• S. H. Steinberg
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


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 26 July, 1847, the state was constituted as the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia. The new state was first recognized 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 legislature 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 35 years of age and have unencumbered real estate to the value of $2,500 or £500. 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 civilization, take little part in political life. By the end of 1945, legislation was passed granting manhood suffrage to the natives in the three hinterland provinces, which will be represented in the legislature by one member each. In 1947, the franchise was extended to women.


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Books of Reference concerning Liberia

  1. League of Nations. International Commission of Enquiry in Liberia. Communication by the Government of Liberia dated December loth, 1930, transmitting the Commission’s Beport. Geneva, 1930.Google Scholar
  2. Papers Concerning Affairs in Liberia, December, 1930–Hay, 1934 (includes Report ol the Council ol the League of Nations, appointed to study the problems arising out of the request for assistance submitted by the Liberian Government, January, 1932). Cmd. 4614. H.M.S.O., 1934.Google Scholar
  3. Allen (V. N.), I Found Africa. London, 1940.Google Scholar
  4. Azikiwe (N.), Liberia in World Politics. London, 1934.Google Scholar
  5. Brown (G. W.), The Economic History of Liberia. Washington, 1941.Google Scholar
  6. Donner (Etta), Hinterland Liberia. London, 1939.Google Scholar
  7. Furbay (E. D.), Top Hats and Tom-toms. New York, 1943.Google Scholar
  8. Germann (Paul), Die Völkerstämme im Norden von Liberia. Leipzig, 1933.Google Scholar
  9. Greene (Graham), Journey without Maps. London, 1936.Google Scholar
  10. Greenwall (H. J.) and Wild (R.), Unknown Liberia. London, 1936.Google Scholar
  11. Huberich (C. H.), The political and legislative history of Liberia. 2 vols. New York, 1947.Google Scholar
  12. Mills (Lady D.), Through Liberia. London, 1926.Google Scholar
  13. Reeve (H. F.), The Black Republic: Liberia. London, 1923.Google Scholar
  14. Rue (S. de la), The Land of the Pepper Bird: Liberia. London, 1930.Google Scholar
  15. Schwab (G.), Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland. Harvard, 1947.Google Scholar
  16. Sibley (J. L.) and Westermann (D.), Liberia Old and New. London, 1928.Google Scholar
  17. Strong (R. P.), The African Republic of Liberia and the Belgian Congo. Cambridge, 1930.Google Scholar
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  19. Yancy (E. J.), Historical Lights of Liberia’s Yesterday mid To-day. Xenia, Ohio, 1934.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1949

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Steinberg

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