• 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 first recognised by Great Britain; then by 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, in 1862, by the United States of America. The Constitution of the Republic is on the model of that of the United States of America, with trifling exceptions. 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 arid the House of Representatives are elected for two years, and the Senate for four years. An Amendment to the Constitution will probably be carried in May, 1907, extending these terms to four and six years respectively. 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 Publications

  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.Google Scholar

2. Non-Official Publications

  1. Blyden (E. W.), Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race. London, 1887.—A Chapter the History of Liberia. Freetown, 1892.Google Scholar
  2. Bourzeix (Père P.), La République de Libéria. Paris, 1887.Google Scholar
  3. Buttikofer (J.), Reis,ebilder aus Liberia. 2 Bde. Leiden, 1890.Google Scholar
  4. Delafosse (M.), Un État Nègre; La République de Libéria. No. 9 of ‘Renseignements Coloniaux.’ Paris, 1900.Google Scholar
  5. Die Negerrepublic Liberia, in ‘Unsere Zeit,’ Vol. III. 8. Leipzig, 1858.Google Scholar
  6. Johnson (H. R. W.), The Independence of Liberia. New York, 1882.Google Scholar
  7. Johnston (Sir H. H.), Liberia: TJie Negro Republic in West Africa. London, 1906.Google Scholar
  8. Reports of Council of the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders. London.Google Scholar
  9. Schwarz (Dr. B.), Einiges über das interne Leben der Eingebornen Liberias, ‘Deutsche Kolonialzeitung,’ Dec. 15,1888. Berlin.Google Scholar
  10. 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
  11. Wallis (Captain C. Braitliwaite), The Advance of Our West African Empire. London, 1903.Google Scholar
  12. Wauwermans (Colonel H.), Liberia, histoire de ia fondation d’un état nègre libre. Brussels, 1885.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1907

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Scott Keltie

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