the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company opened a rubber plantation on 400,000 hectares (1 million acres) of land granted by the Liberian government the year before. Rubber production became the mainstay of the nation’s economy. In 1931 the League of Nations confirmed that Americo-Liberians were using native Africans for forced labor, tantamount to slavery. The ensuing scandal implicated the highest government officials; the president and vice president resigned. By 1936 the new government had succeeded in abolishing forced-labor practices and Liberia was again in good standing with the League. The indigenous population, however, was still treated as second-class citizens, without voting rights. Tubman’s Regime U.S.-Liberian relations became closer

after the United States entered World War II (1939-1945). In 1942 the republic agreed to allow U.S. troops to be based in the country despite the fact that Liberia did not declare war on the Axis powers until 1944. In 1945 Liberia became one of the original member states of the United Nations. Following his election in May 1943, President William V. S. Tubman pursued a policy of national unification and economic development through foreign investment. The latter policy led to the exploitation in the 1950s of iron-ore deposits in the Bomi Hills, located north of Monrovia. In the presidential election of May 1951, women and indigenous property owners voted for the first time, but the few thousand Americo-Liberians living in the coastal region still retained control of the