The Liberian Republic had its origin in the efforts of several colonisation societies of Europe and America to make permanent provision for freed American slaves. In 1822 a settlement was formed on the west coast of Africa near the spot where Monrovia now stands. On July 23, 1847, the State was constituted as the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. The new State was first recognised by France and Great Britain, and ultimately by other Powers. The Constitution of the Republic is on the model of that of the United States, with trifling exceptions. The executive is vested in a President and a Council of 6 Ministers, and the legislative power in a parliament of two houses, called the Senate and the House of Representatives. The President and the House of Representatives are elected for four years, and the Senate for six years. The President must be at least thirty-five years of age, and have real property to the value of 600 dollars, or 120l. Electors must be of negro blood, and owners of land. The natives of the country are not excluded from the franchise, but, except in the centres of civilisation, they take no part in political life. The official language of the Government is English.
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