• J. Scott Keltie
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


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. Many difficulties were encountered and much suffering was endured by the colonists, but their numbers gradually increased until, in 1832, there were about 2,500 settlers. The colony had no regular constitution; it owed no allegiance to any known power, nor did it claim to be an independent State. It was not till July 26, 1847, that the State was constituted as the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. The new State was recognised by Great Britain and France, and from these countries it received assistance for defence, the collection of customs duties and other purposes, and its independence was soon afterwards recognised by other European countries and by the United States of America. The Constitution of the Republic is on the model of that of the United States of America, with this exception, that one not a natural-born citizen of the Republic may be made President. The executive is vested in a President, a Vice-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 two years, and the Senate for four years. There are 14 members of the Lower House, and 9 of the Upper House. The President must be 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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Statistical and other Books of Reference Concerning Liberia

1. Official Publication

  1. Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom with Foreign Countries and British Possessions. Imp, 4. London.Google Scholar
  2. Foreign Office Report on the Trade of Liberia. London, 1903Google Scholar

2. Non-Official Publications

  1. Blyden (E. W.), Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race. London, 1887.—A Chapter in the History of Liberia. Freetown, 1892.Google Scholar
  2. Bourzeix (Père P.), La République de Libéria. Paris, 1887.Google Scholar
  3. Buttikofer (J.), Reisebilder aus Liberia. 2 Bde. Leiden, 1890.Google Scholar
  4. Delafosse (M.), Un État Nègre: La République de Libérla. No. 9 of ‘Renseignements Coloniaux.’ Paris, 1900.Google Scholar
  5. Die Negerrepublic Liberia, in ‘Unsere Zeit,’ Vol. III. 8. Leipzig, 1858.Google Scholar
  6. Durham (F. A.), The Lone Star of Liberia. London, 1893.Google Scholar
  7. Sutchinson (E.), Impressions of Western Africa, 8. London, 1858.Google Scholar
  8. Johnson (H. R. W.), The Independence of Liberia. New York, 1882.Google Scholar
  9. Johnston (Keith), Africa. London, 1882.Google Scholar
  10. Reports of Council of the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders for 1895–1900. Appendices. London, 1896–1900.Google Scholar
  11. Ritter (Karl), Begründung und gegenwärtige Zustände der Republic Liberia, in ‘Zeitschrift für allgemeine Erdkunde,’ Vol. I. 8. Leipzig, 1853.Google Scholar
  12. Schwarz (Dr. B.), Einiges über das interne Leben der Eingebornen Liberias, ‘Deutsche Kolonialzeitung,’ Dec. 15, 1888. Berlin.Google Scholar
  13. Stockwell (G. S.), The Republic of Liberia: its Geography, Climate, Soil, and Productions. With a history of its early settlement. 12. New York, 1868.Google Scholar
  14. Wauwermans (Colonel H.), Liberia, histoire de la fondation d’un état nègre libre. Brussels, 1885.Google Scholar
  15. Wilson (J.), Western Africa. 8. London, 1856.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1905

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Scott Keltie

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