Postgraduate Certificate in Education, college College LondonM.S., imperial College LondonB.S., Heriot-Watt University
Alistair Boddy-Evans is a teacher and also African history scholar with more than 25 year of experience.

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There are two countries in Africa taken into consideration by part scholars come never have actually been colonized: Ethiopia and also Liberia. The truth, however, is that short periods of varying levels that foreign control during their early on histories have left the question of even if it is Liberia and Ethiopia truly remained fully independent a subject of debate.


Ethiopia and also Liberia are widely thought to it is in the only two African countries to have actually never to be colonized.Their location, financial viability, and also unity aided Ethiopia and Liberia prevent colonization.Ethiopia to be officially well-known as an elevation state in 1896, ~ decisively beating invading Italian pressures at the battle of Adwa. Throughout its quick military occupation during civilization War II, Italy never ever established colonial control end Ethiopia.Despite being founded by the United states in 1821 together a ar to send its free Black residents, Liberia to be never conquered after obtaining its complete independence in 1847.

Between 1890 and 1914, the so-called “scramble because that Africa” led to the rapid emigration of most of the african continent by european powers. By 1914, about 90% of Africa to be under europe control. However, due to the fact that of their locations, economies, and political status, Ethiopia and Liberia avoided colonization.

What Does colonization Mean?

The procedure of emigration is the discovery, conquest, and settlement that one politics body end another. It is an old art, practiced by the Bronze and Iron period Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and also Roman empires, not to mention the post-colonial realms of the joined States, Australia, new Zealand, and Canada.

But the many extensive, many studied, and arguably the many damaging that the early american actions is what scholars describe as the west Colonization, the initiatives of the marine European countries of Portugal, Spain, the dutch Republic, France, England, and eventually Germany, Italy, and also Belgium, to overcome the remainder of the world. That started in the late 15th century, and by civilization War II, two-fifths the the world"s soil area and also one-third the its populace were in colonies; another 3rd of the world"s territory had actually been colonized however were now independent nations. And, countless of those independent countries were comprised primarily the the progeny of the colonizers, for this reason the results of Western colonization were never ever truly reversed.

never ever Colonized?

There are a grasp of nations that were not subsumed through the juggernaut of west colonization, consisting of Turkey, Iran, China, and Japan. In addition, the countries with longer backgrounds or higher levels of breakthrough before 1500 have tendency to have actually been conquered later, or not at all. Characteristics that drove whether or not a country was conquered by the West appear to be how daunting it is to reach them, the relative navigation distance from northwestern Europe, and the lack of a for sure overland passage to landlocked countries. In Africa, those countries arguably had Liberia and Ethiopia.

Considering it necessary to the success of your economies, the imperialistic European nations avoided the outright emigration of Liberia and Ethiopia—the only two African countries they taken into consideration viable players in the trade-based people economy. However, in return for their noticeable “independence,” Liberia and Ethiopia were required to provide up territory, agree come differing levels of European financial control, and become attendees in european spheres of influence.


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Modern downtown Monrovia, Liberia.Patrick Robert/Corbis via Getty Images

The sovereign nation of ​Liberia is often explained as never colonized due to the fact that it was created so recently, in 1847.

Liberia was established by americans in 1821 and remained under their control for simply over 17 years prior to partial self-reliance was accomplished through the explanation of a republic on April 4, 1839. True independence was asserted eight years after that July 26, 1847. Native the center 1400s v the late 17th century Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders had actually maintained profitable trading write-ups in the region that became known together the “Grain Coast” since of its abundance of melegueta pepper grains.

The American culture for colonization of cost-free People of color of the United claims (known merely as the American emigration Society, ACS) was a culture initially operation by white american who believed there to be no place for free Blacks in the U.S. They believed the federal government should salary to return cost-free Blacks to Africa, and also eventually its administration was taken over by cost-free Blacks.

The ACS created the Cape Mesurado colony on the Grain coastline on Dec. 15, 1821. This was further broadened into the swarm of Liberia on Aug. 15, 1824. Through the 1840s, the colony had come to be a financial load on the ACS and the U.S. Government. In addition, due to the fact that it to be neither a can be fried state no one a recognized swarm of a sovereign state, Liberia faced political dangers from Britain. As a result, the ACS bespeak the Liberians to declare their freedom in 1846. However, even after acquiring its complete independence a year later, the european nations continued to see Liberia together an American colony, thus preventing it during the scramble for Africa in the 1880s.

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Some scholar argue, however, the Liberia's 23-year duration of American domination until self-reliance in 1847 qualifies it to be concerned as a colony.