Constitution and Government.—The Republic of Liberia had its origin in the efforts of several American philanthropic societies to make permanent provision for freed American slaves by establishing them in a colony on the West African coast. In 1822 a settlement was formed on the west coast of Africa near the spot where Monrovia now stands. On July 26, 1847, the State was constituted as the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. The new State was first recognised by Great Britain and France, and ultimately by other Powers. The Constitution of the Republic is on the model of that of the United States, with important differences. The executive is vested in a President and Cabinet, and the legislative power in a parliament of two Houses, called the Senate and the House of Representatives. The President is elected for eight, the House of Representatives for four, and the Senate for six years. The President must be at least thirty-five years of age, and have unencumbered real estate to the value of 2,500 dollars, or 500l. 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.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.