This paper is about a small country on the west coast of Africa called Liberia.
It is a country built with the help of The American Colonization Society. I was
established to place freed blacks in the days of slavery in the United States in
the 1800s. The government was modeled after of the United Stats. Monrovia, the
capital and principal, port is named after a president of the united states
James Monroe. This country has historical significance for african Americans.
As Africa’s oldest republic, established by former black American slaves,
Liberia played and important role as a model for African colones seeking
Liberia’s tribal peoples migrated to the area between the 12th and 16th
centuries. The Portuguese arrived in 1461 and began a trade in ivory, pepper,
and later in slaves. In 1820, the first colonists arrived. Their successful
settlement was named Monrovia in 1824. More colonists gradually arrived and
established separate colonies. In 1847 the colonies united and Liberia became
the first independent republic in black Africa.
The new nation faced many problems. Some of them were tribal wars, low
exports, and land claimed by other countries. Liberia was able to maintain its
independence only with the help of the United States. Following World War II,
the modern port, airport, hospitals, hydroelectric station, and other projects,
all financed by the United States, were opened. There has been frequent
military conflicts and civil wars. In August 1990, forces from several African
countries entered Liberia to try and stop the bloody civil wars. The fighting
only became worse and the Prospects of a negotiated settlement were dim.
LAND AND RESOURCES
Liberia’s straight sandy coast is 350 miles long. It is broken by
lagoons and mangrove swamps. It gives way to a low rolling plain about 20 miles
wide. Further inland, foothills ranging in height from 600 to 1000 feet high
are found. They become mountains in the north and east. The highest point in
the country is Mt. Wutuvi which rises to 4,531 feet. Land area of the country
is 43,000 square miles.
Liberia’s rivers are short and flow parallel to one another from the
mountains to the ocean. The largest rivers are the St. Paul, St. John, and
Liberia’s tropical climate is hot and humid. The usual temperature
ranges from 60 degrees to 87 degrees. Annual rainfall, as much as 177 inches at
the coast, gradually decreases inland to 96 inches. The rainy season occurs
between May and October. A dusty winter wind blows during December.
There are 90 different kind of usable wood in Liberia’s vast timber
resources. Mineral resources include large deposits of iron ore, diamonds, and
The country is rich in wildlife. More than 100 species of mammals have
so for been identified. There are fifteen species belonging to the cat family,
among which the largest is the leopard. The number of leopards has been
decreasing rapidly along with the elephant and bush cow. Monkeys, chimpanzees,
and antelopes swarm. two rare mammals found here are the manatee and the pygmy
hippopotamus. In addition to mammals, there are more that 100 species of birds,
including eagles, kites, and hawks.
Liberians of black American ancestry who migrated from North and South
America between 1820 and 1856 are known as Americo- Liberians. They live along
the coast and make of up about 5 percent of the more that 2 million population.
The bulk population consist of native cultural groups. Each has its own
language. There is also a large group of English speaking people. The largest
native group is the Kpelle which is 19% of the population. The Bassa group
makes up 14% of the population. It is estimated that 18% of the people practice
traditional African religions. About 68 percent are Christians and about 14
percent are Islamic. Liberia is officially Christian.
Almost half of the country’s city population lives in the capitol of
Monrovia, which is the largest city. The population of Monrovia was 425,000 in
Education was formerly provided by Christian missions but most schools
are now government operated. Although education is free and required between
the ages of 6 and 16, less than half of the school-age children attend, partly
because of a teacher shortage. The University of Liberia was founded in 1862.
It is located in the capitol city of Monrovia. ECONOMY
Most of Liberia’s workers work in farming. It is the most important
economic activity for more than 68% of the people. They mostly grow what they
Rubber is a commercial crop grown on plantations which employ about half
of those who work for money. The first