Liberia began in the early 19th century as a project of the American Colonization Society (ACS), which believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. Between 1822 and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced social and legal oppression in the U.S., along with 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to Liberia. Gradually developing an "Americo-Liberian" identity, the settlers carried their culture and tradition with them; the Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U.S., while its capital was named after ACS supporter and U.S. President James Monroe. Liberia declared independence on July 26, 1847, which the U.S. did not recognize until February 5, 1862. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from the U.S. state of Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence.
The Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered, especially those living in the more isolated interior. Colonial settlements were raided by the Kru and Grebo from their inland chiefdoms. Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the native populace. Americo-Liberians formed into a small elite that held disproportionate political power; indigenous Africans were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own land until 1904.
The University of Liberia (UL or LU in older versions of abbreviation) is a publicly funded institution of higher learning located in Monrovia, Liberia. Authorized by the national government in 1851, the university opened in 1862 as Liberia College. UL has four campuses; including the Capitol Hill Campus in Monrovia, Fendall campus in Louisiana, outside Monrovia, the Medical School Campus in Congo Town and the Straz-Sinje Campus located in Sinje Grand Cape Mount County. The university enrolls approximately 18,000 students and is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in West Africa. It is accredited by the Liberian Commission on Higher Education. (Full article...)
Image 10A proportional representation of Liberian exports. The shipping related categories reflect Liberia's status as an international flag of convenience – there are 3,500 vessels registered under Liberia's flag accounting for 11% of ships worldwide. (from Liberia)