Liberia Old History

By | January 3, 2023

Liberia is an independent nation in Western Africa. With the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia 2020 population is estimated at 5,057,692 according to countryaah. Liberia is Africa’s oldest independent republic, proclaimed in 1847 by freed African slaves from the United States. The descendants of these American liberians formed an upper class that had a monopoly of power until 1980.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Liberia, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

About Liberia’s early history is not much known. The Crucible peoples had immigrated from the north long before the arrival of European mariners in the 15th century. The Mande people first came in the 1550s. Both the Kruger and the men lived in small, isolated communities. The people acted as middlemen in European trade with the interior of West Africa. For Liberia political system, please check cancermatters.

The state of Liberia was formed in the 19th century after the view of slavery changed in the United States and Europe. The American Colonization Society, which worked to bring back freed slaves to Africa, managed in 1822 the United States to purchase an area at Cape Mesurado that became the beginning of Liberia. The capital of Monrovia was founded in 1824 and got its name from US President James Monroe.

In 1847, the Republic of Liberia was proclaimed. The Constitution was based on the United States’ strict division between legislative, executive and judicial powers. Despite resistance from the indigenous peoples, 16,400 freed slaves immigrated from the United States between 1822 and 1892. An additional 5,700 people freed from slave ships were put ashore in the new state.

The freed slaves and their descendants, the American Liberians, formed an upper class that devoted the following decades to expanding its influence inland. The new state depended on the export of coffee and hardwood and the taxation of indigenous peoples, who were put into forced labor. Liberia’s borders were recognized internationally in 1892, but only in the 1920s did they gain full control of the interior. The elite political party, the True Whig Party, ruled uninterrupted from 1877 to 1980, which was possible partly because the indigenous peoples had long lacked voting rights.

American companies are gaining more influence

Liberia was pushed closer and closer to the United States from 1926, when the Firestone Group (now Japanese-American Bridgestone / Firestone) leased areas corresponding to four percent of the country’s area for planting rubber plantations. The US was allowed to establish military bases in 1942 and the US dollar became the official currency. Firestone’s rubber plants grew to become the world’s largest. The company also became the country’s largest employer, and in 1955 the business accounted for more than a third of the country’s GDP.

In 1944, the lawyer William Tubman became president, a post he held until his death in 1971. He tried to unite all peoples and gave the inner provinces a seat in parliament in 1945. Voting rights for all men were introduced, later also for women, but opposition parties were not yet allowed. During Tubman’s time, US economic dominance was broken and companies from other countries established themselves in Liberia.

Iron ore began to be mined in the 1950s and soon became the largest export product. Liberia was one of the world’s largest iron ore producers in the 1970s, partly through the partly Swedish-owned Lamco (see Economic overview).

Tubman was succeeded by his Vice President William Tolbert. Under his rule, it began to run with the country. Consensus policy was broken and corruption increased. Economic problems abroad led to reduced demand for the country’s export goods and imports became more expensive. Liberia was indebted and the budget deficit increased. Resistance to the regime grew and the first opposition parties formed.

A turning point for Tolbert’s regime came in April 1979, when a demonstration against a proposed increase in the price of basic rice was brutally defeated by the military and many people were killed. In March 1980, parts of the opposition called for a general strike to force Tolbert out of power. Political tensions grew rapidly.



Criticism against agreements with forest companies

The organization Global Witness criticizes the government for a number of agreements with forest companies, which according to the organization pose a threat to the country’s rainforests. The government has already launched an investigation into corruption in connection with the agreements that have been concluded despite unclear ownership and in many cases using forged documents.


Officials are turned off

President Johnson Sirleaf shuts down 46 people from public records on August 21 because they did not report their financial assets. Among those suspended are her son Charles Sirleaf, Deputy Governor, and several Deputy Ministers. To be able to return to service, the persons concerned must report their assets and income to the National Anti-Corruption Authority, but also pay an amount equal to the amount that would have earned during the shutdown period to the government.


The UN raises sanctions against 17 people

The UN Security Council decides to lift sanctions against 17 Liberians with ties to former President Taylor. However, the sanctions – their financial assets have been frozen and they have been subjected to travel bans – remain for 25 people, including Taylor’s son and gun smuggler Viktor Bout.


Criticism and praise from HRW

In a report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticizes Liberia for not intervening against Ivorian militiamen and Liberian mercenarieswho have committed serious abuses following the 2010 presidential election in Ivory Coast. These must have continued to raid against Ivorian villages and are accused of recruiting child soldiers in Liberia. At least 40 people have been killed since July 2011, most from people who supported Gbagbo’s challenger Ouattara. The Liberian government rejects the information that it has been passive on the issue. HRW later praises the Liberian authorities for initiating a criminal investigation of the incident so quickly. The Liberian National Security Council orders that ten men, believed to be involved in the attack earlier in June, be arrested. At the end of the month, 41 people detained on suspicion of involvement in the Ivory Coast violence will be extradited to the neighboring country.

Concern in the border area

At least seven UN soldiers and eight civilians are killed in an ambush in the western part of Ivory Coast on June 8. There are suspicions that the assailants have entered the country from Liberia and that they have fought on former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo’s side in the Ivory Coast conflict. Following the deed, Liberia tightens its surveillance of the border area and closes the border with the neighboring country.


Taylor is convicted of war crimes

In late April, former President Charles Taylor is convicted of war crimes in connection with the Sierra Leone conflict. The penalty is set one month later to 50 years in prison (see Sierra Leone: Political system).

The President is accused of a policy of slander

In the spring, Robert Sirleaf, President Johnson Sirleaf’s third son, is appointed chairman of the national oil company Nocal. Robert Sirleaf, who also works as an adviser to his mother (see Current Policy), sues the newspaper The Analyst in April, which suggests that he is using his position for his own gain. The article also criticized the president for giving his son the assignment shortly after another of her sons, Charles Sirleaf, was appointed deputy head of the Liberian central bank. Robert Sirleaf withdraws the mood since newspaper editor Jefferson Koije apologized.

According to President Johnson Sirleaf, his son Robert is well qualified for the job as chairman of the oil company (he previously worked in the banking sector in the US) and no fees are given. The organization Global Witness claims that the state Nocal sits on two chairs by conducting commercial operations in a market it will also regulate.

The article on Robert Sirleaf creates great resurrection and the president is accused of slanderous politics. A third son, Fumba Sirleaf, is already responsible for the Ministry of Security. Other relatives of the president also sit on important posts within the administration or serve as her advisers.

Liberia Old History